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From Small Business To Big Business: Chik-Fil-A

Entrepreneurs need inspiration. Because building a business is about having a vision and the will to succeed. The businesses in this series of articles have all started small and have since become icons of the business world. In this article we feature Chik-Fil-A.

Before there was Chik-Fil-A S. Truett Cathy started what is known today as the Dwarf House Restaurant in the Atlanta, Georgia suburb of Hapeville in 1946. It was there across from a Ford plant that Cathy's restaurant served to for three shifts a day that he invented the chicken sandwich. At the time the concept of fast food was just taking off but it was centered on beef hamburgers. Cathy discovered a way to pressure cook chicken in peanut oil that allowed the chicken to be cooked quick enough that he could compete with the hamburger chains springing up at the time.

It wouldn't be until 1967 that the first Chik-Fil-A restaurant would be opened. But once Cathy did open that store he decided it had to be based around the chicken sandwich. In fact one of the company's slogans is "We didn't invent the chicken, just the chicken sandwich". This actually happens to be a true story.

Today the chain of fast food chicken restaurants has managed to grow to over 700 stores. And they even still operate a small Dwarf House chain in the AtlantaFree Web Content, Georgia area. In fact the original Dwarf House location is still open. This chain actually has an extra front door dwarf sized of course that children and some adults can use if they really want to.

One surprising note for the restaurant chain is that all of their locations are closed on Sunday's. This of course is almost unheard of in the fast food industry. But Cathy who is devoutly religious believes that Sunday's should be for church or at least should be spent with family.

Probably the most famous aspect of Chik-Fil-A has to be the cows. In their advertising they feature a couple of Holstein cows that typically hold signs that read "EAT MOR CHIKIN". These cows of course would prefer the public to eat more chicken thereby saving more cows. The cows are advertised nationally but also have many regional variations often being featured on billboards. The cows which were introduced in 1994 have since become the company's official mascots. They even have their own calendar that you can buy.

And so Chik-Fil-A and the Dwarf House were both born from a single idea that managed to change an industry at the same time. It was a simple thing really just a chicken sandwich. Today that might not seem like much but what an impact it has had. Every fast food chain in the country features them on their menus and so to do many sit down restaurant's. Sometimes all you need is one good idea to change an industry and build a business.

Article Tags: Dwarf House, Chicken Sandwich, Fast Food

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