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.