Take a tour to see how Chick-fil-A set the standard in service and employee appreciation
While the red and white chicken logo is known the world over, not everyone knows that Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A has given more than $35 million in college scholarships to its employees. Its beloved founder, the late Truett Cathy never went to college, but since 1973, he made sure to financially help his employees who wanted a degree.
The story of how Cathy turned a simple diner into the mega-successful Chick-fil-A chain of restaurants is just part of what visitors will learn as they take the Chickfil-A Backstage Tour at the company’s headquarters near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Tours are available both in-person and with virtual options.
“Chick-fil-A welcomes you to join its Backstage team as they guide you through a unique storytelling experience where you will learn more about the brand’s history and culture, while being inspired by the life and vision of Chick-fil-A founder, S. Truett Cathy,” according to Rebecca Lynch of the company’s brand and corporate public relations team. “The tours offer an exciting experience for families and individuals alike, with a recommended minimum age of six to enjoy all aspects of the tour fully.”
Lynch said there are two types of tours available: The Original, which is a live, storytelling journey around the values and vision of Cathy. Participants will hear stories of the company’s humble beginnings and 74 years of continuous growth, as well as get a sneak peek into the future. The Deluxe Tour offers everything The Original does, but also gives visitors an inside look at Chick-fil-A’s test kitchen and training center, The Nest.
Cathy, who was born in 1921, opened his original diner, The Dwarf Grill in the Atlanta suburb of Hapeville in 1946, with his brother Ben. The restaurant was later renamed The Dwarf House. Through the years the restaurant prospered and led Cathy in 1967, to open the first Chick-fil-A restaurant in Atlanta’s Greenbriar Shopping Center. Today, Chick-fil-A has the highest same-store sales and is the largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain in the U.S., based on annual systemwide sales.
Chick-fil-A’s founder died in 2014, at the age of 94. Today, his family continues to lead the company, including son Dan, who was appointed as the company’s CEO in 2013, and grandson Andrew, who serves as the current Chick-fil-A CEO. The late Truett Cathy was known for his love of family and his strong Christian faith. He and Jeannette, his wife of 65 years had three children--Trudy, Don “Bubba” and Dan; 12 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.