Miami, FL

Chick-fil-A operator introduces 3-day workweek resulting in 100% employee retention

B.R. Shenoy
Chick-fil-AB.R. Shenoy

“Some are bragging they’re making more money than they’ve ever dreamed of making, just kind of doing side gigs in addition to the restaurant…We have one who went to Scotland twice—his family’s in Scotland—and he still has his PTO available,” Chick-fil-A franchisee Justin Lindsey said in an interview with Inc.

Miami Chick-fil-A franchise owner Justin Lindsey noticed how tired his employees were and decided to try something different to improve their quality of life. Lindsey thought increasing paid time off (PTO) or employee benefits would be insufficient, so he devised a three-day workweek, according to QSR Magazine.

Per Fortune:

“Instead of spreading their hours across the usual period, employees were given the option to cram their full-time hours into three days, working 13- to 14-hour shifts. Lindsey split staff into two groups with some working Monday to Wednesday for two weeks, and the others working Thursday to Saturday for two weeks (Chick-fil-A is closed on Sundays), before swapping over.”

Since the store started experimenting with a shorter workweek in February, Lindsey has reported 100% retention at the management level, with 18 store leaders and 20 front-line staff members divided into two groups, or pods. The program has resonated in other ways as well, besides this one.

Here is an excerpt from Today:

“Obviously, there’s a downside to the schedule: Working from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. — serving breakfast, lunch and dinner — isn’t easy. Still, Lindsey is lax when it comes to breaks. His team can choose from taking 15-minute breaks or 30-minute breaks, and they can take as many as they want, whenever they want.”

With the three-day structure mentioned in the headline, Lindsey recently posted a job opening and received an astounding 420 applications.

It will be interesting to see if other Chick-fil-A locations take the experiment's apparent success as motivation to institute their own condensed workweeks.

Closing Thoughts

According to The Takeout:

"But the biggest boon from this experiment, one that might make it more widely used in all restaurants, is the bottom line. We all know that as much as businesses claim to look out for their employees' well-being it's still all about making money. And good news for all involved, because this Chick-fil-A is on track to be one of the top earning locations in the franchise—average annual sales for a single location of the chain are around $8.4 million and Lindsey's location is set to bring in $17 million by the end of the year. Fast food chains of America, take note."

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments.

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