First of all, I want to shoutout all of my fellow CFA workers for sticking through it for however long you worked there. Second of all, this is dedicated to the three years I spent working not only in the fast-food industry, if you can even count CFA in that category but also one of the most popular franchises in the South. Every time I find another past CFA employee we always bond over similar events and stories we gained from the experience. This is me sharing my highs and lows as a former CFA worker.
One thing you may be wondering about is how we are so upbeat and nice all the time. Is it really our pleasure to serve you? If you are a considerate “guest” then yes of course. It is really only a pleasure to serve nice customers. The bad customers, you know who you are. You ask for ten packets of Chick-fil-a sauce even if you only ordered one sandwich, you come into the store five minutes before closing, you ask for coleslaw even though CFA got rid of it three years ago, you order ten milkshakes through the drive-thru window during rush hour and you yell at the 15-year olds when they make a mistake on your order.
Courtesy: The Chicken Wire
There are times where I know I made mistakes for orders and they have haunted me to this day. For example, one woman came through the drive-thru during rush hour. I handed her her food and she asked me if this was all of it twice and after hearing my co-worker say yes, I confirmed without looking in the bag that yes that was all. This woman had clearly been burned by the CFA drive-thru before and I sent her on her way. Turns out I misheard my CFA co-worker which lead to me sprinting out the door to catch the car and give her the rest of her food. Needless to say, I did not catch the car and now I live with regret.
Running out of things was the bane of my existence. Having to tell a guest over a headset that we were out of CFA sauce usually sent them racing off into the sunset without continuing their order. My store ran out of everything at least once. We ran out of coke, ice cream, cups and even french fries. It was the worst telling every single guest that we were out of something like this and having them look back at us incredulously.
One of the best parts of being a CFA employee was knowing the secret menu items. Every store has different ones that they will make if the customer knows to ask for it. My store had an apple pie milkshake and something dubbed the ‘manwhich’ which is the biggest sandwich you could possibly order and comes out to a total of ten dollars. Did you know that CFA sells half-gallon ice cream cups? Neither did I, until I started working there.
There is nothing worse than working through the following days: Kid’s Night, Cow Appreciation Day and any holiday. I used to work on Kid’s Night and it was always the busiest night of the week. Cow Appreciation Day is terrifying because people will do almost anything for free food. I worked there at least once for every holiday including Labor Day, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, 4th of July and Black Friday. Let me tell you, unless you meet your significant other at CFA then you should not be taking your significant other there on Valentine’s Day.
Courtesy: My Savings
CFA takes its customer service and employee’s needs very seriously. As an employee, I did not get discounts but instead a free meal for every shift I worked. Saying “my pleasure” after being thanked was actually not something that was enforced during my training; you just know subconsciously that it’s what you are supposed to say. That being said, I can no longer ever say “you’re welcome” when someone thanks me. I would have to hold myself back from saying “my pleasure” in public, which resulted in saying “no problem.” I have not said “you’re welcome” in years.
After looking back at my first job, I can say that I am very thankful for what it has taught me and the wonderful friends I gained from the experience. There were definitely times where I wanted to jump out the drive-thru window but all of my co-workers, managers and yes, the food made it worth it.