A Bad Day for Chick-fil-A

Everybody loves Chick-fil-A.  The third largest restaurant chain in America that WOWs customers with their food, service and associates who love to say “My Pleasure”.  But that wasn’t the story today.  

After deciding to cheat on my low-carb diet, I stopped by our local Chick-fil-A to get some waffle fries. I should have realized that things were a bit “off” by the length of the drive-thru line. But after driving all the way there I decided to tough it out to get my fries.  After waiting 10 minutes I was greeted by an associate who took my order. She said, “Just fries, that’s it?” I said yep.  She gave me the total to pay and I said “Thanks.” She smiled and looked down at her ipad and started punching more stuff in it. What? No “My Pleasure”.  After a few more minutes I get to the payment/pick-up window. I said “You know, the service tonight was a little off. Please tell you manager that I waited nearly 15 minutes to get an order of fries.” Her response? Blank stare. Not even an “I’m sorry” or “I’ll pass that on.” Just, here’s your bag of fries and some change. I grabbed my fries, said “Thanks” and anticipated those infamous words, but nope, never heard “My Pleasure”.

I hope this is not indicative of Chick-fil-A falling from the grace of WOW. Are they growing too fast? Are they not hiring the right folks?  Did they not notice that one person taking orders was not enough to provide great service? Everyone gets it wrong once in a while but the fact that I never heard “My Pleasure” or that the associate didn’t know what to do with my comment about having to wait 15 minutes paints a more serious picture – losing the one thing that made Chick-fil-A great to begin with – a culture of WOW.

My experience is a great reminder that Customer W.O.W. is not a one and done. It needs to be delivered by every associate, with every transaction, to every customer, every time.

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