New Chick-fil-A Generating Strong Customer Traffic

Barbara Kieker

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

On May 9, Chick-fil-A opened a freestanding restaurant at Lee Crossings on U.S. Highway 19 South. The new location is Chick-fil-A Owner/Operator, K.J. Wari’s third restaurant, and the first freestanding unit in the Albany trade area. In addition to the new restaurant, Wari also owns and operates Chick-fil-A Drive-thru at Albany Square, Chick-fil-A of Albany Mall, and serves as a consultant to the Chick-fil-A licensee restaurant at Albany State University.

"We've been exploring the idea of opening a new restaurant with Chick-fil-A for about two and a half years," said Anna Wari, director of human resources for the Albany stores and K.J.'s wife.

"This is an up and coming area with lots of residential rooftops nearby. Many people pass by the restaurant on their way to work so we were expecting strong morning and evening traffic. And we've been pleasantly surprised with the lunch crowd."

Generating Incremental Business
Once the real estate professionals from Chick-fil-A selected the location, the process moved quickly. According to Wari, construction began in January 2013 and was completed in time for the May 9th opening. With its location near downtown Albany, the freestanding restaurant and playground draws families and business customers from the surrounding counties.

"The new location hasn't impacted business at our other sites, which has also been a pleasant surprise," Wari said.

"Based on redemptions we've experienced to direct mailings we've done in the past, we thought there might be some impact. But you just can't be certain until the restaurant is open."

With more than 1,700 locations in 39 states and the District of Columbia, Chick-fil-A is the second largest quick-serve chicken restaurant in the United States based on annual sales. Sales for the chain in 2012 were $4.6 billion, up 14 percent over 2011. Same-store sales were up 8 percent.

Business Lunch and Learn Series
Chick-fil-A has a history of community involvement and support. This support takes many forms including food donations, fundraising activities and outreach. One example of local community support is the Business Lunch and Learn Series that Chick-fil-A of Albany hosts with Sherwood Baptist Church. In January, the first of this year's Lunch and Learn events featured psychologist and author Dr. Charles Lowery who shared insights for leaders facing tough decisions in 2013.

On July 31, the second 2013 Lunch and Learn event will feature Mark Miller, a business leader, best-selling author and vice president for Organizational Effectiveness at Chick-fil-A, Inc. He will discuss the company's SERVE model for leadership, which is used throughout the company.

SERVE stands for:

S: see and shape the future
E: engage and develop others
R: reinvent continuously
V: value results and relationships
E: embody the values

Mark began his Chick-fil-A career working as an hourly team member in 1977. He joined the corporate staff one year later, working in the warehouse and mailroom. Since then, he has provided leadership for corporate communications, field operations, quality and customer satisfaction, training and development.

He began writing about 10 years ago and teamed up with Ken Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute Manager to write The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do. Nearly 400,000 copies of The Secret are in print and it has been translated into more than 20 languages. His newest book, Great Leaders Grow: Becoming a Leader for Life, also co-authored with Ken Blanchard, was released in February 2012.

Individual tickets to the July 31 Lunch and Learn can be purchased online at for $10 each. Tables are also available for $80.

More information on Chick-fil-A is available online at For information on the local Albany Chick-fil-A stores, call (229) 889-1166.


About Barbara Kieker

Barbara Kieker is a freelance writer who writes on business-related topics for a number of web-based properties. She also provides communications services to Fortune 500 corporations, small businesses and nonprofit organizations.