Godly stewardship at the heart of what the company stands for
An interesting and recent piece appearing in the Small Business Advisor section of Yahoo.com highlights the “Christian way” Chick-fil-A hires for its franchise operator positions.
According to its mission statement, Chick-fil-A seeks to “glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us” and to “have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”
With between 10,000 and 25,000 applications for only 60 to 70 spots annually, Chick-fil-A’s application process for franchise operators focuses heavily on the biblical principles of good stewardship that Faith Driven Consumers hold dear.
Here, potential franchise operators are subjected to rigorous rounds of interviews – sometimes more than a dozen – with a thorough examination of each applicant’s family situation and involvement in community, civil and religious organizations. Founder Truett Cathy’s view is that married operators are more industrious, loyal and wholesome, noting that, “If a man can’t manage his family, he can’t manage a business.”
Not surprisingly, when a company stands for godly stewardship nowadays it’s likely to draw plenty of criticism. Somewhat of a magnet for lawsuits, Chick-fil-A has been sued 12 times in recent years on charges of employment discrimination practices.
However, with a clear, faith-driven corporate culture that is consistently and effectively communicated from the top down, it’s hard to argue with the results that Chick-fil-A delivers. Even Wall Street is starting to take serious note of privately held Chick-fil-A’s resounding success in the economic marketplace.
Here, even though it forfeits $500 million annually because it’s closed on Sundays to allow for employees to worship with their families, the average Chick-fil-A in 2010 generated $2.7 million in store revenues–$300,000 more than runner-up McDonald’s. And staff turnover is very low for both hourly workers and franchise operators, who make an average of $190,000 annually.
Clearly, running a business “the Christian way” works.
Let us know what you think: Do you think there’s room for more companies like Chick-fil-A in the American marketplace? Or is Chick-fil-A an anomaly?