It's Our Pleasure

Chick-fil-A Coliseum Boulevard team members make it their mission to serve up memorable experiences for each and every guest.
Jun 3, 2024
Heather Herron
Tim Brumbeloe

Jeff Hoffman has never been one to shy away from hard work. That’s why in 2019, after running a successful Chick-fil-A on Fort Wayne’s southwest side for 16 years, he jumped at the opportunity to start over at a new location on Coliseum Boulevard. He predicted people who live, work and shop on that side of town would have an appetite for delicious chicken sandwiches, but he couldn’t have predicted that a worldwide pandemic would hit just a year after he opened. 

“Thankfully, we figured out the drive-through,” he recalls. “We were able to enhance our drive-through and stay open to serve guests. But most importantly, I wanted to keep my people working.”

When other retailers and restaurants were cutting staff and paychecks, Hoffman did the opposite. He increased wages, focused on training and doubled down on customer service. Five years later, post-pandemic and in a challenging economy, business at that location is booming. 

“I like to say I’m not really in the food business. I’m in the people business. People come here to eat and so we have to have food that tastes good. That’s the foundation,” explains Hoffman. “We want people to come back. Good things happen around food.”

Last year, his franchise won Chick-fil-A’s highest award, given only to those with an increase in sales of at least 20% year over year. “There were only 136 winners last year out of almost 3,000 operators. We had a huge year — 26% growth was our final number.”

At a time when many restaurants and retailers are struggling, what’s Hoffman’s recipe for success? An unwavering commitment to all employees, the entire community, and every guest who walks through the door or orders at the drive-through.

For employees, that means an average wage that’s $2 more an hour than other Chick-fil-As, a generous daily meal allowance, gym memberships, paid time off even for part-time workers, and a matching 401K and health insurance for team leads. 

For the community, it means supporting local nonprofits that are making differences in the lives of others.

“For our 5th birthday this year, we celebrated that week by picking five organizations and donating a portion of sales each day to them. We gave away nearly $10,000. Our employees also went and volunteered at those organizations,” says Chief Marketing Officer Caitline Southern. “Our strategy this year has been focusing on hunger, homelessness and health care. Focusing on those areas has allowed us to be very intentional. Each year, we can change our focus and serve different areas.”

For guests, it means the freshest, highest quality food served quickly — no long waits and few mistakes.

“In our drive-through, we set a new record of 231 cars in one hour. What helps make that possible is face-to-face ordering. We also have something called expeditors. Those are people who get the food at the window and run it out to your car. We also have an escape lane, so if you get your food and the car in front of you is still waiting, you can escape,” Hoffman says, adding, “We don’t want to be inaccurate. If you come and order six drinks and you only received five straws, that’s an inaccurate order. We have a person at the window and a person bagging the orders, and in between that is a flex person who double checks the order to ensure everything is there. Our accuracy rate right now is in the top 20% of the chain. It’s close to 98%.”

Hoffman’s goal is to make sure each interaction is a positive one. He wants guests to not only leave with a full stomach, but also a smile on their face. 

“Great customer service is really our differentiator. Some of our competitors have a pretty good chicken sandwich, but no one comes close to our service. We have a lot of passion for what we’re doing,” emphasizes Hoffman. “It’s not just fast food. Our founder, Truett Cathy, wrote a book called “Eat Mor Chikin: Inspire More People,” and that’s really what we want to do. I want to sell a lot of chicken, but I also want to show people we care about our staff, our guests and our community. That’s where our signature response comes from. Mr. Cathy said, ‘If you could only say two words to someone today and you say, ‘No problem,’ that’s very empty and not impactful. If you say, ‘My pleasure!’ people remember that. People will forget what the price is, they’ll forget how long it takes to order, but they will not forget how you make them feel.’ We want to make people feel good every time they visit us.” 

Chick-fil-A Coliseum Boulevard

Address: 182 Coliseum Blvd. W., Fort Wayne, Indiana 46805

Phone: (260) 484-5880



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