Do you know what Chick-fil-A’s original mascot was?
Keep reading, and you’ll find out!
For the close of the College of Allied Health Distinguished Lecture Series for the semester, Brian Kolodziej, Senior Manager, Culinary, Product Strategy and Development, of Chick-fil-A presented. He shared the history of Chick-fil-A, as well as its vision.
Truett Cathy (1921-2014), founder of Chick-fil-A, was a man of vision, humanity, and compassion. Because of his character, his company was established with that same culture. He wanted his business to exhibit passion for its customers. Because of Cathy’s legacy, the company is known for its generosity, simplicity, enthusiasm, and innovation.
Chick-fil-A is not just about another chicken sandwich. They’re about chicken prepared by people who really care. Cathy has made sure that everyone who works for his company goes the ‘Second Mile’ for their customers. Their goal in this is to create raving fans, be a brand people can’t live without, not just another transaction, and deliver excellent food with excellent service. It is sought that going to Chick-fil-A is an experience that customers enjoy and come back for frequently.
Chick-fil-A has carefully examined their customer demographics, and do their best to appeal to them. They also pay attention to life attitudes and activities, restaurant eating behaviors, and media and internet habits. This company has definitely connected with customers.
Let’s get down to some business. Last year, Chick-fil-A opened up five new markets: Boston, Hartford, Providence, Milwaukee, and Madison. They are the number one chicken chain in the United States. This company is also DEBT FREE! Each location annually brings in $4 million dollars.
Now that you’ve heard all these amazing things about an amazing company, I bet you’re wondering what drives people in. Simply, it’s their trademark, the chicken sandwich with pickles that are ‘dating not mating.’ This type of consistency allows customers to know exactly what they’re going to get, rather than going back to a place and finding out that your favorite item is no longer on the menu. But of course, there’s a little more to that so here is the product strategy and development of Chick-fil-A. They keep pace with customer demands, are designed for operational excellence, and make sure to be consistent with their roots and who they are.
Although Chick-fil-A seems to be known for their consistency, there’s no harm in bringing forth new menu items. The whole goal of the food is to develop remarkable food and relevant products, be increasingly healthy, natural, and sustainable, and make sure everything is executed with excellence. There is also a process to bring forth new products, which includes the following: understand, imagine, prototype, validate, and finally, launch. The great thing about their food is that everything is done and made by hand. They refer to this as the real food story, fresh squeezed lemonade, hand rolled biscuits, hand-breaded chicken, freshly prepared salads, and hand-spun milkshakes. Next time you’re enjoying any of these products, think of all the quality work put into your meal. This is a company that cares. They even make sure to use antibiotic free chicken, reduce sodium, be trans-fat free, and use no artificial colors. Chick-fil-A also makes sure to be conservative of water and energy and try to reduce waste. Chick-fil-A pays attention to the customer’s needs, as well as to other companies, the flavor curve, and health and wellness benefits.
Here’s a little sneak peak of what Chick-fil-A has in store this year. There will be a new breakfast rollout this August, including egg whites and greek yogurt.
This company makes sure to constantly challenge themselves, which is a lesson we all should take away from them. Although challenges aren’t ideally what we’re fond of, you won’t move forward unless you face them.
Ah, and the moment everyone has been waiting for. What was their original mascot? Well, just a little bit of background on the cow… Chick-fil-A has been very consistent with their use of the cow. Anything beef or possessing cow attributes cannot be consumed because you are consuming the cow mascot as well. (Fun fact: If you dress up as a cow on Cow Appreciation Day, which is sometime in July, you can get a free meal or sandwich).
And here’s the big reveal… Doodles the Chicken was Chick-fil-A’s original mascot!
Thank you Mr. Kolodziej for all the great information!
Marketing & Social Media Intern