My visit to Chick-Fil-A in Madison, Alabama the other night was actually as much fun as the last field trip I took with Princess Buttercup and her class.
I write for a subdivision’s magazine that hosts a free monthly neighborhood night out for the residents and the magazine’s business sponsors.
A group of us met at Chick-Fil-A for food and fun!
We started the night by ordering our food from the menu. After we all finished eating, Callie, a director of the restaurant, passed out Chick-fil-A hats for us to wear.
She passed out packets of sanitizer wipes for us to clean our hands, and then we headed out behind the scenes. This is where the real action of Chick-fil-A begins.
All of the produce is brought in fresh for the day and chopped in the food-prep area. Chick-fil-A chops between 600-700 lemons daily. I usually just order water at restaurants and never noticed that the lemonade was homemade. The ingredients are sugar (or Splenda, if you want sugar-free), water, and lemons. That’s it! We got to try samples in small cups. Delicious!
We learned that the bread is brought in fresh every day by Sarah Lee. Chick-fil-A came up with its own recipe, in fact, and they contracted Sarah Lee to make and deliver it daily.
I also didn’t know that the chicken is—well, real chicken, as opposed to nuggets. Dave, one of the cooks, takes slices of chicken breasts, dunks them in an egg/water bath, and then coats them with the secret ingredient that is locked up tight in a vault somewhere.
Dave then puts the chicken into the “Henny Penny” machine, as the staff calls it. It’s a deep fryer of peanut oil. Chick-fil-A later recycles this oil.
Before leaving behind-the-counter space, we put cones under the ice-cream-cone spigot, and Callie filled our cones.
They handed out chocolate chip cookies and gave us each a stuffed Chick-fil-A cow in a coffee mug as a parting gift.
Did you know that Chick-fil-A basically invented the mall food court?
Back in the 1960s, Chick-fil-A contacted Greenbrier Mall in Atlanta and suggested that they put a Chick-fil-A in their mall. The food court was born.
All of the Chick-fil-A employees respond, “My pleasure” because S. Truett Cathy was staying at a fine hotel in NYC. He thanked one of the staff members (the bellhop, maybe), who responded, “My pleasure.” Mr. Truett thought it was such a classy reply that he decided to use it at his restaurants.
Incidentally…I’m something of a wordsmith and love picking up new phrases. For the past several years, I’ve also adopted “my pleasure” instead of “you’re welcome,” because I also think it sounds cultured, a little old-fashioned, and somewhat unique.
We thanked Chick-fil-A for a fun night.
And, as always, they responded:
Note: Photos were taken at a different Chick-Fil-A than the one in Madison.
All work Copyright 2015.