The Cairn Chick-fil-A Culture
“Oh great, it’s Cairn students,” I heard my manager say as she took off her glasses to wipe her tired eyes. How often I have heard that reaction reiterated throughout my work experience at Chick-fil-A. After working there for the past two years, I watched many Cairn students saunter into the restaurant. I have also seen the less than optimistic reactions of my fellow staff while they serve the students.
You may say that they are being overly cynical. That their unenthusiastic demeanor throughout your order experience is uncalled for.
But then again, maybe the problem is you.
The way Cairn sees Chick-fil-A is as an extension of campus. It’s a great, cheap place to go when the cafeteria is serving something less than appetizing. You can go there with all of your friends after a night class and laugh and make memories over discounted fries and milkshakes.
Which is fine. No one at Chick-fil-A wants to put a damper on your college experiences and memories. It is our job to serve you, but my co-workers don’t always uphold with this perception.
After asking around, my fellow employees at Chick-fil-A see Cairn students as “snobby, spoiled brats” that always try to get more out of their discount than is offered to them. They come in late at night in large groups and leave the dining space a mess.
Well, there seems to be a little bit of an issue here.
By the time you reach this point of the article, you may be a little upset. Mad even. You might claim that you are just having a good time and anyone who says otherwise is just a bitter minimum wage employee.
But here is where I say again that maybe the problem is you.
Well, according to my staff, it’s time for you to have an attitude change.
To make it clear: Chick-fil-A is extending kindness to you when they give you the discount you have. Do not take advantage of their offer. It is not be manipulated and you are not entitled to get 3 dollars off of a different entree just because you are a Cairn student. They also do not need your business. They are happy to have you and offer you a cheap meal, but as one of the top selling stores in the country, your $3.97 is not crucial to their survival.
Some of the staff will even go as far as to say that the Cairn special should be non-existent because of the abuse that it has weathered from students.
So, what do we do now?
This change is not just conforming so the employees like us.
It is so they see our Creator in us.
Wait, but this is Chick-fil-A. It’s a Christian resturant. And we’re Christians. They close on Sundays, so surely they must know that our lives as believers are more than just wanting a discounted chicken sandwich.
Take note: Out of all the staff that I work alongside with, I can count on my hands all the Christians.
We have 180 employees.
Many of my co-workers are unchurched and their only exposure to Christ is the Christian college students that come in.
So ask yourself the most important question, “How are my actions within the restaurant exemplifying Christ to these unbelievers?”
Chick-fil-A is my mission field. I have spent two years building relationships with these people trying my best to give them an accurate representation of what it means to love Jesus.
While your interaction with them could be helping my cause, it is instead ruining it. It’s not too late; you can change the way that you act there and the message you are sending.
After all, this is not about what they think of you or even Cairn as an institution.
It is about what you are making them think about Christ.