Chick-fil-A and Branding…

John and I were in Austin over the weekend for the Jerry Jeff Walker birthday bash. Before returning to Dallas we drove around Austin and stopped at a Chick-fil-A for a quick lunch. It happened to be Jeff Glover’s Chick-fil-A. Now, I don’t know Jeff at all, but I would think his restaurant is well-known to his franchise peers. It was an experience unlike any I’ve ever had, in ANY fast food restaurant.

From the moment we walked in, I noticed the elegant music, clean windows and floors. Neatness and order were evident everywhere. The employees were well-groomed with all shirt tails tucked in. They were ready for the lunch crowd. There were black tablecloths on the tables and a black vase with fresh colorful flowers sat upon each table. We were greeted warmly when we ordered. Although we weren’t familiar with the service, we noticed after we had waited for our food tray that most guests seated themselves and the servers brought their trays to them at their tables. At the end of my meal a server asked me if I would like any more of my soft drink. After refilling she asked if she could take my tray, I said yes and thanked her and she responded with one of my favorite responses. “I’m happy to.”

I’m happy to. I’m happy to…I’m HAPPY to? What a simple under-utilized phrase. What a well-trained staff…many kudos to the owner, Jeff Glover. What a pleasant place to eat that never once felt contrived or uncomfortable. What an experience it was for a quick simple lunch.

Would you consider what Jeff has done as branding? Branding is a name, sign, symbol, slogan or anything that is used to identify and distinguish a specific product, service, or business. The Chick-fil-A brand is already backed up by the franchise with logos, signage and advertising. But what Jeff has accomplished is to distinguish his brand above the rest. Identity is one thing; but to be distinguished is an entire different level of recognition. Jeff’s restaurant is distinguished. If there is a goal for any business owner it would be to develop a higher level of service marked by excellence and leadership. At the end of the day is your goal to be identified or distinguished? I know which one I’d rather be.

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One thought on “Chick-fil-A and Branding…

  1. Hello
    I am Jeff Glover. I have to say it is My Pleasure to have had my team host you in my dinning room. I am honored by your kind words about my wonderful team of employees. I do not deserve the great effort they put forth to serve my guest here in Austin.

    Someone once told me 20 years ago, “People don’t care how much you know, till they know how much you care”. I figured it out then that leadership is not about my ego. In your article, you clearly made the case for being distinguished as a brand rather than just being identified as one. That which is true for brand power is also true for leader power, yet how many leaders are simply identified as such and have not done the work to distinguish themselves to their followers.

    I am proud to be in service to my staff here is Austin. And I’m proud that the work being done behind the scenes is paying off amazing dividends to my customers. I think you would agree that good branding occurs when others do the talking for you. Thank you for building the brand for me.

    Eat More Chicken

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