Chick-Fil-A Mini Strategy

Chick-Fil-A is a fast food chain restaurant that mainly specializes in chicken sandwiches. The company was commenced in 1946 and it is headquartered in Atlanta in the United States. The company is one of the biggest quick-service chicken restaurant chains in the country. The company is family owned with the founder being Truett Cathy. The company has remained private over the years of its existence. The company’s mission statement is: “Be America’s best quick-service restaurant,” while the purpose of the restaurant is:To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A” (Farfan, 2015). The company’s purpose and culture is based on the founder’s beliefs and therefore the company’s chains do not open their doors for business on Sundays. 

The objective and goals of Chick-Fil-A are entrenched in their values. The company believes in quick and better service to their customers therefore the company’s main objective is to serve the community around them. The main goal of the organization is sustainability where they can continually serve their customers better year after year. The organization aims at looking for unexpected opportunities around them in order to provide improved services to their consumers. One of the ways that Chick-Fil-A has been able to achieve its objectives is through education programs that instill core essentials and positive values to the children in the community. 

The company was formed and is based on Christian values and so is the leadership. The company is family owned and a majority of the leaders are from the family being led by the CEO, Dan T. Cathy who is the son of the founder S. Truett Cathy. The company has several types of leadership. The first type of leadership is charismatic as the leaders have been able to inspire and motivate the employees to serve the customers with dignity and respect. The leadership in Chick-Fil-A is customer oriented because all the decisions made and all actions taken are meant to satisfy the consumers rather than gain profit. The leaders of the company have expressed a servant leadership style, this is because the leaders want to serve first instead of leading first; this is expressed by the fact that their highest priority is other people other than themselves. The leaders are more concerned about the customers as well as the welfare of the employees. The current composition of the board members in Chick-Fil-A consists of ten members with the Chairman, President and CEO being Dan T. Cathy. Donald M.Cathy is the Executive vice president and the President of Dwarf House. The other Executive Vice Presidents are; James McCabe, Steven Robinson and Timothy Tassopoulos. The remaining members of the boards are Senior Vice Presidents and they include; John Bridges, Andrew Cathy, Lynn Chastain, Brent Ragsdale and Cliff Robinson. 

Chick-Fil-A employs a matrix organizational structure. The organization is made of different functional heads who are specialists in their fields.  The different functional departments are headed by senior vice presidents; the departments include; operations, human resource, field operations and marketing. The organization has a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) who reports to the CEO, the CFO is head of financial services and treasury, payroll services, risk management, business solutions, financial planning and development, and corporate financial services. The functional departments head different working units. Other important departments that report directly to the CEO are community affairs and Legal (“Org Chart Chick-fil-A”, 2015). According to Judson (2008) the company has over 40,000 employees and operates in approximately 2,000 locations. 

A SWOT analysis is an environmental scanning tool that is used to assess the macro environment influencing an organization. The first strength of Chick-Fil-A is its size as it is located in about 1950 locations in about 42 states; this increases the company’s ability to reach to its country wide customer base. Chick-Fil-A has been known for its charity services, it has given to approximately 700 charities and it has in initiated several community programs. The company has a strong corporate culture which has been influenced by the Cathy’s family, the management and the employees are strong spiritually and provide top-notch customer services. The employees in Chick-Fil-A are treated well which has maintained the organizations high retention rates. One of the weaknesses of Chick-Fil-A is their high calorie foods that contribute to obesity especially among the adolescents who are more vulnerable. Chick-Fil-A products are known to be expensive compared to their competitors e.g. BKlounnge. The strong spiritual culture may turn off most of the investors and some customers. The organization is strongly anti-LGBT which has alienated itself from many customers.

The first opportunity of Chick-Fil-A is the increase use of franchising to expand the business. The fast food restaurant has even expanded its business through franchising in colleges. Chick-Fil-A has enjoyed a continued national presence due to its quality services and products for the past six decades. Chick-Fil-A has been expanding its menu annually to cater for different consumer needs. The company has different innovative concepts such as; Mall/In-Line Restaurants, Stand-alone Restaurants and Drive-Thru Only Outlets (Chick-fil-A, 2016). The less moral competitors such as McDonald’s pose a great threat to Chick-Fil-A in terms of competition because they are able to use unconventional methods to compete. The rising cost of raw materials such as white meat poultry may increase the cost of production. Chick-Fil-A depends on chicken delicacies and a break out of disease such as Avian Flu may result to heavy losses to the company.

The company’s sales for the year 2014 were $5.7 billion which was an increase from 2013 sales which were $5.1 billion.  Chick-Fil-A has no stocks available for the public because it has never launched a Public Initial Offering (IPO). The main competitors of Chick-Fil-A are KFC and McDonald’s. In terms of revenue, in 2014 McDonald’s performed better than the two with sales of $35 billion compared to Chick-Fil-A $5.7 billion and KFC $4.2 billion. Chick-Fil-A had an average sale per unit of $3.064 million compared to McDonald’s $2.5 million and KFC $0.96 million in 2014. In 2014 McDonalds had 12,836 franchising units compared to Chick-Fil-A 1,837 and KFC 4,164. Chick-Fil-A increased 112 units from 2013 to 2014, KFC decreased it unit by 121 between 2013 and 2014, and McDonald’s increased 72 units between 2013 and 2014 (Peterson, 2015). Between the three companies Chick-Fil-A has an exceptional record on customer service, employee treatment and corporate responsibility. 

The best generic strategy that Chick-Fil-A can use is differentiation strategy. The company has specialized in Chicken delicacies and can continue producing new chicken menus to satisfy their consumers. It is difficult for the company use cost leadership as their generic strategy because they provide value for money just like Apple products and reduction in prices could lead to small profit margins or losses. The best value discipline that the company can use is customer intimacy, this is a strategy the company has been using over the years and has been working for them. Product leadership has also been significant in the growth of the company especially on Chicken menus. Chick-Fil-A operational excellence strategy is through sustainability. The company continually interacts with their customers to improve their services. The best grand strategy that Chick-Fil-A can use is market growth where it should invest more in covering all the states in United States and reaching even the world beyond. The first global strategy is Chick-Fil-A can sell their products in different countries but customizing them according to local needs. Chick-Fil-A can use franchising units to increase its reach to the international market. 

The CEO of Chick-Fil-A is Dan T. Cathy, who is the son of the founder Truett Cathy. Dan was born in 1953 in Jonsboro, Georgia and is married with two children. Dan Cathy has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. As a child he sang at his father’s restaurant which was formerly known as Dwarf House Restaurant. He started working at his father’s restaurant in 1975 after graduating from Georgian Southern University. Dan Cathy’s first job at the company was Director of Operation; in 2001 he was the Chief operating officer, until he became the CEO in 2013. The CEO is a strong anti-LGBT campaigner just as his family. The greatest achievement for Dan Cathy was the opening of over 50 Chick-Fil-A restaurants as the Director of Operations. Dan Cathy exudes three leadership styles i.e. servant leadership, participative and customer oriented leadership. He is said to spend most of his time interacting with consumers and employees at the different unit chains than in his office in Atlanta. He indicates that: “I work in the customer service” (“Executive Biographies | Chick-fil-A”, 2016). He has received several awards such as Member, Board of Trustees, Morehouse College and Member, Board of Advisors, Eagle Ranch. His hobbies include motorcycling, gardening, participating in marathons and playing the trumpet. The CEO’s vision for the company is to provide a “second-smile” service to its customers. 


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