Be Intentional Where You Can

Dan Cathy is hosting some Chick-fil-A people at his home this month that I have been covering. Each evening, there is a call time for the vendors and staff working the event. The call time is very similar to how hotel staff has a meeting before a big event where they go over the expectations for the evening.

The vendors are all the restaurants located at Trilith Studios.

Trilith Studios is one of North America’s largest purpose-built movie studios, emphasizing world-class facilities, state-of-the-art technology, and premium content. It is home to blockbuster films and independent shows like Avengers: Endgame, Zombieland: Double Tap, WandaVision, The Suicide Squad, and Moon and Me. Set across 700+ acres, Trilith Studios has more than one million square feet of production facilities, including a first-of-its-kind virtual LED stage that offers the highest quality production values in the industry, 24 premium sound stages, construction workshops, costume shops, virtual production technologies, and an extensive 400-acre backlot.

Trilith is also the name of the master development featuring custom homes and micro-villages, chef-driven restaurants, and schools targeted at those in the film and creative industries.

Dan is taking the opportunity to pass along some of the hospitality secrets that have made Chick-fil-A successful at each call.


Chick-fil-A isn’t so secret about most of its leadership secrets. So Chick-fil-A had Mark Miller, vice president of training and development, and Ken Blanchard write a book you can buy called The Secret: What Great Leaders Know–And Do.

Since Dan is hosting multiple groups with the same vendors, he decided to teach them the acronym Chick-fil-A uses for SERVE in the book.

  • See The Future
  • Engage And Develop Others
  • Reinvent Continuously
  • Value Results And Relationships
  • Embody The Values

Dan has been doing this throughout his career. He was creating structures to foster leadership and high-performance teams.

We walked along from his meeting with the vendors to a meeting with his staff. During that short walk, I told him I thought it was great that he was helping these new restaurant entrepreneurs with hospitality lessons that they might have never had an opportunity to learn about hospitality before now. Dan smiled at me and said that was precisely why he was doing this for them.

Dan is here with the restaurant vendors around him and in front of some of the Chick-fil-A Operator [Franchise] at his home.

Dan realized that not everyone has the same opportunities. Dan commented that some may not have had but one parent or none to raise them. His dad Truett had started many foster care homes that are still running today.

If you are lucky like Dan and I have been, you have had people care enough for you to teach you some hospitality lessons. Maybe you have had teachers, coaches, and friends who have poured into you and taught you many other incredible life lessons that have made you a better person.

Maybe like me, you have also had some deficits in areas of your life. I didn’t know how much I was on the Autism spectrum until my 30s.

Once I knew I lacked some knowledge, I found as many books on Autism, especially Asperger’s Syndrome, as I could.

Another hospitality tip from Dan Cathy is to Surprise & Delight your guests. Dan surprised his guests with free rides in a hot air balloon.

Maybe you are aware that you a lacking in something to make your business or even family life better than it is now.

I want to remind you what the R stands for in SERVE for Chick-fil-A. Reinvent Continuously is their mindset.

“1% Better Every Day”

Few words can better describe Chris Nikic’s mindset. He is the first person with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman triathlon, and despite all the obstacles life has thrown his way, he is never deterred from his trajectory in pursuing his passion. His mentality and resilience are unmatched, and we know there is a lot to learn from true passion chasers like Chris. We are proud to support him in his continued mission to inspire and achieve greatness and look forward to standing by his side for every swim, cycle, and run along the way.