Chick-fil-A Proves That A Little Kindness Can Mean Big Business

Remembering to say “please” and “thank you” isn’t just polite—it’s good business. This basic kindness has translated to big profits for Chick-fil-A.

“It’s all about speed and accuracy, but we know our customers appreciate that we can be nice while being fast and accurate,” Mark Moraitakis, senior director of hospitality and service design for Chick-fil-A, told QSR, a quick-serve restaurant trade publication. “Eye contact and smiling go a long way in the drive-thru experience.“

A smile is just what you will get at Chick-fil-A—well, at least 90.9 percent of the time as shown in a report by QSR. As for eye contact, Moraitakis said the company has recently implemented a program that brings employees out to the front lines. Armed with tablets, members of the drive-thru team will begin taking orders car-side when lines get too long—a strategy that will increase face time between customers and employees.

Despite the fact that Chick-fil-A’s average drive-thru time was slower than other fast-food joints (it ranked 10th on the list out of 15 with an average 4-minute wait time), it seems that the restaurant chain’s efforts have been rewarded in both customer satisfaction and in their profits.

Not only was Chick-fil-A ranked first in politeness by Consumer Reports, these common niceties have also helped make it the country’s number-one chicken chain. According to Business Insider, Chick-fil-A generated nearly $4 million per restaurant in 2015, despite the fact that they are all closed on Sundays.

Looks like good manners, accuracy and kindness are all on the menu at this thriving fast-food chain.