A local operator for Chick-fil-A was awarded the Symbol of Success, the restaurant's highest award given for successfully achieving aggressive sales goals over the previous year.
Chug Shafe, who operates the at 5455 Jimmy Carter Boulevard, was one of the 69 operators in the country to receive the award for 2011 sales. The award is given to those who have achieved at least a 17 percent sales increase.
"[The Jimmy Carter location] wasn't a high volume store, traditionally, and over the last three years, we really worked to grow the business and grow our customer base," said Shafe.
Shafe said he and his team members reached their sales goal by getting involved in the community, particularly with Saturday store events.
"Saturday was our slowest business day, traditionally, but now it's our busiest day of the week," he said.
One of the location's most successful events, he said, is a family costume party held the Saturday before Halloween. At the event, any kid who comes dressed in a costume gets a free kid's meal, with no purchase necessary. The store also has had face-painting and moonwalk events, too.
As part of the award, he was given the choice to select one of the 13 Ford models to drive for a year. Now with a set of Ford Edge keys in his hand, Shafe said he's given the title to the car if he is awarded the Symbol of Success a second consecutive year.
With more than 1,600 Chick-fil-A stores, it's hard to tell what the store's chances are of winning for 2012 sales. But with what it's accomplished so far and the direction and mindset Shafe and his team has, it seems very plausible.
"I think traditionally people have looked at our area as a place where nothing happens," Shafe said, referring to unincorporated Norcross. "For me, there's so much potential in this area, and I feel like we're really just scratching the surface with what we can accomplish here."
Shafe has been working for Chick-fil-A since 1991 as a teen member and was promoted to being an operator in 1999. He's been with the Jimmy Carter location for three-and-a-half years.