Chick-fil-A’s first freestanding restaurant – and its largest in the country – will open in New York City onOct. 3. Located at 37th Street and 6th Avenue in the Garment District, the area boasts the third busiest subway stop in the city, so it’s likely that the infamous Chick-fil-A lines will be present. What’s not a given, however, is whether Chick-fil-A’s famous culture will be present. READ MORE
I was born in Staten Island, NY. And although I moved to Texas when I was eight, I spent my four college years in upstate New York and 22 post-college years working in New Jersey, 30 miles west of New York City. So, I’m confident when I say that I know New York culture.
I also appreciate New York culture. It’s direct, driven, fast-paced, educated, loyal, brutally honest and unforgiving. You always know exactly where you stand and are usually surrounded by people with lofty goals – it’s priceless.
When I think about Chick-fil-A’s corporate culture, things come to mind like being closed on Sunday’s to allow employees to rest, and incredibly happy and warm employees who take time to help you and express gratitude. I’m wondering how this will play out in a city that values results more than being nice?
Please don’t get me wrong, New Yorkers. Are there lots of nice people in New York who value being nice? Of course, but “being nice” is not valued there the way it is in other regions of the United States, where I have lived for 16 years. Being nice is the norm in these other areas of the United States, and this is one of the traits that defines the cultures of these regions. The same way being direct defines the culture of New York.
I’ve visited Chick-Fil-A restaurants in multiple U.S. states and the experience is always the same regardless of where it’s located. The only way I’m going to find out if Chick-Fil-A can replicate their culture in a place with a very different culture (not worse, different) is to experience it for myself. I’ll be in New York City in December and will report back, although I’d love to hear your thoughts if you visit this new location and can compare it to Chick-fil-A’s culture in other cities.
WHAT CAN I DO? A culture audit. The most successful organizations have replicated their best practices in every location, in every business unit, and on every team. There’s power in ONE APPLE, ONE CHICK-FIL-A, ONE MORRISTOWN MEMORIAL HOSPITAL. Customers benefit. As a leader, does the culture on your team align with your organization’s culture? If not, what can you do to bring it into closer alignment? You have the power to lead change. Execute it.
Jill Christensen is an employee engagement expert, best-selling author, and international keynote speaker. She is a Top 100 Global Employee Engagement Influencer, authored the best-selling book, If Not You, Who?, and works with the best and brightest global leaders to improve productivity and retention, customer satisfaction, and revenue growth. Jill can be reached at +1.303.999.9224 or .