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Good Food, Better Service

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Chick-fil-A: Great Food, Better Service.
Chicken and the Cost to Growers Chick-fil-A is much more than a restaurant that serves good chicken, it is my sanctuary and a part of who I am. Being welcomed with a smile, as soon as I enter the doors, instantly makes my day better. Chick-fil-A prides itself in taking care of the customer. I am on a first name basis with the breakfast, lunch and dinner shift at my local branch. Chick-fil-A, founded by S. Truett Cathy stays true to its core purpose: “To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A” (Cathy 124). Throughout my time with Chick-fil-A I always found this to be true. Chick-fil-A’s quality of food, along with their quality of service, is shifting the industry of fast food all together by emphasizing how important living out the vision of your company is.
Lessons and Principles S. Truett Cathy grew up watching his mother put a lot of effort into ensuring every one she cooked for would be incredibly satisfied with the meal (Cathy 15). At a young age Truett was in charge of building a newspaper route. He found that the key to his paper route success was “to take care of the customer” (Cathy 24). To do this he had to deliver the papers regardless of the circumstances (Cathy 24). Truett also found that “it’s always easier to keep a customer than to replace one”, and therefore he would treat every single customer like the most important one (Cathy 26). These two lessons influenced his restaurant career. At twenty-five Truett and his brother, Ben, decided to enter the restaurant business. They opened the “Dwarf Grill” in Hapeville, Georgia (Cathy 38). Truett was incredibly committed to the Dwarf Grill from the very start. He understood that his new customers had been eating at other establishments, and worked hard to keep them at the Dwarf Grill. The attitude of “deliver each paper as if I was delivering it to the front door of the Governor’s mansion” that Truett established during his paper route applied to the Dwarf Grill. He wanted each customer to be treated as if they were the President of the United States (26). He rented a room in the house next to the restaurant, and would help out at any time (the restaurant was open twenty four hours a day). Although financial success of the Dwarf Grill was incredibly important to the Cathy brothers, they stayed true to their principles. The clearest example was their decision to close the Dwarf Grill on Sundays, to allow a day of rest (Cathy 40). S. Truett Cathy stuck with his principles throughout his entire life. He took care of the customer, kept his customers, treated them as if they were the President, and always remained closed on Sundays.
Chicken Sandwich The chicken sandwich is why Chick-fil-A exists. This sandwich is unlike anything one has ever tasted. It is a fried chicken breast that has been smothered overnight with more than twenty powerful but complementing seasonings and breading ingredients. The incredible seasoning blend is the result of over four years of S. Truett Cathy’s hard work in the Dwarf Grill kitchen, where he was constantly adding and subtracting ingredients. The chicken sandwich is crisp, warm, and served between two buns that have been infused with rich butter. The buns alone could be enough to satisfy one’s taste buds. To top off this beautiful creation, two small slices of a fresh, ripe dill pickle. The scrumptious Chick-fil-A sandwich and restaurants are the result of airplane food. The airline industry enlisted Goode Brothers Poultry to provide “boneless, skinless chicken breast that would fit on the plastic trays used to serve meals on planes” (Cathy 75). The issue Goode Brothers Poultry faced was what to do with the boneless breast pieces that did not meet the airline size requirement. This off-sized piece predicament was how the Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich was born. The Dwarf Grill did not have fried chicken on its menu due to the large amount of time it took to cook, and variability of cooking evenness (Cathy 38). One day in 1961 the owners of Goode Brothers Poultry came to S. Truett Cathy with many of the off-sized boneless breast pieces. Immediately Truett saw the value in these pieces. Without the bone “the chicken would cook more quickly, evenly, and thoroughly” (Cathy 76). Also, the Henny Penny cooker, a “pressure cooker that used oil and could cook a boneless chicken breast in four minutes, start to finish” had recently been released (Cathy 76). The quick cooking time would allow the chicken to be served very fresh. After four years of perfecting this boneless chicken breast sandwich, it was time to bring it to market. The Dwarf Grill customers absolutely loved what Truett was calling his “chicken steak sandwich” but nobody outside of the restaurant knew what it was. Truett decided to buy a full page advertisement in each of the town’s newspapers. The two newspapers were in fierce competition with one another for subscribers. This competition caused the editors of the papers, Tony Grey and Jack Troy, to rarely speak to one another. Truett had a plan for the newspaper advertisement:

I [S. Truett Cathy] told them [Tony Grey and Jack Troy] I would buy a full-page ad in each of their papers if they would sit in our [Dwarf Grill] circle booth side by side eating our chicken sandwich. “Then let your photographers take a picture of you two shaking hands” I said. I had already written the caption for the picture: “We disagree on many things, but this is one thing we agree on — this is the best chicken sandwich that we’ve ever eaten.” (Cathy 77).

Truett’s creative way of advertising worked, people around town wondered how he got Tony Grey and Jack Troy to agree on something (Cathy 77). Many more people came to the Dwarf Grill to try the chicken steak sandwich, and soon it was outselling the hamburgers!
Getting the Masterpiece to More People S. Truett Cathy wanted to get his beautiful creation into the hands of more people. He believed he could do this buy licensing out the sandwich to other restaurants. First he had to come up with a unique name for the sandwich. Truett decided on Chick-fil-A, which was short for chicken filet. The “A” is capitalized on purpose to represent top quality (Cathy 78). The licensing of Chick-fil-A went well, in four months more than fifty restaurants were licensed, and in 1965 the Astrodome, in Houston, Texas became a licensed seller of Chick-fil-A. Truett and his family continued to stand by, and promote Chick-fil-A all across the nation. But soon he began to realize that licensing his product made it “impossible to maintain consistent quality” (Cathy 79). Truett knew he needed to control the quality and realized he would have to open his own restaurants. In November 1967, the first Chick-fil-A restaurant was opened in the Greenbriar Shopping Center. The menu of this new restaurant showcased potato fries, cole slaw, lemon pie and Coca-Cola products. At first many shoppers in the shopping center did not know what Chick-fil-A was, so Truett’s children would stand in front of the restaurant and offer samples. Once the shopper took a sample they would come back for more. The store was a success!
What Makes the Chicken Sandwich Taste Even Better - Service Part of what makes Chick-fil-A so special to me, and so successful as a company, is their unparalleled customer service. As soon as you enter the restaurant you are greeted by a smiling employee. When placing your order the employee truly seems to care that your order is placed correctly. After each item you order, the Chick-fil-A employee will nod politely and smile. At the end of the order the employee will repeat everything back to you and state that it was “my pleasure” to serve you today. This great customer service begins with the store’s operator. Chick-fil-A franchises its restaurants in a unique way; they buy the real estate and build the restaurant and then turn over control to an Operator. Everything is left up to the Operator, who is in charge of making his/her Chick-fil-A restaurant a success. S. Truett Cathy states that “the most important job an Operator has is selecting his people” (Cathy 108). There will never be a “Help Wanted” sign in a Chick-fil-A window, as Chick-fil-A wants to make sure it has only the best people representing it. Part of why being an Operator is so important is that “an Operator gets the people he or she deserves to have” (Cathy 111). If a lousy person is an Operator then lousy employees for that store will follow. There have been a few instances wheen I have had issues with my order at my local Chick-fil-A branch. Every time this has happened I am profusely apologized to and promptly given a new corrected order, free of charge. Many mornings I would go to Chick-fil-A before a big test or event. Virginia was always working the morning shift, and she always took a few extra seconds to say, “How are you, Andrew?” This personal relationship she established did not cost anything to Chick-fil-A, but it has continually stayed with me and become part of the reason I so often find myself there to order a chicken sandwich. Chick-fil-A’s corporate purpose does not mention the food, profits, or anything else one would expect to find in a restaurant’s corporate purpose. It simply states “To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A” (Cathy 124). This corporate purpose is why Chick-fil-A means so much to me. My purpose, and something that matters more than anything to me, is forming great personal relationships and always treating others with respect. Weather it be the door man, a taxi driver, or a Chief Executive Officer, I try to treat them all with equal importance and respect. Chick-fil-A has shown me how to do this. During the lunch and dinner rush, when speed is everything, the employees still make ample time to ensure the customer is being taken care of. My girlfriend’s brother in law is the Operator of my local branch. His job has a ton of aspects to it, but whenever he sees me in the store he always stops the task he was performing, comes over to me, asks how I am doing (along with usually providing a generous friends and family discount). On one occasion I ran into Chcik-fil-A after a lifeguard work shift, ordered a sandwich, and then realized I did not have my wallet. By no means did the employee need to hand the sandwich to me, but she absolutely did and said “Don’t worry about it. You are here all the time!” Although Chick-fil-A lost out on their three dollars from me that day, I spent so much more after this particular occurrence.
How Chick-fil-A is Taking Over In the October 25th “The World This Week” section of The Economist magazine I read, under the title “Stale Meat” that “McDonald’s said it would ‘fundamentally change the way we approach our business’ after another drop in quarterly sales and income.” Could it be that people want to receive something more than just their food? Perhaps if one is going to a fast food establishment being treated well matters. When Jimmy Collins, long time President and Chief Opperating Officer of Chick-fil-A, retired, he stated that “we [Chick-fil-A] care much more than our competitors” (Cathy 159). Chick-fil-A puts people before profits. They make every single person feel special when they walk through their restaurant door. In the end I see that the perfectly seasoned chicken sandwich is only a small part of the Chick-fil-A equation, what matters to Chick-fil-A is the customers. If McDonalds want’s to drop the title of “Stale Meat”perhaps they should first adopt the Chick-fil-A purpose, and attempt to make every single customer that walks through the door a lifelong customer. That is exactly what Chick-fil-A did to me.
Where Did the Chicken Come From? When eating chicken, people are usually thinking about the taste. From personal experience I can honestly say that I have never thought about where the chicken came from. While I appreciate that two dollars and ninety nine cents buys me an absolutely delicious chicken sandwich, the price the chicken growers pay is much higher. While large poultry companies describe chicken growing to potential growers as “part-time work for fill time pay” this is simply not the case (Broadway, Stull 49). The growers make poverty wakes after investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in poultry houses. In the end, spending three dollars on a chicken sandwich is at the expense of the growers.
Contract Growing and Factory Farming Originally independent chicken farmers would raise their own birds, make their own decisions, and market their product. This changed drastically in the late 1950s and early 1960s. During this time period “a contract system was taking shape that promised to reduce risk for growers and maximize profit for companies” (Broadway, Stull 41). This promise did not happened, as evident by analyzing Tyson. Tyson Foods is the world’s largest chicken producer, selling to a large majority of restaurant chains in the United States (Schlosser 140). It is vertically integrated; breeding, slaughtering and processing the chicken. Tyson does not raise the birds as “it leaves the capital expenditures and the financial risks of that task to thousands of ‘independent contractors’” (Schlosser 140). These independent contractors have a very tough job. Although poultry is a gigantic industry, the chicken growers are lucky to break even. Tyson delivers the growers one-day old chicks. These chicks spend their entire life on the grower’s farm, but are always the property of Tyson. Tyson also “determines feeding schedules, demands equipment upgrades, and employs ‘flock supervisors’ to make sure corporate directives are being followed” (Schlosser 141). When the fully grown chicks are ready to be slaughtered, Tyson has a truck go to the grower’s farm and pick them up. From there they are brought to a processing plant where employees count and weight the birds. Tyson’s payment to the growers is “tied to a feed-conversion ratio-the less feed it took to grow the bird to market weight, the better” (Broadway, Stull 41). Before the grower receives the paycheck, they receive a settlement ranking report. This report lists numbers of chicks started, birds produced, birds dead on arrival, birds condemned because of disease, average weight of birds, feed-conversion and calorie-conversion rations (Broadway, Stull 47). The most important number on the report is:

The grower’s rank in relation to all others whose birds were caught in the same week. It is this ranking that determines how much the grower is paid per pound, and that amount is the difference between making money on a flock, breaking even, or losing money. Growers are guaranteed four cents a pound, but most say they need at least five cents to do better than break even (Broadway, Stull 48).

A Louisianna State University survey found that the typical chicken grower “had been raising chicken for fifteen years, owned three poultry houses, remained deeply in debt, and earned perhaps $12,000 a year” (Schlosser 141). When poultry growers on the Delmarva Peninsula were surveyed about compensation, fewer than half said they were making enough to cover expenses (Broadway, Stull 49). The reason this growers business is so unprofitable is due to the high cost of poultry houses, along with Tyson’s strict control. A poultry house that holds 25,000 birds cost between $125,000 and $140,000 to build. These poultry houses “must be built to company specifications”, this further takes away the identity (Broadway, Stull 41). Most growers have to borrow money to build the houses, and proceed to have a hard time paying back the loans. Around one half of chicken growers exit the industry after three years. (Schlosser 141). The contracts that Tyson has with the growers are very short, and are able to be terminated at every time. This makes it very disadvantageous for the growers to complain, as they will most likely end up with no contract and empty poultry houses. On a broader scale, “the [poultry] industry depends on its 30,000 growers, the growers are at the mercy of only 50 or so companies” (Broadway, Stull 50). This shows that the growers do not have many options when it comes to employment.
What To Do It is incredibly unfortunate that chicken/poultry growers are being taken advantage of by large corporations. When I have my next Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich the absolute mouthwatering deliciousness will not be the only thought on my mind. I will be thinking about the grower who is having to work very hard, only to make a poverty wage and be unable to pay off his/her poultry house. Or a grower who received a bad rank one week due to using too much feed for his chickens, causing him/her to not receive enough money per pound. Lastly, I will be thinking about the brave grower who decided to stand up against Tyson and other corporations, only to have their contract revoked. The best way to help the growers is to buy directly from them. Although this may not be possible with many growers, due to corporations owning the chickens and processing equipment. There are growers that their own eggs, chickens, feed and production equipment. Buying directly from these growers benefits them a tremendous amount, as they receive all the money from the purchase. If enough consumers call for grower-direct chicken, the growers would have a reason to control all aspects of the poultry business. I am no longer comfortable having inexpensive chicken be the result of hardworking growers making poverty wages. That is why I am calling for Chick-fil-A, and other fast food restaurants, to establish relationships directly with the growers.

Works Cited
Cathy, S. Truett. Eat Mor Chikin: Inspire More People. Decatur, GA: Looking Glass, 2002. Print.
Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of The All-American Meal. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001. Print.
Stull, Donald D., and Michael J. Broadway. Slaughterhouse Blues: The Meat and Poultry Industry in North America. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Thomson Learning, 2004. Print.
“The World This Week." The Economist 25 October 2014: 12. Print.…...

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...institutional investors to invest and boost the development of SEMs. It is believed that the implementation of the Islamic Financial Services Act 2013 Additionally, some professional parties indicated that IAP plays a crucial role to for Islamic financial markets as well as economic growth for the benefits of people’s economy as by introducing the tax incentive, people will tend to invest their financial resource to SMEs (Al Naqiy, 2014). With the money collected from the investors, SMEs are able to expand their business further. The products management head of the Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Berhad Danny Chang said most underestimate the power of SME investors, but it is a distinct advantage as reinvesting almost always benefits the SME (New Media Sdn Bhd, 2014) Part 3 Goods and Services Tax (GST), known as value added tax, is charged on final consumption of goods and services (PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2014). GST, different with the present single stage sales tax system, is a multi-stage tax, whereby tax payment are made at each stage of the intermediaries in the production and distribution chain and ultimately it is passed to the final consumer. Before introducing GST, many goods and services are subject to current Sales Tax and Services Tax (SST) of 6% to 10%. The current sales tax is imposed on the manufacturer, before the services tax is imposed on the consumers at the point of purchase, leading a double taxation in SST pushes up the prices and reduces......

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Goods and Services

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Design of Goods and Services at Nestle

...Design of goods and services at nestle As consumers become increasingly demanding of more social and environmental sustainability efforts from their favorite brands, Nestlé is one multinational that is responding in kind. The challenges for the world’s largest food company, however, are as complicated as the company’s long and tangled supply chain. Nestle is turning to lifecycle assessments, the latest in eco-design software and more sustainable innovations across the company’s operations and supply chain. From agriculture to packaging, Nestlé now competes with other leading consumer goods companies such as Unilever and P&G that are mitigating their impact on the environment and society while still providing value to consumers. Now Nestlé is in the midst of a massive reset as it reevaluates everything from its energy portfolio to the impact of water scarcity on its suppliers across the globe. Ecodex Nestlé’s sustainability and product development teams start with software programs such as Ecodex, which allows users to evaluate products’ impacts based on a variety of hypothetical criteria. By simulating changes in a design, recipe or manufacturing process, or even geographic shifts in sourcing, a Nestlé employee can view that proposed redesigned product’s ramifications on climate change, energy consumption, land use and effects on local water supplies and waste streams. The tool uses information specific to the food and beverage industry to provide rapid and......

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