The Power of Nice

LongLiveRetail“Please,” “Thank you,” and a smile.  It seems simple enough but it does make a large difference.  According to QSR magazine (quick service restaurants) Chick-fil-A does these over 95% of the time at a drive through window versus its competition (in the 78% to 85% range).

It’s a given that drive through windows at the big chains are all pretty fast and all pretty accurate in giving you what you order.  The “Have a nice day” stuff would seem to be irrelevant or maybe just a “nice to have”.

However, the financial results of the chains are very different and indicate that common courtesy and pleasantness can make difference.  A Chick-fil-A restaurant averages almost $4 million dollars per location versus their direct competitor KFC which averages $1 million per location.  Think it’s just the chicken? Guess again. The focus on customer service helps them generate more revenue per location than their other quick serve competitors including pizza stalwarts such as Dominos and Pizza Hut. Not believing it yet, well they also sell more per location than Panera, Jason’s Deli and even McDonalds.

Still need a little more evidence? Well, they also consistently rank first in restaurant customer service surveys.

Obviously, there are a lot of factors in play in financial results but there are some noticeable differences. Clearly, large chains have much larger marketing budgets to bombard every conceivable channel of communication. That should make their per-location financial results better than Chick-fil-A but it doesn’t.  There are also differences in terms of what types of food are most preferred by customers. In this case, although chicken is popular it ranks way behind pizza and burgers.

So what can be taken from all this information that can be applied to any business?  “Courteous” is more than just a word. It contributes to outsized financial results in addition to making everyone’s day better. Or, maybe it’s the other way around. Making everyone’s day better leads to better financial results. Either way, it’s win-win for a business and its customers.

Thank you for shopping at AZ Retail and have a nice day!

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