The Role of Supply Chain Management in the Growth of Chick-fil-a

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Chick-Fil-A is among the most significant fast food retailers in the US. Samuel Truett who stressed customer focus and quality as the guiding principles of getting and retaining customers founded the company. The business has maintained these values and grown over the years to achieve immense success for a privately-owned firm. Despite adopting the franchise model that gives different operators licenses to operate under specific brand names, the organization has managed to sustain the guiding principles initiated by its founder to realize growth. Comprehension of the way the business achieved that goal is possible by assessing some of the elements concerned with the company.

Organizational Setting


Products/Services. Chick-fil-A is a fast restaurant with its headquarters in College Park, Georgia that specializes in chicken sandwiches. It was established in 1946 and has 2,200 restaurants mostly in the US. The company provides a highly innovative array of chicken products, such as egg & cheese biscuits, egg white chicken grill, chicken biscuits, and chicken sandwiches. According to “Innovators Hold the Key to Enterprise” (2010), innovation is what enables new businesses to succeed and established ones to remain leaders in the market. Because of the innovative products on its menu, Chick-fil-A has grown into one of the largest fast food businesses in the United States. The products have a significant market appeal since they address the needs of consumers who are interested in quick and enjoyable meals.

Customers. A customer refers to a person or enterprise that buys the goods and services produced by a particular business. The primary goal of companies is to attract them to increase revenues and profitability because they create the demand for the goods and services. Therefore, the buyers are an essential asset to the growth and sustainability of organizations. Firms must identify the primary consumers and develop strategies to attract and retain them.

External Customers. The primary customers of the business are mostly individuals who like chicken. As a result, the organization has created a variety of products that use chicken meat enabling it to attract and retain customers. Wang, Kandampully & Jia (2013) observe that customization allows businesses to appeal to more consumers and attain greater profitability. Chick-fil-A provides a customized menu to its customers by innovating the service and products thereby attracting a higher number of individuals who love chicken.

Value. Chick-fil-A prides itself as a corporation that follows strict Christian morals. The values of an organization are explained in its vision and mission statements. They help to guide employees to work towards the intentions of an entity (Desmidt, Prinzie & Decramer, 2011). Together with the Christian standards that govern the business, Chick-fil-A also stresses personal excellence, customers first, continuous improvement, stewardship, and working together. Consistency in these ideals has enabled the enterprise to achieve significant growth and performance over the years.

Chapter Concepts

Supply Chain Management

Description. Hamister (2012) identifies a strong connection between the management of supply chain and business performance. Effective management of supply chains allows corporations to respond to consumer needs and provide the solutions on time. Chick-Fil-A has adopted a supply chain management strategy driven by several elements timeliness, safety, and availability. The company ensures that its suppliers can deliver the items required to make the different foods that it sells. It gauges every supplier to satisfy that the person or business can get the things when needed. Through its assortment of delivery trucks, the firm can source the stuff it needs to prepare different foods and deliver them to the customer. Also, the company maintains strict controls over safety and quality at every stage in the supply chain to guarantee the same to consumers. The approach links to its total quality management strategy. Finally, the attention to availability aims to assure that the supplies will be accessible when needed. The enterprise must ensure that it can get the items required to make various foods at all times to satisfy its customers.


The benefit of Chick-Fil-A’s supply management method is that it makes it possible to respond to the requirements of consumers, provide quality, and ensure safety. With more than 2,000 outlets, the firm has a wide variety of customers in different regions of the US. It places significant pressure on the managers to ensure that the items required to prepare the foods are available so that the consumers can get their orders as needed. By focusing on timeliness and availability, the business can meet the requirements of the buyers, but the company's efforts do not only embrace providing customers with the foods they want. It also emphasizes quality. Consequently, the managers encourage the suppliers to give the best quality and delivery handlers to treat the items with care. In this way, the business can pass the high quality to its customers. Finally, the safety of the products is also a vital component of the supply chain. When the business adds a new supplier, it makes visits to secure the safe production and handling of the foods. For instance, it teaches its suppliers to avoid the use of antibiotics to boost growth in chicken as it can have detrimental health consequences for consumers.

Implementation. The implementation of the supply chain management begins at the management level. The business identifies what it needs to do to align the supply chain to the organizational goals and objectives. In this regard, the managers have noticed the importance of availability, quality, safety, and timeliness. The managers pass the requirements to the suppliers who have been chosen to supply items to the business. The suppliers must implement the standards and ensure they can respond to the needs of the firm. The four aspects of the supply chain management also extend to the delivery of supplies from their source to the restaurants. Chick-Fil-A stresses proper packaging and handling of the items to guarantee they reach the destination in the same condition they left the farm.



Logistics is a part of the supply chain management of companies. It refers to the commercial tasks that concern the movement of supplies and final goods. Chick-Fil-A maintains a just-in-time model in its logistics through a central warehouse managed by MBM Corporation. The approach involves ordering and getting items when they are needed to preserve the freshness of its foods and lower inventory costs. In this way, the organization can ensure that it gives the best quality to consumers on time. The menus at the various restaurants are different, but the company uses the same principles, guidelines, and software to maintain its inventories.

Benefits. The benefits of the Chick-Fil-A’s logistics is the ability to guarantee the best quality and freshness of its foods. The just-in-time management of the supplies ensures that it maintains low levels of inventories. As a result, it is difficult for the items to get spoilt. Also, the technique is beneficial as it allows the business to reduce the cost of maintaining stock. For instance, a small number of employees can manage inventories in the firm. Cost efficiency permits the organization to save resources that it can use in other areas such as improving the customer experience. Logistics is a part of the ability of organizations to gain a competitive advantage (Sandberg, 2013). Chick-Fil-A uses the supply chain to maintain quality and control costs, which enhances the competitiveness of the firm.

Implementation. The execution of the company's logistics relies mostly on software that also aids inventory management. Employees receive deliveries at the different locations where the business operates. The items can be seen in the system when they arrive. They must also enter information into the system whenever an item is used. When something becomes low on hand, the supply chain managers receive the data without any need for the workers to contact them. They place an order at the MBM warehouse. It dispatches a truck with the items that have been wrapped, stacked, and packed for a particular restaurant. Therefore, the managers rely on software and spreadsheets to manage the logistics of the company.

Six Sigma

Description. Six Sigma refers to a technique that gives the tools to enhance the processes of a business. Chick-Fil-A’s business processes focus on four elements to drive the success of its operations: superior products, customer service, brand creation, and a distinct franchising model. The company aims to develop differentiated and high-quality products. It has done so by establishing a thorough development strategy. It stresses creating quality products as initiated by its founder, Samuel Truett, who created the first recipe for the chicken sandwiches. The actual method and process of developing the sandwiches is a company secret. Six Sigma plays a vital role in the quality of the food items. According to Anthony (2006), it eliminates defects and mistakes in the creation of products. Chick-Fil-A uses the approach to remove problems in its sandwiches. Regarding franchising, the business requires a small down payment for people to get into the selection process compared to other organizations that demand substantial capital outlays. It gets as many as 20,000 applications but only gives 70 to 80 franchise licenses. The evaluation of applicants helps to separate the outlets by their quality and fit. It stresses the people who are willing to remain committed to the mission of the business. Customer service is another area of the business process that Chick-Fil-A ensures it gets right. Workers are encouraged to learn their customer’s names, have conversations, and deliver quick and efficient service. Through training, the employees become experts in achieving these intentions. Lastly, the attention to a strong brand is a part of its business process. The enterprise focuses on offering high-quality products and exceptional service to build a good reputation. Each of the business processes stresses defining, measuring, analyzing, improving, and controlling the actions involved.

Benefits. Chick-Fil-A enjoys a variety of interests due to the application of the six sigma approach to its processes. Padhy (2017) observes that firms can improve their competitive edge by picking specific projects that are important to the running of the company through the application of six sigma. The fast-food giant has gained this advantage by employing the method in its franchising agreements. Assessing applicants helps to define their goals, measure their performance, analyze their processes, note their attention to improvement, and determine ways to control them. Therefore, the business continues to provide the same quality of products that its founder required. Six Sigma also allows exemplary customer service and the creation of a strong brand reputation. In this way, the company continues to be a dominant player in the market.

Implementation. The implementation of the six sigma approach begins from the moment the company intends to enter into a franchising contract. It chooses people who can advance its goals by assessing their abilities, attention to quality, and focus on improvement. After selecting the franchisee, the business stresses strict adherence to quality and customer service. It enables the enterprise to offer customers the excellent service and quality foods in all the restaurants despite being owned by different people. Finally, the businesses motivate the owners to find ways to improve their business and report to them. The enhancements are then relayed to the other franchises to give better outcomes for the entire company.


Description. The innovation of food items and customer service is a fundamental element of the Chick-Fil-A business. The company encourages its employees to create and improve different aspects of the business as a way to provide solutions for consumer needs and enhance competitiveness. The managers and workers collaborate to develop new items to be included in the menu. For example, the chicken biscuits that it sells. Innovation in customer service concerns the two parties finding the best way to deliver an excellent customer experience that will continue to bring people to the establishments. As a result, innovation is a large part of the organization’s culture. Businesses must consider ways to motivate their employees to adopt organizational cultures that benefit them (Hartmann, 2006). Because innovation is a vital part of Chick-Fil-A's culture, the management motivates workers to exercise it through different incentives, such as paying bonuses and recognizing top performers. Communication that engages workers is a fundamental part of the ability of organizations to engage workers (Pegg, 2009). Chick-Fil-A’s managers communicate with their workers to ensure they understand what the executives expect and foster creativity.

Benefits. Innovation has several advantages for the companies that implement it on a regular basis. It allows them to offer its buyers variety. Through innovation, the business has created different types of foods made from chicken to appeal to the young and old. As a result, the company can diversify its target market leading to increased sales. Innovation has also contributed to the betterment of service. Encouraging the workers to be inventive aids the business to boost loyalty. For example, when serving customers, they must find ways to engage them. Customer service plays a prominent role in realizing satisfaction that helps to attract and retain them (Fock, 2004). Chick-Fil-A can achieve these aims through an innovative strategy in customer service. According to Wang & Lalwani (2007), firms should embrace a radical approach to enable innovation. Chick-Fil-A uses the concept due to the level of engagement and involvement that its personnel has to motivate them to exercise innovation. As a result, it has a motivated workforce.

Implementation. Chick-Fil-A has implemented innovation in two ways: training and incorporating it into the organizational culture. The workers at the business undergo training before beginning their jobs to provide them with the skills needed to foster innovation. For instance, the waiters undergo training on communication so that they can invent ways to communicate with consumers that ensure a personal experience. The enterprise also encourages the workers to exercise innovation in everything they do. It has developed a culture that stresses innovation to simplify tasks and better the outcomes.


Description. Customization is the process of modifying something so that it suits a particular person or task. Chick-Fil-A strives to provide customized services to all its customers. It does so through the customer experience. The managers encourage the workers at the company to know the individual customers rather than viewing in a broad perspective. It enables the business to identify their demands and preferences. According to Radder & Louw (1999), consumers prefer personalization of services and products. Through the customized services, the enterprise can attract and retain buyers. Customization in the business also happens in the food offerings. As indicated, different restaurants of Chick-Fil-A provide different menus to suit the people in the area. Therefore, the company has customized its menus to suit the needs of the people it serves in various locations.

Benefits. Customization of services and food offerings has enabled the company to address the needs of different consumers. People in various places in America have a variety of cultures and motivations that influence their tastes and preferences. Customization of the menus helps the enterprise to respond to the requirements of the consumers thereby gaining a competitive advantage. Customization of services ensures a personal touch. It guarantees a more excellent ability to achieve customer satisfaction that can bring more buyers and maintain those who love to buy foods from Chick-Fil-A.

Implementation. The implementation of customization starts with the careful selection of partners. Chick-Fil-A managers approach franchising differently. Rather than the massive capital injections that other fast food restaurants such as MacDonald's require, Chick-Fil-A stresses alignment of a person's goals and values to its aims and standards. In this way, it can tailor the values of a franchisee to reflect its own. Customization is also possible by assessing the region that a franchisee wants to open a restaurant. The managers encourage people to study the area and understand its needs before getting the license. The corporation works with the owners to create relevant menus that will satisfy the tastes and preferences of the buyers. Finally, the workers undergo training to ensure they can give customized services to every person who enters their restaurants. In this way, the business tailors its services to meet the needs of each customer.

Customer Relationship Management

Description. The relationship between organizations and their customers is essential since the consumers generate demand for products and services. Chick-Fil-A stresses knowing its customers to enable it to build the right relationship. Geib, Kolbe & Brenner (2003) assert the importance of customer relationship management and knowledge management in helping firms acquire a competitive advantage. Understanding what buyers need aids companies to satisfy their requirements and establish a strong relationship.

Benefits. Customer relationship management has allowed the business to attract and retain the loyalty of its customers. Also, it has benefitted the company by allowing it to respond to their needs. Customer relationship management also plays a crucial role in finding new customers and respond to the business environment by gathering information to enhance knowledge management in the company.

Implementation. The functioning of customer relationship management is possible by understanding their needs, tastes, and preferences. In this regard, Chick-Fil-A conducts market assessments to identify new issues and trends. It also gathers information on what areas of the business should be improved. The responses allow the company to tailor its products and services to meet the expectations of the buyers. Therefore, the company implements customer relationship management by gaining knowledge on their needs, responding to them, and improving the services and foods to meet their requirements.

Total Quality Management

Description. Giving consumers the best quality foods and service is a guiding principle of the business as established by its founder. Some of the components of total quality management include the workers' involvement and customer focus (Tari, 2005). Chick-Fil-A stresses the same items to achieve overall management of quality. Participation of workers happens by making them comprehend its importance. They know that it helps to attract and retain customers who get the best from the company. Also, the company emphasizes the customer. IN everything that the workers and managers do, the focus is on giving consumers the highest quality of items. In this way, the business can assure them the best quality.


Total quality management has given the business a competitive advantage and allowed it to increase its revenues. Customers are assured that they will get the best foods and service from the company's restaurant, which helps to improve the sustainability of the enterprise. Total quality management ensures the survival of the business (Khan, 2003). Chick-Fil-A has achieved this aim by managing the quality of its products and services to meet the expectations of the customers.

Implementation. Total quality management by Chick-Fil-A begins from the sourcing of materials. The company meets and assesses the quality of items that suppliers bring to the business. They must be able to provide the best quality of items to the company. Also, the managers stress quality by encouraging the workers to handle the products with care so that they arrive at the restaurants in the same condition they left the farm. Finally, the managers implement total quality management by establishing controls on the preparation and serving of the foods. Cooks must have the required knowledge of preparing foodstuffs, and the waiter knows how to serve the customers. It ensures high quality at every stage from the farm to the table.


Chick-Fil-A is a business that has developed a unique strategy that has seen the corporation become one of the largest privately held companies in the US. Through its attention to various elements, such as total quality management, customer relationship management, and the application of the six sigma principles, the business has been able to attract and retain the loyalty of its customers. Chick-Fil-A also maintains strict Christian values that resonate with most people. Innovative menus and services have also led to the success of the business. Chick-Fil-A should continue using the same business processes and strategies that have seen it enjoy the level of success it has attained. However, the company should consider ways to better its logistics as climate change continues. The phenomenon is responsible for erratic weather patterns that could affect the production of food. Chick-Fil-A needs to be aware of the possible problems that could occur and identify ways to deal with them considering its use of the just-in-time methods of inventory management. Also, the enterprise needs to continue using its innovative approach to the menus as a way to continue appealing to customers. The strategy has proved to be a major success in the past, and the firm should strengthen it to gain a competitive advantage.


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January 19, 2024

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