Eating at fast food restaurants creates a dilemma for me. Wheat and milk allergies eliminate traditional hamburger and fries order for me at most fast food restaurants.. A select few places provide at least one alternative to the salad default. To be safe, I usually check menus online to be sure of ingredients.
Before Chick-fil-A took their carrot raisin salad off the menu, I frequently went through the drive-through and only ordered the carrot salad. It was my favorite! But now they offer grilled nuggets!
And why are grilled nuggets so special? Try eating a grilled chicken breast without a bun using a plastic fork or spork. I can enjoy a complete meal of nuggets, waffle fries, and slaw without allergy worries. The waffle fries are fried separately from other fried food. I never get fries at other places because of cross contamination. Breaded chicken, onion rings, etc. are fried in the same oil as the fries, which makes them unsafe for me.
I apologize for this long introduction, but as Larry and I ate lunch this week at our nearby Chick-fil-A, I couldn’t help notice two friendly employees working the dining area. The Rivergate Chick-fil-A is always crowded at lunch and tables turn over fast. This busy team refilled drinks, wiped tables, and took trays to the trash as people began their exit.
Each guest was treated with a smile, a kind word, and efficiency. I’ve seen this before but on this day I reflected on our entire visit.
As we ordered, I saw cashiers quick to take the next person, complete the order, and give a smile. Orders were delivered with another smile and a kind word. When I returned my fried nuggets for the grilled ones I ordered, a supervisor was notified with a gesture (barely noticeable). She again greeted me with a smile, did not even question my word about the mistake, and in just a few minutes I had my grilled nuggets.
I’ve worked in enough places to know that when all the employees in an establishment treat customers with respect and kindness training paid attention to this standard. If you see everyone respond in this way, you know there are expectations from corporate all the way down to those who bus tables and refill drinks.
You can’t fake kindness throughout an organization. A culture is created by expectations when leadership follows through with those expectations. All the written visions, values, and mission statements, training manuals can have just the right words to show expectations, but putting them into practice requires diligence and belief in what is important.
While I waited for permission to take photos, I explained to Miss Sandy what I wanted to write in this blog. Her words? “Thank you for noticing.”
Thank you to Chick-fil-A and your culture of kindness.
Disclaimer: I received no goods or services for endorsing Chick-fil-A.