Announcing Chick-fil-A as a
2022 Champion Award Winner
PROFILE OF A CHAMPION: Chick-fil-A
On a Mission to be the World’s Most Caring Company
Chick-fil-A and its Chairman Dan T. Cathy were nominated and selected for this award by fellow Georgia business leaders because of the organization’s success in consistently executing with care and generosity in the little things, those meaningful daily moments of service valued by Chick-fil-A culture across decades of generosity. Dan’s late father, Chick-fil-A Founder S. Truett Cathy, opened his first local restaurant in 1946 and the first Chick-fil-A in 1967.
“We have a mission statement to be the world’s most caring company. What does it mean to be the world’s most caring company? We know that really, it’s the subtleties of a lot of behaviors that consistently happen all over the organization, embodied by leaders, lived out by leaders,” says Dan Cathy. “That leadership ripples throughout the whole organization, so that customers in drive-thru lines, in our dining rooms, and other places feel cared for through a lot of little things that we do.”
Excerpts taken from the interview with Dan T. Cathy, Chairman, Chick-fil-A, Inc.
No Margin, No Mission
One of the favorite expressions for my dad is that “if there’s no margin, there’s no mission.” In other words, as business people, we’ve got to make a profit. We’ve got to make a profit just to sustain ourselves from one year to the next, so we can reinvest in the business going forward and take advantage of marketplace opportunities. But hopefully there’s going to be also some margin there, not just to recapitalize the business for the future, but also to share some of that profit with other needs within the community.
Purpose & Mission That Drive Performance
We have a mission statement to be the world’s most caring company. And as we’ve thought about that, as we think about that, as we incubate and perpetuate that kind of thinking, what does it mean to be the world’s most caring company? We know that really, it’s the subtleties of a lot of behaviors that consistently happen all over the organization, embodied by leaders, lived out by leaders. But that leadership ripples throughout the whole organization, so that customers in drive-through lines, in our dining rooms, and other places see there’s a lot of little things that we do.
Standing in the Gap
I know in 2020, just two years ago, the cover, a veil was opened. And we began to see how elements of our society, particularly the African American community, have a lot of unseen hardships that they are dealing with that I think many other people, including myself, were oblivious to. And so it’s the eyes to see, it’s the ears to hear, but it’s also the heart that cares. It’s seeing and hearing, but it’s also a sense of conviction in heart, that we need to take action. We need to do something about the situation.
We need to stand in the gap. If we’ve got inequities in our society, in education and medical care, justice, and on and on and on, all these inequities, we need, in our generation, to step up. And by a sense of our own personal moral compass and our moral convictions we need to stand in the gap and we need to speak out.