The Real Reason Chick-fil-A Employees Say “My Pleasure”

When you say "thank you" to your Chick-Fil-A server, you won't hear "you're welcome." Expect something even better!

Chick-fil-A restaurant exterior.Shutterstock / Ken Wolter

If you’ve ever been to Chick-fil-A, and there’s a good chance you have—even if you prefer Hawaiian food—you probably noticed that when customers say “thank you,” employees say “my pleasure.” Since “you’re welcome” has always been my go-to response, I had to know more!

How it became store Chick-fil-A culture

Legend says the chain’s founder, Truett Cathy, got the idea while staying at the Ritz Carlton. When he said “thank you” to a hotel employee, the employee replied, “my pleasure.” Cathy thought those two small words made the Ritz Carlton stand apart as a luxury establishment. He wanted to bring that feel to his own restaurants, and the rest is history!

Though there’s nothing in the official Chick-fil-A employee training on saying “my pleasure,” according to a Reddit user who works there, it’s still an important part of the company culture. “‘You’re welcome’ seems too indifferent, and we’re told to use elevated language,” the employee says.

It represents going the extra mile

Is there business sense behind “my pleasure?” Absolutely! Chick-fil-A is known for taking customer service that extra “mile,” according to Kristen Hunter, a marketing consultant for the restaurant chain. “The first mile is the foundation—good customer service, hot food hot, cold food cold. The second mile is what we do that’s remarkable,” she says in an interview. (Here’s why the same rule of thumb works for hosting a party.) In the case of “my pleasure,” the subtle change in the expected lingo sends a unique message to customers, adding an element of extra care.

In fact, using the word “pleasure” at all in a customer interaction is a brilliant tactic for making customers happy, according to CBS Moneywatch’s Michael Hess in his article, “The 6 Best Words in Customer Service.”

The customers eat it up!

I know people love Chick-fil-A, and not only because the waffle fries are amazing. We’re happy to report that many customers are absolutely delighted to hear “my pleasure” in lieu of “you’re welcome.” (I’m one of ’em!)

You can re-create the Chick-fil-A experience at home with our Spicy Chicken Nuggets, a spicy copycat recipe for nuggets. When people thank you for the treat, don’t forget to say, “My pleasure!”

Speaking of fast food, here’s how eight popular restaurants—including Chick-fil-A—got their names.

Lauren Cahn
Lauren Cahn is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared regularly in The Huffington Post as well as a variety of other publications since 2008 on such topics as life and style, popular culture, law, religion, health, fitness, yoga, entertaining and entertainment. She is also a writer of crime fiction; her first full-length manuscript, The Trust Game, was short-listed for the 2017 CLUE Award for emerging talent in the genre of suspense fiction.