According to the “Taking Stock with Teens” survey, Chick-fil-A, the Atlanta-based fast-food joint that began back in 1946, is the restaurant of choice with the rising generation.
Can you blame them?
It seems when it comes to restaurants, teens and adults are of one mind. And good taste. For the last eight years, the American Customer Satisfaction Index Restaurant Study has ranked the home of the famed chicken sandwich and waffle fry to be America’s favorite.
With teens, Starbucks placed a distant second, followed by Chipotle, McDonald’s and Olive Garden – in that order.
Agreement between generations speaks to the timeless nature of quality, service and atmosphere. By committing to treating each and every customer kindly, and with dignity and respect, the company has maintained its strong appeal across all demographics.
“Treat your customers like you like to be treated when you go out to eat,” once said the founder, the late Truett Cathy. “Do you like to be greeted with a bunch of smiling faces and see a demonstrated serving spirit? If the customer says, ‘Thank you’ we say, in response, ‘My pleasure.” You don`t expect to hear that in fast food. We are even practicing, “Going the second mile.” That’s taught in the Bible also. Go over and above what`s expected of you. We have letters all the time thanking us for how kind our people are and considerate and helping them with food or with the baby out to the car. It is very meaningful to us because we can compete with our highest competitor simply because of the kindness in our unit.”
We all appreciate that over the years the company has unapologetically stood for strong values and publicly proclaimed their Christian faith.
Teenagers are often maligned, dismissed and discounted. Mark Twain once joked wryly, “When a child turns 12, he should be kept in a barrel and fed through the bung hole, until he reaches 16…at which time you plug the bung hole.” Maybe today’s teens would be okay with that if each meal came from a Chick-fil-A menu.
To be sure, there’s no question the teen years can prove challenging for both young adults and parents alike, but it’s also a wondrous season of development and discovery.
Many of us have been especially impressed to see and encounter teenagers not just dining at Chick-fil-A, but also working there. Polite, dedicated and helpful, they represent the very best of their generation. Several of our son’s friends are employed at their restaurants here in Colorado Springs, and they’re enjoying the fruits of part-time job and gaining invaluable experience at the same time.
Today’s teens may seem preoccupied with their smart phones and technology of all kinds, but this survey data provides parents and other adults with a subtle suggestion. Want to connect or converse with a teenager in your life? Invite them to Chick-fil-A – just be sure and ask for plenty of the secret sauce while you’re there.