I frequently work in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and like most every person on the planet I have a need to eat lunch most every day. One of my favorite places to eat is Chick-fil-A (CFA) because the food is good and the service is usually exceptional. As someone who consults businesses on everything from technology to marketing, I take notice of what companies do well and areas where they don’t. CFA usually is the leader in service and quality…hands down.
However, here in Murfreesboro CFA has been anything but the model the company would like to have. The store has struggled with waiting on customers timely, getting food out quickly and accurately and typically have had cars lined up on the street trying to make it to the drive-through window. The issue with the cars lining up on the road has been so bad that it required a city police officer to direct traffic which is nice for the city to do, but not a good use of taxpayer funds.
Because of these issues, I have to say for the first time I can remember I had avoided a CFA. I didn’t want to stand in the long line and definitely didn’t want to park in the street waiting my turn to go through the drive-through. For the first time ever, I was highly disappointed with CFA operations as the issues all stemmed from training, preparation and execution.
But now there’s hope. In the past few weeks, a new Operator, Carrie Tatham, has been brought in to manage the business. I have already seen the drive-through issue change dramatically as well as the speed at which your order is taken inside improve as well. In reality, not much had to change other than great leadership…leadership that understands the value of teaching employees what is important and preparing for success.
The moral of the story is that struggle and failure can happen to any business even those who are considered the best. Companies rise to greatness and can just as easily fall without proper leadership and employees who want to follow. Consider General Motors, Blockbuster, Enron, and the Oakland Raiders football team. All at one time were at the pinnacle within their industry and all have fallen hard albeit for many different reasons but the root problem for all is similar.
With that, there are many things in your business that can demand your time and attention, but you have to make sure you provide great service and meet and exceed the expectations of customers, employees and the general public. Otherwise your ride might be bumpy or at worst your business could fail.