In 1967, Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy saw a need: people working and shopping in a new retail concept - the shopping mall - had nowhere to eat. Nowhere for salespeople and customers to take a break and refuel before going back to work or continuing their errands.
It all started in 1946 when Truett Cathy opened a tiny diner called the Dwarf Grill in Hapeville, Georgia. It was in this diner where Truett developed the signature Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich and the quality service for which the family-owned business is known. Here’s a glimpse into the company that has grown to be the nation’s top chicken chain.
Surrounded by glass on the fifth floor of Chick-fil-A’s Atlanta-based headquarters is “The Pulse,” the company’s social media control center. A wall-size monitor displays real-time comments from Facebook, Twitter and other social channels about the company’s food, restaurants and customer service. In the aggregate, these tell Chick-fil-A’s employees whether the brand and its food is being showered with praise, criticized, or worse — ignored.
It was 1965 when Truett Cathy came home with his restaurant’s latest menu offering: a piece of fried chicken breast tucked between two buttered buns. His son, Dan Cathy, remembers the moment well as a 12-year-old boy. Though he didn’t realize it at the time, his father’s new sandwich would change not only Dan’s life but the trajectory of his family’s business and the fast-food industry as a whole.
When Truett Cathy opened his first restaurant in 1946, most businesses were closed on Sundays. The world moved at a slower pace then, but he remained steadfast about this “day of rest” — even after competitors began daily operations in the 1960s.
When Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy invented what is now known as the Original Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich in 1964, he had no idea it would stand the test of time and still be a favorite today.