Chick-fil-A is an Atlanta-based global brand that needs no introduction. In addition to being the consistent industry leader in customer satisfaction and the most beloved food service outlet in some 47 states, Chick-fil-A is also a dynamic partner of the GMSDC and a leader in community development initiatives nationwide. Headquartered just south of Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the company is renowned for its commitment to its employees, principled community engagement strategy and generous philanthropy, all powered by a customer-driven corporate culture unlike any other enterprise. What began in 1946 as the Dwarf Grill – later renamed the Dwarf House, still in operation in Hapeville, Georgia – and expanded in 1967 into the first ever Chick-fil-A store in Atlanta’s Greenbriar Mall, has now evolved into the largest quick service chicken restaurant chain in the nation. Long admired for its standard of operational excellence and courteous yet efficient service, Chick-fil-A leads all chains in its category in same-store sales, even while its outlets are closed on Sundays.
Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy, a prolific author, community leader and businessman without peer, was a legendary force behind the company he founded and operated based on biblical principles. A committed family man who was married for 65 years, Truett often shared that he was not in the chicken business, but the people business. This compassionate mindset drove a culture that was all about courteous care of the customer and a heartfelt devotion to his employees. Today, Chick-fil-A is an established leader in offering a full range of benefits and programs to its team members, tens of thousands of whom have attended college supported by Chick-fil-A scholarships. Another well documented practice is the day of rest Mr. Cathy – himself a lifelong Sunday School teacher at his church – insisted on the same practice for all of his employees. Despite frequent pressure from malls and other influences to open his stores on Sundays – and the potential for incremental revenue if he did so – Mr. Cathy never yielded, and his company continues to outperform all others in the category on a same store basis.
Chick-fil-A has also emerged as a trailblazer in diversity and inclusion. The company launched a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative across the business, as the company seeks to insure it is operating in a fair and equitable manner in every respect. Darryl Lesure – the supplier diversity team leader at company headquarters, and Wenet Wu drive the supply chain DE&I outreach at Chick-fil-A, where the company is adding resources and expanding its reach into every area of the business. One of Chick-fil-A’s many community programs – True Inspirations – is a local philanthropy effort driven by store operators, who may choose worthwhile causes, non-profits and charities who may receive a donation from the Foundation arm of the business. Two of Chick-fil-A’s corporate leaders – CEO Dan Cathy and VP of Corporate Social Responsibility Rodney Bullard – are on the board of the Westside Future Fund in Atlanta, a non-profit community group targeting homelessness, education and hunger on Atlanta’s West Side, one of many such initiatives Chick-fil-A supports.
Darryl Lesure, the Senior Principal Lead in Supply Chain at Chick-fil-A and head of its supplier diversity program, is sold on the company’s partnership with the GMSDC. “Chick-fil-A is thrilled to partner with the GMSDC to collaborate on making supply chains more diverse and on ways to implement equity as a best practice,” he says. “Our shared vision for creating opportunity for minority businesses is a top priority for our company…it’s our pleasure to be a part of the work the Council is doing.” In addition to the next-level programs and initiatives Chick-fil-A is leading out in the community, it supports the Georgia Mentor Protégé Connection and many other important GMSDC programs. The Chick-fil-A standard of excellence and care sets an example for us all… whatever business you are in, you are really in the people business.