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Secrets to Chick-Fil-A’s Success: Biblical Application in Corporate Management

( [email protected] ) Jun 21, 2010 08:25 AM EDT
With its headquarter in Atlanta, Georgia, Chick-Fil-A is the second largest chicken fast-food restaurant chains with over 1,482 stores; for 42 consecutive years, they have had a continuous growth and have an annual revenue of 3.2 billion dollars. Recently, their company representative shared the secrets to their management success – applying Biblical principles into corporate management.
Mark Fauk, management advisor of Chick-Fil-A corporate headquarter, introduced the management principles of Chick-Fil-A to around 100 Chinese Christians from the restaurant businesses from around the world. (WCRM)

With its headquarter in Atlanta, Georgia, Chick-Fil-A is the second largest chicken fast-food restaurant chains with over 1,482 stores; for 42 consecutive years, they have had a continuous growth and have an annual revenue of 3.2 billion dollars. Recently, their company representative shared the secrets to their management success – applying Biblical principles into corporate management.

Chick-Fil-A corporate management advisor Mark Fauk shared with around 100 Chinese Christians in the restaurant ministries and businesses from around the world the management principles at the World Christian Restaurant Ministries Leadership conference held in New York City.

Founded in Georgia in 1946 by Truett Cathy, Chick-Fil-A started as a private fast-food restaurant. In 1967, they’ve started its first branch in Atlanta. Ever since then, the company multiplied immensely. Now, the company is operating in 38 states in America and has become the second largest chicken fast-food chain restaurant just behind Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Then, what exactly is the management principle that led Chick-Fil-A to today’s accomplishment? Fauk’s response was to apply the biblical principles into corporate management.

Fauk explained that the core managers of the Chick-Fil-A are all Christian; everyone together follows biblical principles in leading the entire team in business management.

“This is the secret to our success,” he revealed.

Unlike other businesses that only aim at generating revenues, Chick-Fil-A is motivated by the principles of the Bible.

“To us, doing business is not simply about earning money, but what’s more important than generating revenues is to let Chick-Fil-A become God’s faithful managers in glorifying God, and positively influence those who Chick-Fil-A comes in contact with.”

In another words, their mission and purpose is to be a company that glorify God and bring positive good to people by striving towards their ideal set after biblical principles.

In order to manage development by following the will of God and biblical principles, the qualities of leadership would no doubt play an important role. On the attributes of the leaders, Fauk listed six points: insightful and shapes the future; invites others to participate, gives others opportunities for development; innovate incessantly; focused on cause and effects; resembles proper values and servant leadership.

Yet another distinct characteristic of Chick-Fil-A is their policy of not operating on Sundays. And for this reason, Chick-Fil-A have had lost some opportunity for large sales. For example, when they’ve planned to enter into contract with Disney World in Florida, the park requested that they operate on Sundays, but they did not compromise, which resulted in the loss of the contract.

For restaurant businesses, Sunday is the golden time for making money, but what makes Chick-Fil-A so different in closing on Sundays?

“We pay a lot of attention to the faith of individuals. The purpose for not opening is so that everyone can get closer to God and become renewed in body, mind, and spirit.” He answered.

Although this policy has caused Chick-Fil-A to lose some money-making opportunities, they have received much more blessings and returns from God as a result of their faithfulness.

The reality testifies God’s faithfulness, he said. “Compared to the grace and wealth received from God, those lost opportunities is nothing.”

Besides letting Christian employees observe their Sundays, Chick-Fil-A would hold worship services every Monday morning at 8am, welcoming non-Christian employees to participate. All of these actions are to allow Chick-Fil-A to truly become a company owned by God, allowing it to be a platform that serves as the salt and light for the Lord, glorifying God and benefitting everyone.

[Editor's note: reporter Jonathan Quan contributed to this report.]