Generations of mothers have taught their children to say “Please” and “Thank you,” but it turns out the two fundamental phrases of politeness may be the key to business success as well.
Popular fast food chain Chick-Fil-A has been ranked as the most police chain in the restaurant business, according to QSR Magazine’s annual drive-thru report released last week.
Chick-fil-A employees were most likely say “please” and “thank you,” as well as smile at customers they serve in the drive-thru, the survey found.
Employees at Chick-fil-A are also the second-most likely to have a “pleasant demeanor,” beat out only by emerging casual chicken chain PDQ — the brainchild of Tim Tebow and his brother, Robby. PDQ stands for “People Dedicated to Quality,” and the Tebow brothers started the chain to create jobs in their hometown of Jacksonville, Florida, Robby told a local paper in 2013.
Chick-fil-A employees said “thank you” in 95.2 percent of drive-thru encounters, the report found. As a comparison, KFC had a “thank you” rate of 84.9 percent, and McDonald’s came in at second to last at 78.4 percent.
“It’s all about speed and accuracy, but we know our customers appreciate that we can be nice while being fast and accurate,” Mark Moraitakis, senior director of Chick-fil-A’s hospitality and service design told QSR. “Eye contact and smiling go a long way in the drive-thru experience.”
Chick-fil-A’s dedication to customer service has paid off. In 2015, it generated more revenue per restaurant than any other fast-food chain in the U.S. The chain’s average sales per restaurant reached $4 million per restaurant, while KFC sold a mere $1 million per store in 2015.
The company said it invests more than other companies in customer service, which may explain why it has the upper hand from its competitors.
Chick-fil-A is well known for upholding the Christian values of its owners, and even remains closed on Sundays to observe the Sabbath.
Unfortunately for customers, even the most convincing “Please” and “Thank you” won’t fulfill your hankering for a chicken sandwich and waffle fries on Sundays.