Move over Big Mac. Here comes 10 Little Marketing Lessons from the folks ChickfilA


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Originally published in my monthly column at

Today we are going to take a look at Chick-fil-a. This quick serve restaurant (political and religious views notwithstanding) epitomizes marketing by giving little unexpected extras (g.l.u.e) to customers. They are a five time entrant into the Purple Goldfish Project at #125, #641, #814, #841 and #1,028.

Let’s look at a Top 10 list:

  1. Waiting: Indoor Play Area. A contained and well maintained area for small kids to play in. Great for parents.

  2. In the bag / out of the box: Mints. Go through the drive-thru at Chick-fil-a and more than likely you’ll find something at the bottom of your bag.

  3. Convenience: Purell wipes. Convenient packets right outside the play area.

  4. Special needs: Customers in Training. Take an infant or toddler to Chick-fil-a . . . no problem. They provide little cups of Cheerios.

  5. Handling mistakes: The best way to handle mistakes is not to make them. This is a small thing, but Chick-fil-a makes a point to repeat and ask for confirmation on your order.
  6. Pay it Forward: Fundraising for local schools. Chick-fil-a will give back a percentage of sales for school sponsored sites. An added bonus, Chick-fil-a allows for customers to spin to win for 50 cents. All proceeds go to the school and Chick-fil-a hands out gift cards for free food and drinks. Everyone is a winner.

  7. Added Service: Chick-fil-a supplies umbrellas in the doorway. Convenient if you get caught in a rainstorm.

  8. Convenience: Bike racks provided out front. Good for the environment and great for customers.

  9. Throw-ins: Free refills. Managers and employees walk around the dining room. Not only do they ask how everything is, but they offer to get you free refills.

  10. First / Last Impressions: Flowers on the table. A nice small touch in the dining portion of the restaurant.

Did I miss any signature extras from Chick-fil-a? Are you doing the little things for your customers? I look forward to seeing your thoughts and suggestions in the comments.

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – Tim Hawkins is a singer / comedian who just loves his Chick-fil-A. He’s written two song parodies dedicated to the folks who invented the Chicken Sandwich. Which one is better? You decide:

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Stan Phelps
Stan Phelps is the Chief Measurement Officer at 9 INCH marketing. 9 INCH helps organizations develop custom solutions around both customer and employee experience. Stan believes the 'longest and hardest nine inches' in marketing is the distance between the brain and the heart of your customer. He is the author of Purple Goldfish, Green Goldfish and Golden Goldfish.


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