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July 12, 2016

Reinventing Chick-fil-A

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Written for: Communicado Magazine
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I used to love Chick-fil-A. It was a treat. The only Chick-fil-A was in an obscure mall a train ride away. It was an adventure…

Then Chick-fil-A decided to condemn same-sex marriage and I had to cut off my support as a consumer. Not that I’m supporting or condemning same-sex marriage… But I am condemning retail organizations who think they should wade into social topics with their opinions.

As a retailer, their job is to serve as many consumers as possible and make money. Provide a service = make money. To put restrictions on whom they will serve defeats the purpose of an open retail marketplace.

If you didn’t know, Chick-fil-A prides themselves on being a faith-based company, as evidenced by their policy to be closed on Sundays. No problem. Admirable. But, where we have seen faith-based efforts be judgmental, they do not exist in the open marketplace. Those are called interest groups.

Some years back, I applied for a position with Chick-fil-A. I immediately received an email rejection suggesting they would not hire someone with my background. I worked for a tobacco company, which clearly means I’m the devil. Again with the judgement.

So we see their pattern…

Recently, there was a mass shooting in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. 49 people killed. Largest mass shooting in US history. Tragic.

Chick-fil-A gave free food to people standing in line to donate blood the next day. The next day was a Sunday…

Their CEO, Dan Cathy told USA Today after the protests over same-sex marriage, “I am appreciative for the common ground we have established in treating all people with dignity and respect — including LGBT people. I’m going to leave it to politicians and others to discuss social issues.”

He went on to suggest southern hospitality must give way to urban reality. Clearly, his words were real. A mass shooting in a gay nightclub is certainly urban reality.

This is commerce. This is business. Somebody at Chick-fil-A did a cost/benefit analysis and came to their senses. Chick-fil-A gets an A+ for seeing the error of their ways and reinventing themselves. I’m back on board. Are you?