Chick-fil-A Operator Builds a Team of High-Performers

The Situation

Chick-fil-A franchisee Nathan Buchanan had already been running a successful restaurant for five years when he decided to buy a larger franchise. But the higher volume franchise and larger team turned out to be more work than he’d bargained for, and soon he was floundering. He realized that if he wanted to run the business well, he needed to grow his ability to lead his team and manage the competing priorities in his work and life.

How South Florida operator Nathan Buchanan is developing his employees, achieving balance and multiplying his business

About Chick-fil-A

Nathan Buchanan has been a Chick-fil-A franchisee since 2003. Today, he owns and operates two Chick-fil-A franchises in South Florida.

Actions
  • Nathan contacted Building Champions and was matched with Executive Coach Raymond Gleason for Small Business Coaching. Since Coach Raymond had been a small business owner himself, his experience and personality were well-suited to what Nathan needed.
  • Coach Raymond worked with Nathan to help him develop a more authoritative leadership style with his team of 50 employees.
  • Nathan specified expectations for his team and evaluated talent accordingly. Coach Raymond guided him through difficult decisions to restructure his workforce.
  • Nathan drafted a Life Plan to identify top priorities in work and life. Coach Raymond’s thoughtful questions helped Nathan to think about his life from a different perspective and to evaluate what true success would look like as a husband, father, friend and CEO. Coach Raymond kept him accountable to managing the heavy priorities of balancing business ownership and family.
Impact
  • Nathan’s total business has grown from $2.7 million to almost $8 million in a 5-year span.
  • By setting specific expectations for his employees and holding them accountable, Nathan built a team of high-performers and fostered a positive work environment.
  • Getting his work relationships in order freed Nathan up to devote more energy to his wife and children. He spends time with his kids doing activities they enjoy and makes sure his wife knows that she always comes before his work.
  • With a more profitable business, Nathan enjoys the ability to be more generous with his finances and support his community without worrying about how it will affect his bottom line.

“Everybody knows what they should do with their life. But very few people follow through with what they know they should do with their life. That’s really what an executive coach has helped me to do.”

- Nathan Buchanan, Operator, Chick-fil-A


"My business has been transformed — but the change was in me. Working with my coach, I've been able to clarify, simplify, and prioritize my life." 

- Nathan Buchanan, Operator, Chick-fil-A

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