What Chick-Fil-A Employees Really Think About Franchise Owners

It's not entirely accurate to say everyone loves Chick-fil-A. It is accurate, however, to say the fast food chain is popular. In 2020, Forbes reported that for the sixth year in a row, Chick-fil-A was number one on the American Customer Satisfaction Index's restaurant report. That means six straight years of being not only America's favorite fast food spot but America's favorite place to eat overall.

This combination of good reviews and high sales makes Chick-fil-A a highly attractive option for franchising. According to Business Insider, the chicken chain receives around 20,000 franchise requests a year, as of 2016, and only accepts a mere 75 to 80. As Chick-fil-A spokesperson Amanda Hannah told Business Insider, the few selected franchisees must go through an interview process and multi-week training before they can start serving up any chicken.

If that selection process sounds competitive, that's because it is. Franchise Business Review deems Chick-fil-A "probably the world's most difficult franchise to buy." The people chosen to operate Chick-fil-A franchises are few and far between, but what do their workers think of them?

Chick-fil-A's food is consistent, but the owner quality varies

Fast food chains have streamlined their food so it looks and tastes the same practically anywhere. But in Chick-fil-A's case, the same can't be said of the franchise owners. The subreddit r/ChickFilAWorkers asked real Chick-fil-A employees what they think of their owner and operator. Unsurprisingly, they had a lot of thoughts.

Reddit user Cyber_Croissant, who created the thread asking about Chick-fil-A operators, had a less than stellar experience. They worked at Chick-fil-A for their last year of high school and explained that their operator was "terrible," overworking employees and employing his prepubescent son. Other alleged horror stories include a boss ripping up an employee's doctor's note and keeping a store open despite a roach infestation.

However, the majority of Redditors who responded to the thread had generally positive things to say about their Chick-fil-A franchise owner/operator. Two people even said it was the best boss experience they've ever had. Many people with good experiences noted that their operators have been there for decades, and usually take a more hands-on approach. User jcw998 explained of their Chick-fil-A boss: "He is in the restaurant almost every day, he brings us snacks all the time, he talks to us [...] and for college students he reimburses us a certain amount of money for tuition depending on what leader rank you are."

Some didn't have much to say about their store operator. As Redditor Tyler8211 put it, "I met my operator at my orientation and haven't seen him since."