One of Atlanta’s best kept secrets is the Chik-fil-A® Home Office Backstage Tour. Having had the pleasure of the tour recently, I’d like to share why you should make plans now.
Employees and visitors are greeted by this gorgeous waterfall just outside of the home offices front doors. You know you’re about to enter a facility where people take pride not only in their work but in their work place.
My best friend, Renee and I were treated to a Home Office Back Stage Tour as a result of her membership in the A-list Club at Chik-fil-a. We began our day by being treated to breakfast before boarding a luxury charter bus for the hour and a half ride to Atlanta. We were on one of six charter buses of loyal patrons from the middle Georgia area.
Renee and I have been friends since 8th grade and let’s just say that’s been a little while ago. This was a great chance for us to get caught up with a whole bunch of talking during the ride up and back. The day she called and invited me to go, I had just finished having lunch at Chik-fil-a. It had to be a God thing, didn’t it!
There is some walking involved so wear comfortable shoes when you go. We visited three separate buildings. Don’t worry, the bus will transport you from one building to the next, there is more than 80 acres of property! All of the walking is inside each building.
We heard some juicy details from the folks who know about how research and development is carried out. We got to peek inside of their work rooms. I’ve never considered that somewhere, someone has tested and retested how long it takes for the lid to be placed onto the cup so your wait time is shortened at the register!
We got to peep into the test kitchens which are large and set up like a college biology lab. This kitchen has lots of cooking equipment along the walls on both ends. Those nice folks are pouring some of the famous Chik-fil-a lemonade which they brought to us to enjoy during our tour.
The Herb Garden wall is my favorite thing about this particular building. It’s located near the doors for natural light but also has grow lights affixed. Those fresh herbs are used in the test kitchens. I wouldn’t mind having a scaled down version in my home!
On to the next building which seems round on the inside but Renee and I were talking so much, I didn’t notice the outside. The center of the building is offices and large group meeting spaces.
Our tour guide was awesome in every way . She was loaded with tidbits of facts to share with us about Chik-fil-a and it’s founder, Truett Cathy.
One of the best things about Chik-fil-a is the awesome customer service you receive on each and every visit. We stopped at this wall to learn about how they promote hospitality and service.
Don’t you wish all restaurants promoted going the extra mile with customer service!
The employee dining area is sleek and cozy. All employees at the home offices are treated to lunch! On the other side of the idea board is their kitchen area and some lunch choices.
There is a full size restaurant set up in this building, two of them actually because there are two different designs. These spaces are also used for training and research and development.
We ended the day back in the same building where we began which is the one with the business offices and that gorgeous waterfall out front.
Now if you’re wondering what antique cars have to do with Chik-fil-a, I’ll tell you. They were collected by Truett Cathy. He didn’t begin his antique car collection until he was in his 70’s. He lived to be 93. The business office building has quite a few museum type collectibles which are fun to see. It was my favorite building on the tour.
This particular Batmobile was one of three used in the “Batman Returns” movie of 1992.
Truett Cathy’s office affectionately referred to as The Tree House because of the wall of windows facing the trees, remains the same as he left it and is now one of the stops on the tour. He often welcomed visitors into his office for a visit. The Coke wagon in front of the desk represents Truett’s first job selling Coke’s out of a wagon as a young boy.
The business office building is five stories high with this gorgeous spiral stair case or the glass front elevator as your choices for transport to every floor. The tour will take you to the first and fifth floors only.
After touring the third building, we were treated to a lunch buffet of pizza and salad. Following lunch our retired and current service men and women were recognized and presented with a commemorative coin. We all received several gifts inside of a shoulder bag placed on the backs of our chairs. As we were departing for the day, we were also given reusable shopping bags at the door.
When we first arrived in the morning, we were greeted by employees ringing cow bells to usher us in. As we departed, we were surprised by lots of employees ringing cow bells. There were two receiving lines at the doors of employees shaking our hands and giving us hugs. Now you may recall, there was a large crowd, six buses of folks, so that exit line moved pretty fast, I wish my video was more than 8 seconds for you to enjoy. You’ll just have to go take the tour and experience it for yourself! It was so awesome. We came in smiling and we departed smiling.
Find out how to plan your Chik-fil-a® Home Office Back Stage Tour the next time you are in the Atlanta area.
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