I arrived at a breakfast and grabbed food provided by Chick-fil-a. Sat down at a table with Chick-fil-a collateral and cows all over it. I shared, “It was great Chick-fil-a sponsored the breakfast.” Someone turned and said, “You don’t know do you?” He turned over a card to show me Dan Cathy, President and COO of Chick-fil-a was speaking that morning. What I heard was inspiring, motivating, a blessing and what I’m sharing in this month’s Five @ 5.
Chick-fil-a is founded on Christian beliefs. Mr. Cathy even shared that he considers his stores missions and the employees missionaries. So it’s natural for them to take direction for their stores from scripture. They key one is Matthew 5:41, “If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.” The 2,000 year ago cultural meaning aside, Chick-fil-a daily strives to make going the 2nd mile 2nd nature.
2nd Mile 2nd Nature… customers know what they’re going to get the first mile – sandwich, drink, parking, clean restrooms, clean booth, etc. We all have our basic expectations from a restaurant, hotel, museum, play, whatever. But are they going the 2nd mile? For Chick-fil-a that means a big smile, greeting, offering a refill, carrying food out to the car, pepper grinder… in other words, hospitality or exceptional customer service!
From a DMO perspective, we provide the first mile – visitor guide, website, answer calls, welcome bags, etc. How are we going the 2nd mile? More importantly then making it 2nd nature?
Dan further shared they get into the specifics of, for example, the greeting “Have a nice day.” There’s nothing thrilling or exciting about that any more. It’s become a throw away phrase much like “How are you?” (Do we really care when we ask?) How can they / we go the 2nd mile with simple greetings or sentiments like “Have a nice day!”?
Let Your Light So Shine… the start of another scripture (Matthew 5:16) that Chick-fil-a has adopted to emphasize their culture. They say “Let your light so shine among customers that they feel your hospitality.” “Let your light so shine among customers that they feel that is the best chicken sandwich they’ve ever eaten.” How are we letting our light so shine for the visitors to our welcome centers, museums, attractions, communities?
Chick-fil-a lets their lite shine or goes the 2nd mile in hopes that “they create an experience so compelling that the customer tweets (or posts) about it before they leave the parking lot.” Wow! Are we? We know people will tweet or post bad experiences. Let’s hope their having so compelling of an experience in our downtowns, for examplt, that they’re tweeting about it!
Finally, meditate on the word daily. Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Or bring more people to your community. Or increase occupancy at your hotel. Or generate more operating income. How do you understand where you should be going? Mediate on the word daily.
If I offend you for getting overly “religious”, I encourage you to attend church service this Sunday and learn more about this stuff so you won’t be offended. The above is simple stuff from a different perspective. But sometimes it’s those different deliveries that resonate. Unfortunately people today now expect bad products and poor customer service! They expect it. If we “go the 2nd mile” and do one simple thing extra. We’ve got ’em! How are you going to go the 2nd mile? Better yet, how are you going to make going the 2nd mile 2nd nature?