S. Truett Cathy

S. Truett

American Entrepreneur, Founder of Chick-fil-A Restaurants

Author Quotes

We?re not just in the chicken business, we?re in the people business.

We?re not limited to traditional media for advertising. Some of the strongest messages can be delivered for free. I carry a big Chick-fil-A shopping bag whenever I travel?

Wealth has the power to build up and to destroy.

When customers say, ?Thank you,? team members are encouraged to respond, ?My pleasure.?

When I had two restaurants, I had one too many. So the Lord burned one down and gave me the chance to start Chick-fil-A.

When we opened the first Chick-fil-A restaurant in 1967 I never expected a chain of 1,000 restaurants and at that time I was not capable of running such an operation. But I grew into it one day at a time with the help of talented people around me.

When we share time with children, the little things often become lifetime memories for them.

When World War II ended, my brother Ben and I decided we wanted to go into the restaurant business. Ben had all of the restaurant experience between us ? a short time working at The Varsity near the Georgia Tech campus.

Why would I retire from something I enjoy doing? I can hardly wait to get here.

We have an impact on our children by what we say, but particularly by what we do. They forget many of the things we say, but they observe everything we do. We can?t expect to keep beer in the refrigerator and expect our fifteen-year-old not to drink beer.

We like to concentrate on kids?grown-ups have had their chance, and they?ve blown it. I can tell you success stories and disappointments. Some kids inherit weakness from their parents. They learn to lie and cheat. Some who have had the most potential have gone on to become the biggest disappointments. But I think we?re successful at least 75 percent of the time. This is worth my effort.

We live in a changing world, but we need to be reminded that the important things have not changed?

We soon ran into another roadblock ? a shortage of building materials. The war effort had consumed virtually every scrap of steel and copper in America, and lumber was almost as scare? so I had to beat the bushes for material. [On building their first restaurant]

We were glad for the success, but while it showed that people were eating Chick-fil-A, it also hit us hard in the pocketbook. I didn't want the Operators to have to pay for the unexpected rise in advertising cost, even though they benefited in the long run.

My wife and I were brought up to believe that the more you give, the more you have. Few people actually believe in this, but we do.

The Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich itself was born in the wake of an unexpected opportunity. When one of my first two restaurants burned to the ground, I found myself with time on my hands and the availability to develop a new recipe.

One of the greatest rewards for me as a foster grandparent is for children to grow up in a WinShape Home and dedicate their lives to becoming foster parents themselves?

The joy you get in being in the restaurant business is not ringing the cash registers, but the compliments that you receive on your employees and on your food.

One of the most meaningful truisms I have learned about leadership is that it?s all about action

The key to succeeding with a paper route?and the restaurant business, I would later learn?is to take care of the customer.

One-on-one brand building, which can be the most effective.

The one thing I take more joy in than anything else in the world is seeing young people develop.

Our EDL (Everyday Living course at high school) teacher taught us about common courtesies as well as common sense? He also introduced us to a book by Napoleon Hill that had just been published, ?Think and Grow Rich?. In it Mr. Hill wrote, ?Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.?

The restaurant business gives us a wonderful opportunity to mentor young people and help guide them toward adulthood. Hundreds of thousands of teenagers have worked at a Chick-fil-A restaurant and I like to think we have been a positive influence for each of them.

Our operators work closely with us, but they are owners of their own business. After we make the necessary investment - buying the real estate and building the restaurant - we turn over the responsibility of running a $2 million-plus business to these independent franchisees - many of whom have not yet turned thirty years old. We support them with training, technology and anything else they need. But the bottom line depends on the Operator's honesty, integrity commitment and loyalty to customers and to us. We trust our Operators to make good decisions - and they do. I don't know of another restaurant company that places so much responsibility in the hands of its franchisees.

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American Entrepreneur, Founder of Chick-fil-A Restaurants