Why Chick-fil-A Employees Don’t Say ‘You’re Welcome’

When you say "thank you" to your Chick-fil-A server, you won't hear "you're welcome." Expect something even better!

chick fil aKen Wolter/shutterstock

If you’ve ever been to Chick-fil-A, you might have noticed that when customers say “thank you,” employees say “my pleasure.” Since “you’re welcome” has always been my go-to response, I had to know more. These are the 8 polite habits fast-food workers actually hate.

How it became store Chick-fil-A culture

Legend says the chain’s founder, Truett Cathy, got the idea while staying at the Ritz Carlton. When he said “thank you” to a hotel employee, the employee replied, “my pleasure.” Cathy thought those two small words made the Ritz Carlton stand apart as a luxury establishment. He wanted to bring that feel to his own restaurants, and the rest is history.

Though there’s nothing in the official Chick-fil-A employee training on saying “my pleasure,” according to a Reddit user who works there, it’s still an important part of the company culture. “‘You’re welcome’ seems too indifferent, and we’re told to use elevated language,” the employee says. This is the exact reason Chick-fil-A’s chicken is so dang good.

It represents going the extra mile

Is there business sense behind “my pleasure?” Absolutely! Chick-fil-A is known for taking customer service that extra “mile,” according to Kristen Hunter, a marketing consultant for the restaurant chain. “The first mile is the foundation—good customer service, hot food hot, cold food cold. The second mile is what we do that’s remarkable,” she says in an interview. In the case of “my pleasure,” the subtle change in the expected lingo sends a unique message to customers, adding an element of extra care.

In fact, using the word “pleasure” at all in a customer interaction is a brilliant tactic for making customers happy, according to CBS Moneywatch’s Michael Hess in his article, “The 6 Best Words in Customer Service.”

The customers eat it up!

I know people love Chick-fil-A, and not only because the waffle fries are amazing. We’re happy to report that many customers are absolutely delighted to hear “my pleasure” in lieu of “you’re welcome.” (I’m one of ’em!) Here’s what nutritionists order at Chick-fil-A.

Or, you can re-create the Chick-fil-A experience at home with our Spicy Chicken Nuggets, a spicy copycat recipe for nuggets. And for dessert, how about one of these adorable Chirpy Chick Cupcakes? When people thank you for the treat, don’t forget to say, “My pleasure!”

Next, learn some more secrets your fast food worker won’t tell you.

Taste of Home
Originally Published on Taste of Home

Lauren Cahn
Lauren Cahn is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared regularly on Reader's Digest, The Huffington Post, and a variety of other publications since 2008. She covers life and style, popular culture, law, religion, health, fitness, yoga, entertaining and entertainment. Lauren is also an author of crime fiction; her first full-length manuscript, The Trust Game, was short-listed for the 2017 CLUE Award for emerging talent in the genre of suspense fiction.