Why You’ll Never Hear a Chick-Fil-A Employee Say “You’re Welcome”
If you’re lucky enough to live in one of the many states that have Chick-Fil-As (sorry, Hawai’i and Alaska!) then you know just how much of a treat the fast food chicken chain is compared to its often unsavory — ahem — competition.
From their scrumptious ingredients, to their healthier 100%-peanut-oil frying method, to their always sweet and accommodating employees, it’s no wonder why most Chick-Fil-As are slammed from breakfast to dinner time.
Well, except on Sundays, of course, when the entire chain closes so that all employees can take the day off to recharge and spend time with their families, but we digress…
While it’s certainly one of the more unique fast food chains in terms of food quality and service, one of the things that took us a while to get used to when we first started patronizing the business was the fact that the employees seemed to have a unique set of vernacular.
In addition to being uber-polite and always willing to help, each and every one of them would respond to our “thank yous” with one very specific phrase: “My pleasure.”
We’re not going to lie, at first we thought that the friendly teenagers behind the counter were just really into trying out distinctly posh phrases on the customers. Perhaps it was even a joke?
But no, when a white-haired manager in his 50s topped off our lemonade on our next visit and responded to our appreciation with a “my pleasure,” we knew that something was up.
So, as we dipped our waffle fries into our Chick-Fil-A sauce, we turned to the trusty Internet to answer the riddle to the fascinating phrase. Perhaps, unsurprisingly, plenty of other folks had Googled the exact same question.
As it turns out, Chick-Fil-A employees aren’t all just inherently proper folks. They receive specific training on how to interact with customers, and responding with the phrase “My pleasure,” is an important part of their onboarding process.
The tradition actually started around the time of the restaurant chain’s conception, when the late founder, Truett Cathy, had a particularly memorable service experience at a Ritz Carlton Hotel.
As the story goes, Cathy thanked one of the hotel employees for their service and the person replied with a “my pleasure.” Apparently, the Chick-Fil-A founder was so tickled by the elegance of the response that he had the bright idea of bringing over the posh phrase to his now-famous chicken chain.
According to an anonymous Chick-Fil-A employee who answered a question on Reddit, they say that it’s still an incredibly important policy in the restaurant’s company culture. “You’re welcome seems too indifferent, and we’re told to use elevated language,” the employee explained.
So, there you have it— the reason why Chick-Fil-A employees sometimes sound like they belong in a Charles Dickens novel. We’ve gotta admit that we love the policy; just goes to show you how attention to detail can really elevate the customer experience.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on all things Chick-Fil-A! Are you a fan of the “my pleasure” response? Were you surprised to hear its origin story? What’s your favorite fast food chain?