Posted by: Bethany Davis | September 22, 2012

FRL / The Dolce

Bethany: Peachtree City (which must be pronounced with a thick southern drawl), is where Brian spent two weeks for FRL training. It’s a peculiar city. The first thing people typically comment about it is how everyone (or seemingly everyone) uses a golf cart to get around. The city is full of paved golf cart paths, and there is an even app to find them. So what did we do over the weekend Vera and I visited? You guessed it — we rode a golf cart around town!

The Dolce, where CFA had Brian staying, had golf carts ready for us to grab and go. We went to lunch at Mellow Mushroom and went to a couple of playgrounds. We weren’t sure what the golf cart etiquette was… do you slow down when another golf cart is coming toward you? pull over? say hello? nod? look to see whose golf cart is nicer?

We had a great time driving around, and just getting to spend time together. Being apart is no fun! Talking to a friend on Skype last night, she asked me what the most spontaneous thing was that we’ve done lately… I had to admit that there was one afternoon where I realized if I left in the next 30 minutes, Vera and I could make it for dinner with Brian and spend the night. So, we packed up and drove an hour to Peachtree City! Most of the other people in his FRL class are from out of state, so I was thankful that an impromptu trip like that was even possible.

Brian: The FRL (Fundamentals of Restaurant Leadership) training class is an amazing experiential learning course for new Chick-fil-A Operators and some new staff members. The course is four weeks for those without Interim Manager experience, and then two weeks for those who have had Interim Manager experience. It was a jam packed two weeks…we were typically leaving the Dolce at 6:45 am for Chick-fil-A’s corporate office, where we would have classes until 6 or 6:30 pm. About half the time we would also have night activities (at the Cathy family’s house / WinShape / team outings) so there was very little free time, but plenty of socializing time.

Signing Chick-fil-A’s Operator Agreement

My biggest take-aways? While the classes were loaded with useful information (employment law overview, selecting a team, transitioning into the restaurant, casting vision, role of the Operator, etc.), some of the best and most shaping times where opportunities to share our vision for our restaurants with the rest of the class. Chick-fil-A is a long-term relationship company and our vision must balance short term changes and goals with long term vision / end-vision goals as well. Tim Tassopoulos (VP of Operations) spoke to us one morning and shared this long term perspective–to plan for growth and invest on the front end of our time. This concept is true in business but also in life: there’s only so much we can trim on the bottom line–in business this means cutting costs and trimming labor to save money / in life this may look like working to avoid conflict, accidents, deaths, manage tensions–while the opportunity to grow the top line is exponential. I can grow my sales, create buzz, and ultimately strive for excellence around my Chick-fil-A all day long and create something truly remarkable. In the same way, we can be as intentional as we want with our lives. Relationships, time, money, your spouse, your kids…these are all opportunities for investment and the potential is unlimited if you can see it as such!

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