This Chick-Fil-A Owner's Generous Employee Holiday Gifts Are Turning Heads

Office holiday parties can be a bit of a bore, but the owner of a Pennsylvania Chick-fil-A shook things up by giving away some incredible gifts to her employees.

Aimee Hernandez, owner of Chick-fil-A Robinson in suburban Pittsburgh, held a drawing for her 60 employees where the prizes included, among other things, a Toyota RAV4, per Newsweek. The reason? Hernandez told the magazine, "...[the employees are] the absolute best. They deserve the best of everything." Of course, many of the chain's loyal fans share this sentiment about Chick-fil-A's famously friendly workers.

Though the SUV was the most valuable prize, other items awarded to Chick-fil-A Robinson employees at the holiday party included cash to cover one month's rent or mortgage payment, a Louis Vuitton bag, a $1,500 Apple gift card, a PlayStation 5 bundle, $1,000 cash, a Nintendo console, a Dyson vacuum cleaner, a big-screen television, and tickets to a Pittsburgh Steelers game, per the Chick-fil-A Robinson Twitter account.

The winner of the RAV4 was an employee named Devon. Speaking to WTAE, Hernandez said she had been praying Devon's name would be pulled for the big prize, as he'd had car troubles and needed a reliable way to take his child to daycare.

The Chick-fil-A holiday giveaway got lots of social media love

Twitter post from Chick-fil-A Robinson shared a video of the happy event, and followers were definitely feeling the holiday spirit. "This is so sweet," said one follower. "... I think it's wonderful that you show your gratitude to your employees." A customer of this store chimed in: "Y'all rock! This is my go-to CFA and you're always super busy, and very polite. Well-deserved! Merry Christmas to you all."

Some followers said Hernandez's gifts reflect her good management skills, which is especially important in an era of challenges and stress for employees: "She appreciates where her bread and butter comes from. Employees are the ones that make it work. She understands and respects that," wrote one commenter.On Instagram, CFA Robinson followers also loved the giveaway video, especially Devon's emotional reaction to winning the SUV. "This is so amazing!!!" wrote one person. "Absolutely love seeing that huge smile on Devon's face!" A customer of this Chick-fil-A commented that Hernandez is the epitome of a hands-on employer. "Aimee ... handed me my order; during a time when so many managers are at home leaving their employees to work through staffing shortages." 

The Instagram post also noted that Aimee is already working on next year's holiday party, which is sure to make employees happy. 

Chick-fil-A has a reputation for taking care of its employees

The extraordinary holiday gift giveaway and show of employee appreciation at the Pennsylvania Chick-fil-A (as shared on Twitter) is just one example of the company's overall mission of taking care of the people who work in its restaurants. Per Business Insider, it's easy to look to Chick-fil-A's menu or customer service as reasons why the chain is one of the most popular in the country, but Chick-fil-A says it all comes back to how it supports its employees.

Examples of this support include spending more time and money to train Chick-fil-A staff than other fast food chains. "The better we train, the longer people stay with us," franchise manager Kevin Moss said to Business Insider. Plus, there are opportunities for advancement in the company, and Chick-fil-A helps workers get college degrees, even if that means the employees eventually move on to other careers. 

And as with the Chick-fil-A in Pennsylvania, franchise managers across the board step up to help employees in times of need. "I've found people are more motivated and respond better when you care about them," Moss said to Business Insider. 

Other companies have shown generosity toward employees, too

Fans are loving Chick-fil-A Robinson's story about just how far one owner was willing to thank her employees for all they do. And this spirit of generosity and caring has been demonstrated by other business owners, too. 

According to CNBC, both Nike and Bumble surprised their employees by shutting down the companies for a week, giving everyone paid vacation time to destress. And in October, a video of a staff event at women's clothing company Spanx (shared on the Now This News YouTube channel) went viral. Company founder Sara Blakely announced that every employee would receive two first-class plane tickets to the destination of their choice, along with $10,000 in spending money. 

While not every company can give away new cars or plane tickets, there are plenty of ways companies can and should support their employees, whether it's at a fast food restaurant or another kind of business. Forbes notes that checking in with and supporting staff, taking feedback, and making sure employees take time off for themselves are easy ways to boost morale, prevent burnout, and keep workers around for the long haul.