Since I have rarely talked about my marketing internship at Chick-fil-A last summer, I wanted to share some of my most important learnings in my last post for class. One of the most unique things about Chick-fil-A, besides its amazing food and service is its business model-local ownership of a national brand. Local operators control many of the business and marketing decisions made at their restaurants (can only own up to two). I heard once that it’s easier to get into Harvard Business School than to be a Chick-fil-A operator, not because it requires that level of academic talent, but because the rate of acceptance is so small, .04% to be exact. T
he operator relationship reflects the marketing operations too: while many marketing efforts (national campaigns, new product introductions) will be national and created by the corporate marketers, the real implementation of efforts is created and executed at the local level. If this seems crazy because it’s so much more organic and time-intensive, you’d be right. But, it enables much more authentic connections with customers and higher sales from local efforts.