This Month's Topic: Focus on Finance

In Defense of Chick-fil-A

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In the cart at Hobby Lobby

No, this is not a post about its ideology – I’m not suicidal enough to want to go down that path – but it is a post to say that I like Chick-fil-A, that my experience there today by myself with the kids was practically perfect and downright awesome.

I’ve only been there once before with the kids, and no, that time wasn’t so good, as you can read or may have already read here, but my experience that first time had nothing to do with the restaurant itself (at least I hope not).

Today, I was hauling the kids around town to run errands with me. First, we picked out a birthday present for a soon-to-be 3-year-old girl at Toys “R” Us – when I asked Brayden what we should buy her, he said, “A princess excavator or a princess dump truck!”; it’s worth adding that we left with neither – then, we went to Hobby Lobby to buy some wall letters for Anna’s newly painted room. When we left, I realized Chick-fil-A was right across the street and I was hungry, so the kids probably were, too. Plus, I thought, the kids will be able to play for awhile after we eat.

Pulling into the parking lot, though, I was having my doubts. There were cars everywhere, the drive-thru line was almost out to the street and the patio tables were completely full. I glanced at the clock. It was noon on the dot. Great, I chided myself. Great idea.

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Brayden was pretty excited about his meal; I was, too!

I was determined, however. I had a plan, and I was going to stick to it (shocking, I know). I grabbed a diaper out of the diaper bag for Anna, took each kid by the hand and marched inside. Without letting myself even consider the hordes of people waiting in line in front of me, I veered to the left and headed for the restroom.

After I’d changed Anna and made sure Brayden had gone and washed his hands, we braved the cash registers again. Luckily, the line had gone down considerably.

An older man with a friendly smile greeted us. “Hi, guys! How are you today? What would you like?”

I transferred Anna to my other hip and surveyed our options. For some reason, I couldn’t find the kids’ menu.

“I’m sorry. Where are the kids’ options?”

He didn’t sigh. He didn’t roll his eyes. He didn’t even sound exasperated. He turned around and pointed, saying, “They’re right there, third panel from the left.”

After I’d finished ordering, it suddenly occurred to me that I was going to have to carry the food and drinks (and Anna) to a table somehow. After the man handed me my change, though, he said, “You go sit down now. I’ll bring it out to you.”

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Anna with the fresh flowers behind her (fresh flowers!)

Wha- what? He’d bring it out to me? How amazing! How helpful! How simple yet innovative! (You should listen up, McDonald’s!) As I was alone in the restaurant with only two toddlers to help me (one of whom had a vise-like grip on my hip), that man could’ve been handing me a $100 bill. It made my day.

But he didn’t stop there. He brought us our food and, when he realized I’d forgotten forks, he went to get those for me, as well, and then he asked the kids how they liked their food.

I looked around and, for the first time, dimmed out all of the other people and just focused on the restaurant itself. It was so clean! There were kindly older women walking around, clearing tables, and there were fresh flowers on each table, which the kindly older women would clip from time to time during their rounds. Fresh flowers! How… nice!

After we were finished eating – the kids each had a fruit cup, chicken nuggets and an apple juice box – we went to the play area, and the kids ran around for 10 minutes or so and burned off some energy.

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Brayden happily eating his ice cream in the car

They were being so good, and I was so impressed with everything about our trip there, that I decided to treat them to ice cream. We got back in line, and the same man took our order, recognizing us at once, asking Brayden if he ate all of his food, and asking me if I would like him to add chocolate syrup to their ice cream or if we’d need lids.

Can you imagine someone at McDonald’s recognizing a customer from a half hour before and, even if he or she did, asking a kid how their food was?

Um, I think not.

As I said, ideology aside, I was certainly a satisfied customer today, and I know my kids were, too. We will definitely be making that visit again!

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Comments

  1. To blow your mind even more, you should use the concierge service next time. Go through the drive-thru, mention the service, place your order. They will ask how many people are in your party and if you need high chairs, etc. By the time you’ve parked, they have a table completely set up for you with your food, condiments, napkins and straws. It is incredible!

    • You’re kidding me! I had no idea! Thank you so much for letting me know about that, Bridget! I absolutely will be trying the concierge service soon (probably this week)!

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