Wednesday, August 08, 2012

The religious culture at Chick-fil-A

Dave Weigle points to this interesting Forbes article from 2007 on the religious culture at Chik-Fil-A.

It is very hard core.  Chick-fil-A sponsors 13 Christian group  foster homes in the US and Brazil and routes those kids to work in their restaurants.
Like seven teens who work in his restaurant, Yadkowski, 33, came to Chick-fil-A when he was living in a group foster home created by Chick-fil-A founder and chairman S. Truett Cathy. "I tell the kids, 'This is not just selling sandwiches; it pays for your upbringing,'" says Yadkowski, a hardworking, happily married Southern Baptist who plans to work with Chick-fil-A for life.
Chick-fil-A intensely screens all potential franchisees that include as many as 17 interviews lasting hours and including multiple interviews with the Cathy family. The spouse and even the children of a potential franchisee are also interviewed. They only want married people with families and want them to be active in their church. They can't discriminate based upon religious preference, but it doesn't sound like there are many franchisees who are not Christian as defined by the Cathy family (they also recruit from their church). A Muslim manager of a franchise in Houston sued when he was fired one day after refusing to pray to Jesus Christ at a company training program. The suit was quietly settled.

Even so, with 1300 stores, and given the strong religious culture, it's pretty remarkable that they have only been sued 12 times.  A testament to their intense screening process.

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