In my morning readings on Friday there was a story on just about all the websites I visited about Chik-fil-A issuing a clarification statement on “Who We Are.” The response came on the heels of a Chicago Alderman, Joe Moreno, announcing the nation’s best fast-serve restaurant had an alleged “policy change” that caused him to decide he would no longer block a Chik-fil-A from opening in his district.
Sadly, almost every story I read yesterday failed to include what the statement actually contained, instead fanning more media hype by rehashing the fact the family that guides the ultra-successful and privately-owned company does not believe in same-sex marriages.
Today I want to help clear up any misconception because I believe Americans everywhere need to read “Who We Are.”
You’ll remember there was a huge brouhaha not long ago that caused some special-interest groups, some liberal mayors and other chest-thumpers to loudly proclaim they were boycotting the Atlanta-based company. You’ll also recall that, in response, all across America those who staunchly defend a person’s right to believe as they see fit were swept up in a huge rally with a “Chik-fil-A Appreciation Day.” Mind you, the company, although grateful, was neither involved nor in any way had anything to do with the mind-boggling turnout.
What resulted in August was that so many people responded all across our country that a record-setting day of sales occurred at each of the 1,600 restaurants. Some were actually forced to close because they ran out of supplies, and a very resonating cry by the American people was heard around the world.
You can read the entire statement on the Chik-Fil-A website – it goes into detail about how the company creates educational opportunities, donates tons of food, and develops youth and family/marriage enrichment programs, but what I want you to read is the main body of “Who We Are” because, for a great many of us, I unflinchingly believe it is who we aspire to be as well.
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CHIK-FIL-A: “WHO WE ARE’
For many months now, Chick-fil-A’s corporate giving has been mischaracterized. And while our sincere intent has been to remain out of this political and social debate, events from Chicago this week have once again resulted in questions around our giving. For that reason, we want to provide some context and clarity around who we are, what we believe, and our priorities in relation to corporate giving.
A part of our corporate commitment is to be responsible stewards of all that God has entrusted to us. Because of this commitment, Chick-fil-A’s giving heritage is focused on programs that educate youth, strengthen families and enrich marriages, and support communities. We will continue to focus our giving in those areas. Our intent is not to support political or social agendas.
As we have stated, the Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators.
Chick-fil-A is a family-owned and family-led company dedicated to serving the communities in which we operate. From the day Truett Cathy started the company, he began applying Biblically-based principles to managing his business.
For example, we believe that we are stronger because of such principles as closing on Sundays, going the extra mile in service, treating others as we want to be treated, and devoting a percentage of profits back to our communities. Those same principles have been applied throughout the history of Chick-fil-A and still apply today.
The Chick-fil-A culture and 66-year service tradition in our locally owned and operated restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their beliefs, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We are a restaurant company focused on food, service and hospitality; our intent is not to engage in political or social debates.
There are many diverse viewpoints and opinions among those associated with Chick-fil-A, including our independent Owner/Operators and their team members, Chick-fil-A corporate staff, suppliers and business partners. Chick-fil-A and the Cathy family, who own the company, value and respect all of these differences. If someone in Chick-fil-A offers a personal viewpoint, they do not presume to speak for everyone.
Chick-fil-A is built and sustained by long-term, enduring relationships, with our Operators, our staff, our business partners, our suppliers, community organizations we support, and — most importantly — our customers.
In Chick-fil-A, we have a foundational commitment to service — service to our customers, service to our Owner/Operators and their team members, and service to our communities. This begins in the restaurant — one customer at a time.
We firmly believe in treating every person who comes through our doors with honor, dignity, and respect. We teach it to everyone who comes to work for Chick-fil-A, and it’s something that they take with them throughout their careers — whether they choose to stay with Chick-fil-A or go on to other promising careers.
We also make a commitment to taking care of the people who take care of our communities. For example, by giving sandwiches to first responders in times of crisis, we honor the commitment they make to serve all of us. And our philanthropic giving reinforces that commitment to service by helping children and families in need. This is what makes us who we are.
The Chick-fil-A Corporate Purpose is: “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A.”
Serving Our Communities
Chick-fil-A is dedicated to serving others, and each locally owned and operated Chick-fil-A restaurant is focused on the community it serves. Over the past three years alone, in cities and towns across America, Chick-fil-A has given more than $68 million in contributions to over 700 different educational and charitable organizations and has provided millions of dollars in food donations.
Chick-fil-A’s commitment to giving back was established by our founder, Truett Cathy, whose example continues to guide our company today. As he expressed many times over the years: “Nearly every moment of every day we have the opportunity to give something to someone else our time, our love, our resources. I have always found more joy in giving when I did not expect anything in return.”
This value is at the core of everything we do.”
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Put me down as being so very grateful for the Cathy family and their company, Chik-fil-A, that I am pleased to present a venue so all of us can totally understand “Who We Are.”