KFC and Chick-fil-A

Ever thought it was too late in your life to start over? I want to tell you two stories.

The story of Colonel Sanders’ “recipe” for Kentucky Fried Chicken is one of those stories you just need to hear. He owned a little restaurant in Corbin, KY, and sold his fried chicken. He was, by all accounts, a very average man, and he had very little financial influence. He heard about the franchising concept, studied it, and wondered if his simple chicken recipe was something he could build on. He was 62 years old when he started. He sold his first franchise in Utah when he was 62 years old, and that is what started the KFC company.  It’s never too late to reach for a new dream and start a new beginning.

While the KFC story is compelling, the Truett Cathy story is one of the greatest of all time. Truett had a local restaurant called the Dwarf Grill south of Atlanta. The Dwarf Grill did ok for a living, and he was considered to be a successful business man. When Truett was 46 years old, he decided to expand beyond the Dwarf Grill and open a restaurant in a mall. The first Chick-fil-A store opened in Greenbrier Mall in 1967. Truett was 46 years old at the time and probably risked his financial future on the idea. They did very well with mall stores across the country during the ’70s and ’80s, but their objective was always to develop the brand and have fee simple free standing stores that they owned. They began to grow Chick-fil-A in the early ’90s with stores like we see today. So, if Truett was 46 when they opened the first mall location, he was well into his 70s when they began to grow the company into how we know it today. Today, Truett is 92 and was still working until several years ago. The idea of retirement never crossed his mind, and the idea of him being too old never crossed his mind. If he had stopped because he was too old, there would be countless families, children, and college students that would have never been touched by this man and his enormous generosity. When the Lord takes Truett home, there will not be enough hotel rooms in Georgia to take care of the people who will come to his going home celebration. What a great example.

So, it’s never too late to start over, and it’s never too late to begin to be who you are supposed to be. KT

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