Increasing Retention at Chick-Fil-A: An Analysis of Failed Retention within the Fast Food Industry
Gresham, LaQuita C
This project involved a partnership with the Chick-Fil-A located in Gulfport, MS. The leadership team aimed to achieve a retention rate of about 70% within a course of three years. The purpose of this project was to analyze retention and failed retention at this Chick-Fil-A in order to offer recommendations for proactive retention strategies. The design approach was heavily qualitative rooted in the job embeddedness theory and involved a survey, two focus groups, and individual interviews with all directors. The data revealed that the particular embedded factors that most contributed to the retention of 16-18 year old employees were the personal connections made between employees on the job, gained financial independence, and transferable skills learned on the job. For those who were 19+, the factors that most contributed to their retention were the family-like environment that provided holistic emotional and mental support while allowing them to gain professional skills and financial compensation. In contrast, the issues that most contributed to failed retention are the negative societal views most associated with working fast food jobs and/or a desire to pursue a different career, which was apparent for both groups. However, trends that were specific to those 19+ in age were a lack of clear pathways to advancement, inconsistency in systems, and a desire for a better benefits package.