Unfortunately for quite a few chicken, the Krispy Kreme on my corner has shut down and today, in its place, the southern staple Chick-fil-A has opened up.
You would think Mick Jagger’s in there giving away iPod nanos. Cars and people are all over the place and someone from the Chick is arguing with a neighboring restaurant over the mayhem.
Chick spokesman Mark Baldwin, from Atlanta, says “all throughout California, we see tremendous opportunity.” It’s opening up 75 new restaurants in southern California over the next five years. Financial data is a bit tough to come by since the company’s private; it had about a billion and a half in sales in 2003.
While each store’s different, Baldwin says that “We?re looking for personality. We pay a lot of attention to customer service. Friendly people who love to smile, love to have fun at their jobs. Treat customers with honor, dignity and respect. We kind of look at their character.”
At some locations, hiring managers actually meet with the candidates’ parents as part of the hiring process.
Chick recruits in local schools, and is “searching for eagles.” You know these folks: they’re in the student government, on a sports team, work on the newspaper, the yearbook, or most of the above.
Here in Santa Ana, Tammy Dull has hired 60 people and will eventually have about 75. She has gone to schools and churches, but hasn’t advertised in job boards or in the paper. She’s looking for “energy, enthusiasm, great attitude, integrity–you can’t teach that.”
She doesn’t pay minimum wage (“minimum wage is minimum work,” she says, “you get what you pay for.”)
Founded by devout Baptist S. Truett Cathy, Chick’s closed on Sundays. Dull says that’s a good selling point for candidates, since they often have other things to do, like another job.
Baldwin, the spokesman in Atlanta, says: “Take the day to rest and worship if you choose, spend some time with your family. What kind of high school student wouldn?t want a weekend day off?”