: Managing and Safely Transporting 1,000 VIPs Using Social Tables

The 2014 Chick-fil-A Operator’s Seminar brought the company’s 4,000 restaurant operators to Orlando for a three-day, family reunion-style conference packed with leadership training, employee development, and camaraderie.

Jack Lowe, the Senior Events Consultant for Chick-fil-A, was determined to provide the operators and their spouses with the same ‘Second-Mile Service” that they afford their customers each day, and wanted this white-glove service to begin the moment their guests landed.

The arrival plan was tricky: coaches would transport each operator to their hotel, where they would be met by their business consultant (a Chick-fil-A employee who works directly with the operator throughout the year), who would hand them their hotel key and conference materials, and introduce them to their personal concierge. The concierge would show the operator to their room, and encourage them to relax until the opening session. This level of efficiency and personalization would be unprecedented. Now, Lowe’s team needed to figure out how to make it happen.

To achieve this hospitality challenge, Chick-fil-A turned to Social Tables.

While Chick-fil-A had the flight manifest for each operator (corporate books each individual ticket), there was a communications hurdle: How would the staff at the airport translate that John Smith was departing Orlando International on Bus 1, to ensure that he was greeted curbside by his designated business consultant and concierge at their hotel? To achieve this hospitality challenge, Chick-fil-A turned to Social Tables.

Lowe was familiar with the software, and knew he would able to create a “bus” by dropping a 55-seat table on a Social Tables diagram. Then, using the list of operators that were uploaded into the Social Tables guest list, when Operator John Smith checked in at the Chick-fil-A airport arrival kiosk, the staff member would simply drag and drop his name into a seat. Once the bus full, the airport staff member would call their Chick-fil-A contact at the hotel to relay, “Bus 1 for the Marriott has departed.” The hotel contact would then pull up Social Tables to identify the 55 operators who had boarded “Bus 1”. At this time, the passenger’s hotel key & credential were pulled and distributed to their respective business consultant, who, alongside a personal concierge, would head to the hotel arrival bay to greet Mr. Smith as he exited the bus.

Thanks to the creativity of Mr. Lowe and his team, and their collaboration with Social Tables, the 2014 Chick-fil-A Operator’s Seminar arrival program was a remarkable success. The effort proved a powerful display of the appreciation the company has for its operational leaders, and the staff at Social Tables are proud to have played a part in making their experience extraordinary

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