With everything that took place during the pandemic shutdowns where businesses were closed and gatherings minimized, our deepest human desire - for personal connection - was starved. Unfortunately, however, that occurrence is not an isolated incident. The starving for a personal touch has expanded in recent years due to our increased reliance on digital tools. We focus attention on "friends" we have never met but are hundreds of miles away while neglecting those within the walls of our home. How do we as people, and as leaders, address that deficiency. We will take a look at what some have done in the fast-food industry to combat this factor.
Now, before we go any further, let's have a little fun. Take the time to answer these questions yourself and even poll others! The questions and answers come from an interesting Forbes article back in 2019.
Now that you've debated and offered your guesses, here's the answer sheet: (1) McDonalds, (2) Dunkin Donuts, (3) Chick-fil-a, (4) Chick-fil-a, and (5) Chick-fil-a. Yes, you read that right: Chick-fil-a has the slowest drive thru in the industry!! Oh, by the way, 60% of their revenue (prior to the covid-19 pandemic) was generated by the drive thru. You see, Chick-fil-a has the highest drive-thru volume of all fast-food restaurants in that they have 6 or more cars in the drive-thru line 35% of the time (the 2nd highest figure is McDonalds at only 9%).
Even by being closed on Sunday AND having the slowest drive thru in the industry, this restaurant chain is commanding large market share. How? Simply put, they have mastered the personal touch and it pervades everything that they do.
Consider just a few things that Chick-fil-a does to add a personal touch to those longer drive thru lines and, in doing so, they make quality feel quick. By the way, you will see many of these have been adopted by other fast food chains because they understand what Chick-fil-a has figured out:
So what? How can this teach us anything about the importance of a personal touch? From my reflection on what I read, I walked away with these lessons.
If you want results in your life and leadership, then you have to figure out how to make those personal touches in an increasingly disconnected world. When you do that well, others will notice and turn to you for solutions.