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‘The Pursuit’ Blog

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People Not Chicken

I recite to every new team member that joins our team our “Ultra-purpose”.

What is an Ultra-Purpose you ask? It’s pretty basic. For our team, It’s going above and beyond in intentionality. It’s a focus that gives us meaning behind our mission. It’s the gasoline that fuels the engine.

Our Ultra-purpose states, “We’re not only here to sell chicken, we’re here to make a difference in the life of everyone who walks through our doors. When people become our focus, we’ll sell more chicken than we could ever imagine.” I always conclude to clarify. “This doesn’t mean we don’t have to sell really good chicken or take anything else just as serious. In fact, it means just the opposite! It means we step up our game because we care for people.

People mistake all the time that I’m in the chicken business. I’m not. I’m in the people business and we happen to sell really good chicken! If we run our business without a people focus, we missed the whole point of being in business. Our guests and our team members are everything. Without them, we have no business. In other words, It’s people not chicken.

Let’s break this down:
No good people = no good chicken
No quality people = no quality operation
No guests = no business
We can flip this and state it in the positive.
Good people = good chicken
Quality people = quality business
Guests = business

A good chicken business begins and ends with people no matter how you dice it! Any business for that matter begins and ends with people. Without people we have nothing. And without good, quality people we have nothing exciting! Good systems, good projects, good marketing strategies, etc are all needed to run a good business. But these things in and of themselves don’t run the business. Just take a look around during this crisis we’re in. People run the businesses we all love. Without people we all have nothing. We need people. And we especially need good people now more than ever to be able to get back to the business of doing what they were born to do. Meaningful work.

When we do get back to our business at hand and running at normal capacity, a great portion of our time is spent on whirlwind activities and tasks in our businesses that take us away from the truly meaningful investments of our businesses. Why do we waste our time on all these time-sucking activities? Wouldn’t our time be more well spent investing in the people creating and executing these vital systems in our businesses?

Let me answer that. YES. We need to find a way to get out of the whirlwind and get to the heart of our business which is the heart of our people. This is true for any successful business. Not just the chicken business. This season we all find ourselves in is a good moment to get re-focused and prepare a new purpose for when the economy relaunches.

How do I know this is true? Here’s the litmus test. Take people out of the equation. What do you have? Nothing. You just have “stuff” without the people and it’s no longer a viable business. It’s so sad to drive down the road and see so many empty buildings of once thriving businesses. They need people back inside of them to bring them life again!

Challenge for the day. When we get the opportunity to get back to meaningful work, let’s make it about the people you’ve been blessed with in your life. Your guests and your team. It all begins and ends with them.

We are living in this unique time where all of us are experiencing the same ramifications of removing people from the equation. We all know riches can be taken away in an instant. If and when it does what will we have left? Time, money, and resources invested in people is time, money, and resources well spent. The dividends are eternal.

“I tell you, use the riches of this world to help others. In that way, you will make friends for yourselves. Then when your riches are gone, you will be welcomed into your eternal home in heaven.” -Luke 16:9

About the Author

David Grimm and his wife, Kelly, own Chick-fil-A on University Avenue in West Des Moines, Iowa. David and Kelly have been in the restaurant business since 2011. They opened Chick-fil-A in 2015 and have grown the University Avenue location by more than 250% since they started. David is incredibly proud of his top-notch team, quality products, and most of all, the remarkable guest experience his team provides on a daily basis. Since 2015, his location has donated roughly $1 million to the community and team through food donations, support, and education assistance. David and Kelly love being able to live out their faith through their words and deeds every day. They have four children and live in West Des Moines, Iowa.