Chick-fil-A Founder Dies, Leaves Legacy of Faith in Business
The first time I visited the Chick-Fil-A headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, I was stopped in my tracks by the corporate purpose statement stamped on a plaque outside: “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A.” In a time when many believers and business owners hide their faith under bushels for fear of what others may think, Truett Cathy let his shine. And it paid off big time.
Since its founding in 1946, Cathy’s chicken chain has grown to more than 1,800 stores across 39 states. It is famous for industry-leading quality and customer service, and the loyalty of its fan base is legendary. Today, Chick-fil-A is valued at approximately $5.5 billion and, when he died, Cathy had a net worth of $1.9 billion.
But more intriguing than the financial successes of the Chick-fil-A is the way it was able to weave Cathy’s faith into the corporate fabric without compromise. Cathy was a devout Southern Baptist who taught Sunday school to teenage boys for more than half a century. Because he believed that faith was not merely a private matter, it flavored the way he ran his business.