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Chick-Fil-A's Ethical Forte

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Chick-fil-A's Ethical Forte

There are many variations of what the term "ethics" actually means. To some, ethics is simply a personal feeling of what is right or wrong. While to others, ethics is simply a standard of behavior that is acceptable by their society and culture, otherwise known as the law. According to Baack, the definition of the term varies according to individuals' moral philosophy, which ultimately comes from their own personal values, which are bias according to one's religious beliefs, familial upbringing, social interactions and cultural surroundings. On the other hand, the term "business ethics" is more standard consisting of guidelines regarding how each individual company chooses to conduct business and develop relationships with their employees, their clients and with potential partners. A company's devotion to their values and ethical behaviors can often make or break a company. In 1967, when S. Truett Cathy opened the first Chick-fil-A in The Greenbriar Shopping Center in Atlanta, Georgia, he had a business ethical system that he has not deviated from to this day.

Today there are over 1,605 Chick-fil-A restaurants located in 39 different states and in Washington, D.C. (Chick-fil-A, 2012). The company has had 44 consecutive years of positive sales growth and in 2011, it's annual sales exceeded $4.1 billion dollars. Recognized as the "pioneer" of quick service mall food, the company has also many other innovative concepts that they have established over the years. I response to consumer demand Chick-fil-A has established stand-alone restaurants, drive-thru only restaurants, licensed, non-traditional outlets located in such places as college campuses and airports and the Satellite/"Lunch Counter" which offers fast service in high traffic areas during peak lunch areas.

Where does the Company's ethical system fit into its continuing success? S. Truett Cathy built his business, as well as his life, based on the concepts of hard work, humility and biblical principals. (Truett Cathy, 2012). These principals are why all Chick-fil-A locations operate on a no exception "Closed-on-Sunday" policy, a decision Truett made in 1946 when he opened his first restaurant, The Dwarf Grill. He openly states that this decision was as much practical as spiritual (Chick-fil-A, 2012). "He believes that all franchised Chick-fil-A Operators and their Restaurant employees should have an opportunity to rest, spend time with family and friends, and worship if they choose to do so" (Chick-fil-A, 2012).

The company is also devoted to being involved with the community. They have several sponsorships, including the Chick-fil-A Bowl, which provided a record payout in 2011 of $6.7 million to its participating Universities (Chick-fil-A, 2012). The company is also a corporate partner of the Big



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