Those are the very words you could use to describe Truett Cathy and the success of his Chick-fil-A restaurant chain. It took Truett 21 years from the time he opened his first Dwarf House Restaurant and perfected his Chick-fil-A sandwich to open his first Chick-fil-A restaurant in a shopping mall.
It was difficult for Truett Cathy to arrange his first shopping mall lease for his Chick-fil-A restaurant. Cathy, a man of strong religious convictions, was determined never to open one of his restaurants on Sunday. Most shopping malls would not make that kind of agreement. Finally, one did and Chick-fil-A was an almost-immediate hit. As of February, 2011, the chain has 1,539 locations in 39 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. In 2010 sales were $3.5 billion.
It took a considerable amount of courage, backed by convictions, to refuse to let his restaurants open on Sunday. Mr. Cathy’s faith, however, was such that he never really considered the issue. He was determined to open six days a week and serve the best product he could possibly produce. He resolved to give good service and a genuine business opportunity to the people with whom he worked.
Sticking to his principles has benefitted not only Truett Cathy, but many others as well. He has awarded his college student employees over $26 million in scholarships. WinShape Foundation was founded more than 20 years ago by Jeannette and Truett Cathy. Under the WinShape Foundation umbrella, there are several programs, including WinShape Homes®, which currently operates 11 foster care homes in Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama. The WinShape College Program℠ at Berry College in Rome, Georgia, is a co-op program offering joint four-year scholarship funding to incoming freshmen of up to $32,000. WinShape Camps℠ offer boys and girls summer programs at the college, which will be attended by more than 13,000 campers in 2011.
That’s the American way. That’s the Truett Cathy way. Think about it and be inspired by Truett Cathy’s story. Search your heart for something you can do for those who cannot do for themselves, and I’ll SEE YOU AT THE TOP!