4 Lessons from Chick-fil-A’s Truett Cathy

Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy passed away last Monday, September 8 at the age of 93. In honor of his life and his legacy, here are four guiding principles he demonstrated consistently in his business throughout the years. We’d all be wise to take note…


Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 10.21.50 AM1. Start small and work diligently.

Truett and his brother Ben worked hard as the only employees of the Dwarf House in Atlanta in 1946. It took more than 20 years for them to open the first Chick-fil-A in an Atlanta mall in 1967. Now, there are more than 1,800 restaurants operating in 40 states. Their hard work and persistence has certainly paid off.

2. Stick to your values.

Chick-fil-A has always observed a “Closed on Sundays” rule. This is because of Truett Cathy’s commitment to honoring the Lord’s Day and giving employees a welcomed day off. He was adamant about this rule and refused to compromise.

3. Give customers a great experience.

If you have ever visited a Chick-fil-A establishment, you have most likely been greeted with a smile and each “thank you” was met with a “my pleasure.” Positive experiences like these set fast food establishments apart and create extremely loyal customers.

4. Create opportunities.

Truett Cathy wasn’t in the chicken business; he was in the people business. In 1984, he created the WinShape Foundation to encourage leadership development and offer academic scholarships for Chick-fil-A employees. WinShape was expanded into WinShape Homes, providing foster care for children, and WinShape Camps, giving children a faith-based summer camp experience.

Truett Cathy left a powerful legacy as a business owner and a human being. He was committed to serving people and communities and never wavered from his values. Learn more from Truett Cathy in his Five-Step recipe for Business Success.

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