CHICK-FIL-A   



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ST. PETERSBURG

TYRONE MALL - LARGO - TAMPA



Grand Opening and a shakedown cruise. I stumbled into a brand new store on their first day.  Their claim is they didn’t invent the Chicken but the Chicken Sandwich.  Otherwise they did OK and the manager comped my bad meal and apologized, I told him it wasn’t the girls fault, she was nervous on her first day.

It's pretty hard to screw up Chicken in a sandwich, but they plucked up severely. They managed to do about everything wrong. My spicy sandwich needed a magnifying glass to find the Chicken piece, no spice on it, and they forgot the top part of the BUN, for starters.  So I went back to the line waited and got the top half of the bun for my sandwich which was now spice-less and cold.   I used Pepper instead and made my own spicy chicken.  New store, new crew, new experiences,  service a disaster.  And I had a few grins…

The assistant manager was like the cruise director on the Titanic.  Once again this is a management problem, they will have better days.  First days are tough.   There are some really nice Chick Filet stores that are consistent and they will bring this one up to par.  Their franchises are very well controlled as they represent one of the strongest branded food businesses and very successful usually serving good food, and good value.  So I grabbed him for a sit down and showed him the pictures.  Doing the table public relations is important but making sure complete food coming from the kitchen has a priority.

√√√√  A follow-up visit a week later showed tremendous improvement so they are a four, which is the highest a chain can go.  Only took week for me to get back to that store.  My new manager friend told me in two days they are at about 87% to 92%.  Another day or so they have it down pat.  I’m tough on chicken, chicken can be tough on you if handled improperly.


BOTTOM LINE ON TOP

Chick-fil-A is an American fast food restaurant chain headquartered in the Atlanta suburb of College Park, Georgia, specializing in chicken sandwiches. Founded in 1946, as the Dwarf Grill, it has been associated with the Southern United States, where it has become a cultural icon.

Chick-fil-A has over 1,700 restaurants in 38 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, and is focusing future growth in the American Midwest, the Philippines, South Korea, Alberta and Southern California.

The company's culture is strongly influenced by its founder's Southern Baptist beliefs. Unlike most fast food restaurants and retail chain stores, all Chick-fil-A restaurants are closed for business on Sunday. 

They have a problem and claim they don’t get into politics nor LBGTV issues, not particularly true.

"Chick-fil-A has a long and sordid history of financially supporting rabidly anti-LGBTQ organizations such as the virulently homophobic 'Fellowship of Christian Athletes,'" the group said in a Feb. 12 letter to Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, USAFA superintendent. 

"USAFA's outrageous decision to honor Chick-fil-A Executive Rodney Bullard with this high visibility speaking engagement to its 2019 (National Character and Leadership Symposium) NLCS is nothing but another wretched example, in a long line of such despicable instances, of fundamentalist Christian-based homophobic oppression by USAFA."

Under the name of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), the advocacy group said it represents 12 LGBT clients at USAFA, including cadets, faculty and staff.  The MRFF stance is the latest in a string of objections to Chick-fil-A community involvement, stemming from Cathy's 2012 statement that he supports a biblical definition of marriage that prohibits gay marriage.

The Chick-fil-A Foundation did not respond to a Baptist Press information request by press time, but Chick-fil-A and its foundation Bullard heads do not fund anti-gay programs, Bullard told the Associated Press.  Instead, the foundation funds programs to benefit children suffering poverty, including groups that work with LGBQT youth, Bullard told AP.

"We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit," Cathy told the North Carolina Baptist journal, the Biblical Recorder, in 2012. "We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.

"We operate as a family business," Cathy told the Recorder. "Our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that."

Cathy has maintained his position despite targeted opposition to his stores from LGBT special interest groups. In promotional materials, Chick-fil-A lists 39 consecutive years of sales growth.

In 2012, COO Dan Cathy's public statements in opposition to same-sex marriage became the subject of public controversy.  Like anything else in this world I differentiate between food and politics or religious beliefs, I go there to eat and they are probably of all the franchises I cover they have the best food and consistency.  His beliefs are his business and none of mine.  Concentrate on the Chicken, I never met a chicken that voted.

ULMERTON @ LARGO MALL -  EXCELLENT √√√√

What a contrast!  Now the Chick Filet store on 10075 Ulmerton Rd. between Starkey and Seminole Boulevard is a really tightly managed store, smart management, quality service personnel, a total picture of staff and quality.  Ed Murphy was the owner - operator and he's was on top of everything.  He recently sold his franchise and opened a new one in Winterhaven, FL.  I met the new owners and they are on the ball, Ed would be proud.

One of the cleanest, places we went to.  Counters , bathrooms, tables just perfect. We gave Tyrone a chance to catch up after their shakedown. Chick Filet is a very conscious franchise and they do maintain fairly high standards on preparation and waste controls which effects food costs. 

This one should be a training store.  One of the days I was there I met the operator of this franchise and it's apparent, the training, supervision and team effort (sometimes called morale) are on ongoing and on a high level. I was very impressed with the attitude there.  I will be doing a story on him as he took the time to show me around and his successful policies.


CLEARWATER - ROUTE SIXTY OFF US 19  √√√√
Another one of the cleanest, places we went to.  Counters , bathrooms, tables just perfect. This is one of the busiest Chick Filets I have ever seen the result of location , location, location.  Busiest intersection in town and one 1/2 mile from a college.  It’ s a very conscious franchise and they do maintain fairly high standards on quality of product, food preparation and waste controls which effects food costs, but this location had something special we saw at another Chick Filet store.  After we ate the servers asked if we would like refills or perhaps a cup of coffee. Nice touch, very friendly and nice to see senior citizens adding  some good PR to the meal.

This one again should be a training store because of the volume it does.  Worked like a good clock,  this franchise and it's apparent, the training, supervision and team effort (sometimes called morale) are on ongoing and on a high level. I was very impressed with the attitude there.
 

TAMPA INTERNATIONAL PLAZA EXCELLENT √√√√
8/24/10  2:00 PM  This one also should be a training store.  One of the days I was there I was served by the front manager, a very nice young lady.  Service was fast , cooked right, fresh, and with a smile. And they were busy. It’s apparent, the training, supervision and team effort works regardless of how busy they were.  She was right on the ball , had her people working as a team and the food was hot fresh and the drinks cold.   

8/29/2011-9:00 PM - After a grueling evening of shopping, we were starved and dropped in. The close up crew was on  but we had a half hour to go.  The food was hot, fresh and they got another four in service appearence and quality. This is a well run store with good employees. 


ACTION NEWS - CHANNEL 10

Health guru Chris Powell  revealed the healthiest and most affordable meals at the drive-through. "It's rare to find this in a lot of fast food nowadays," Powell said.  Powell, the so-called Transformation Specialist from ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition", gives his top three fast food chains he claims are serving up good choices for your budget and your diet.

His first pick:  Chick-fil-A .  "It's going to be one of my favorite items especially if you're on the go," said Powell. For a little more than $6.50, Powell said the best option at Chick-fil-A is the char-grilled chicken sandwich meal with a side salad and unsweetened tea.

"Three hundred and seventy calories in this entire meal, which is fantastic," Powell said. But remember to keep hidden calories off the plate.  "Whether you're ordering at a sit-down restaurant or a fast food restaurant always get your croutons, dressings and sauces on the side," Powell said.

Another great option, according to Powell, is Chick-fil-A's char-grilled chicken garden salad for less than $6.  "This kind of meal right here, it's a win-win situation especially for a lot of the low carbohydrate dieters out here," Powell said. "There's almost no carbohydrates impact in this meal." 2nd Place was Subway.