What is up with Chick-fil-A? Every time I go there it is packed! Doesn't matter what time of day or what day (except Sunday because they are closed on Sundays). The drive-thru is constantly lined up all the way around the restaurant and people are piled up inside eating. Burger King and Wendy's next door don't have lines. Their parking lots aren't full. It would be easier to go to Burger King or Wendy's and not fight the Chick-fil-A crowd.
So what is it about Chick-fil-A?
I think it's because they've found their MooJo! Despite the struggling economy Chick-fil-A enjoyed unprecedented growth in 2008 - up 12% over 2007. Since its inception in 1967 Chick-fil-A has had 41 consecutive years of system wide sales gains. Amazing!
How did they find their MooJo? Here's what I think:
- Consistent message. I know that Chick-fil-A is family oriented. The restaurant has done a good job of staying true to their core values and the biblical principles of the founder, S. Truett Cathy. All Chick-fil-A restaurants are closed on Sundays, without exception. They have Tuesday family nights where kids meals are half price and child entertainers perform (my kids beg to go). The "toys" in their kids meals are educational books about people of character.
- Catchy tagline. Their "Eat Mor Chikin" cows are part of an award winning advertising campaign. I know you've seen the billboards with the 3 dimensional cows and misspelled words. And my kids yell out, "Eat more chicken," between each verse when singing Happy Birthday!
- Great local marketing. Getting children to pull their parents into the restaurant is clever. When my kids reach their reading goal at school they receive a Chick-fil-A coupon for a free kids meal. When my kids completed their week at Vacation Bible School they received a coupon for a free kids meal. When I joined the PTA at my kids' school I received a coupon for a free adult meal. When our PTA needed a fundraiser they agreed to a family night where a percentage of proceeds would be donated to our school.
I think Chick-fil-A puts their MOOney where their mouth is. (Sorry for that one - couldn't resist!). They spend money in a way that stays consistent with their brand and their community involvement aligns with their core values. So I say, "Eat more chicken!"