If you’ve been following the Chick-Fil-A saga (if not, look here), you know that the anti-gay ramblings of the company’s president, Dan Cathy, have created a backlash among a ton of groups, right down to the Muppets.
Now with all fast-food companies, Chick-Fil-A is franchised, so independent store owners run the business, receiving supplies and following menus from corporate headquarters. Not all of its franchisees agree with the top guy. One in Hollywood put out the following letter:
A very sincere and honorable response. Kind of like this letter from a franchisee in Georgia:
Our Agenda is Providing Genuine Hospitality & Service to All: Chick-fil-A Downtown Decatur
Since opening in March of 2005, Chick-fil-A Downtown Decatur has been dedicated to serving our guests with honor, dignity and respect. We work our hearts out to make sure every guest receives amazing food and service regardless of belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. Nothing about our agenda has changed.
My wife and I are the owner/Operators of this restaurant, and our commitment to the city goes back many years. My wife has been in the Decatur area since 1990 when she began college at Agnes Scott and then worked for the College for several years after graduating. When we learned of the Chick-fil-A opening in this city we jumped at the chance to open up our business here. We are not a corporation – we are real people and taxpayers as each Chick-fil-A franchise is independently owned and operated.
We are a family and a business dedicated to serving our community. We have consistently been generous donating food, money and coupons to the local Decatur community including DCM, CSD, the DBA, Bulldog Boosters, Decatur City Hall and Economic Development, and local churches. The list goes on and on… This weekend we are feeding the artists and volunteers during the Poverty is for Real benefit at Eddie’s Attic and next month we are donating food for a Volleyball Tournament at Decatur High School (DHS) and feeding the Decatur Book Festival volunteers.
We employ more than 70 people — many of which are DHS students. We have provided more than 20 college scholarships to team members in our restaurant alone with many of those awarded to DHS students. Our passion is building leaders for future generations, regardless of sexual orientation or beliefs.
We know that some of our guests are upset by comments made by Dan Cathy, president of Chick-fil-A Inc. He has made it clear to me those were his personal views, and that his intent was not to speak on behalf of every Chick-fil-A owner. We hope those who are upset will look at their relationship with our restaurant and allow us to continue to serve them. If you have questions or concerns, please come into the restaurant and speak with me personally.
Until then, we will continue to serve our guests in the only way we know how – with great food, exceptional service and a lot of fun.
John and Cristina Crays
Owner/Operator and Director of Customer Service
Chick-fil-A Downtown Decatur
And we can’t overlook this letter from an owner in Chicago:
Since our opening last year, Chick-fil-A Loyola Water Tower has been dedicated to serving all of our guests with honor, dignity and respect.
In response to the recent controversy regarding an additional location in Logan Square and comments by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, I would like to invite Mayor Emanuel into my restaurant to meet me, my husband Steve, and my management staff.
We are a family of deep Chicago roots—my husband and I both came from city worker families (teachers, police, laborers) and Steve is a city worker.
We are not a corporation—we are real people and taxpayers as each Chick-fil-A franchise is independently owned and operated. We are Chicagoans who are dedicated to serving our community. We hold fundraisers for hospitals, school, fallen police and we donate to a wide variety of causes, including everything from churches to gay and lesbian organizations.
We alone created 97 jobs this past year and our passion is building leaders for future generations, regardless of sexual orientation or beliefs.
In addition to my personal invitation to Mayor Emanuel, we would like to extend the invitation to any Chicagoan to visit and experience our Restaurant. We will continue to serve our guests in the only way we know how—with great food, exceptional service and a lot of fun.
You know, it’s almost as if the franchisees had a Vulcan mind meld. I’d like to think they all got together and decided they’d speak as one against owner Dan Cathy.
But being the suspicious type (and a realist), the smart money says this is a form letter from corporate headquarters. Use the same first paragraph, personalize the middle to your region, and pickup the closing message.
Maybe the franchisees should pledge allegiance to the Colonel?
And speaking of Kentucky:
The Chick-fil-A controversy over the company’s stance on gay marriage has come to University of Louisville.
A petition to remove the Chick-fil-A from the Student Activities Center on campus has been circulating on the web.
The Colonel is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville. Who knows. If he were alive, he probably would have agreed with Dan Cathy. But he was also a shrewd businessman and probably would have taken advantage of this to screw the competition.