The Athens Chick-fil-A Propel Leadership Development Program

selects candidates who have a solid foundation of strong self-awareness, Chick-fil-A Core Values and a deep understanding of the Chick-fil-A business from which we build the best and brightest culture of leadership development for tomorrow’s Chick-fil-A restaurants. We firmly believe in learning to lead yourself before learning to lead others and learning to lead others before learning to lead our business. We want to help you do that.


When selecting candidates to join our Propel Leadership Development Program, we seek candidates with the following prerequisites and qualities:

  • Four-year college degree
  • Two years of leadership experience in work or school
  • Ability and willingness to commit 2-3 years of employment and development to our organization
  • Strong leadership ability and a commitment to growth and development of self
  • Self-starter with ability to work independently and on multiple initiatives at the same time
  • Demonstrates the importance of Chick-fil-A’s mission (To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive impact on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A) and carries out the Athens Chick-fil-A Core Values (Positive Attitude, Hustle, Continuous Improvement, Have Fun & Stewardship)

As a candidate in the Propel Leadership Development Program, what will I do?

Depending on your experience and skill level, you will be placed in an operational leadership position in our store. During your time with our organization, we will ensure that you receive training and opportunities to learn and lead a variety of roles, responsibilities, and positions. There is no pre-determined “timeline” for this process as movement in our organization depends on our organization’s needs AND your skill level, desire, and capacity for growth. Candidates are challenged but not overwhelmed and receive regular feedback and coaching from General Managers, Director of Operations and multi-unit Operator, Shane Todd. Candidates learn real operational and leadership skills in a fast-paced, hands-on environment. As a candidate in our Leadership Development Program, you are held accountable alongside our long-term leaders for ensuring that our organization continues to grow and function at the highest level possible while being coached and praised for our stores’ successes.
While the majority of your development and growth will come in the form of real-life experience managing our store and leading our team, you will receive additional leadership development. This development includes but is not limited to:
  • Monthly Core Leadership Meetings & Store Meetings
  • Quarterly/bi-annual book assignments as a Core Leader
  • Chick-fil-A, Inc. Support Center Visits
  • Off-site retreats
  • Visit other Chick-fil-A stores to learn how other organizations operate
  • Quarterly one-on-one coaching sessions with three-unit Operator Shane Todd to track your progress, discuss ways to enhance your Chick-fil-A experience, and focus on personal & professional development
  • Quarterly group development sessions led by Shane Todd with other Propel leaders
  • Attendance to 1-2 conferences led by Chick-fil-A or other leadership organizations
  • Mentor developing leaders
  • Attend Chick-fil-A Grand Openings
  • Personal development plan including developing a personal playbook & quarterly progress meetings & professional coaching with Director of People & Organizational Development
  • Join a Toastmaster group
  • Personal finance enrichment through Dave Ramsey class or similar
  • ServSafe Certification (if applicable)
  • Access to StrengthsFinder 2.0 Assessment
  • One week paid vacation in first year
  • Build a professional portfolio
  • Interview coaching & exposure to Chick-fil-A, Inc. Human Resources department based on readiness
The Propel Leadership Development Program sets you up to learn everything you need to know and more as a future Operator or Support Center Staff Member. During your time in our organization you can expect to gain full understanding of the following skills & attributes:
  • Team Member Foundation phase
  • Importance of daily huddles and communication
  • Creation and execution of set-ups and checklists (if not already mastered)
  • Identify and solve real problems
  • Lead your team through actions and ENSUREing
  • Basics of running a $1 million+ catering business
  • Balance our Strategic Anchors of Customer Experience, Team Member Experience and Business Results
  • Food safety and quality assurance as determined by CFA, Inc.
  • Run an effective meeting
  • Track and improve CEM scores
  • Interpersonal relationship skills
  • Develop emerging leaders
  • Business analysis and acumen through monthly business meetings reviewing the FCR with Operator, Director of Operations and GMs
  • Identify, recruit and train new talent
  • InForm
  • Manage and measure work/delegation
  • Drive for results
  • Think quickly and strategically on your feet
  • Foster innovation
  • Provide current, direct, complete, and actionable positive and corrective feedback to others

Wow, that’s a lot! Is it really possible to learn ALL of that in such little time?

We have found that the best leadership development takes place IN the store under strong and effective leadership. We are proud to have more than 30 Athens Chick-fil-A alumni working for Chick-fil-A, Inc. as Operators and Support Center staff over the past 20 years. We know we have high expectations, but it’s only because we believe in being the best we can be. With our guidance and experience training Chick-fil-A leaders and with your drive, determination and open mind, we can help you reach your goals.

Anything else I should know?

There’s a long line of outstanding Athens Chick-fil-A alumni who have come before you. Here’s a peek at who has been part of our organization and development throughout the years:

MeriBeth McNeill

Cordele FSU and
Georgia Southwestern State University

2015 Symbol of Success Winner
2015 Champions Club


John Millender

Midlothian FSU

2015 Symbol of Success Winner
2015 Champions Club


Keri Patrick
Chick-fil-A, Inc.

Restaurant Marketing Leadership

Haley Shue
Chick-fil-A, Inc.

Integrated Creative

Andrew German
Chick-fil-A, Inc.

Leadership Development Program

Brent Patrick
Chick-fil-A, Inc.

Sr. Interim Manager

Michael Clarke
Chick-fil-A, Inc.

Sr. Interim Manager

Aaron Clark
Chick-fil-A, Inc.

Grand Opening Supervisor

Chris Liberatore

Cleveland, GA

Daniel Liberatore

Blairsville, GA

Annesley Mosely
Chick-fil-A, Inc.

Corporate Communications

Michelle Roberts
Chick-fil-A, Inc.

Innovation & New Ventures

John Velarde

Whitehall FSU

2015 Symbol of Success
2008 Symbol of Success
2007 Symbol of Success


Danny Goepp

Novato FSU

Nick Jones

Vicksburg FSU &
Jackson State University

Landon Bentley
Chick-fil-A, Inc.

Sr. Interim Manager

Will Mott
Chick-fil-A, Inc.

Food Safety (TOD)

Ryan Swinford
Chick-fil-A, Inc.

Tests & Rollouts

Hannah Webb
Chick-fil-A, Inc.

Sr. Consultant,
Customer Digital Experience

Ashleigh Nicoletti
Chick-fil-A, Inc.

Field Operations Consultant

Peter Zimmermann

Winston Salem
State University &
Peters Creek FSU

2016, 2015 & 2012
Symbol of Success Winner
2007 Rookies of the Year


Matt Hughes

Sports Arena FSU

2017 Symbol of Success
2017 Champions Club
2016 Champions Club
2015 Symbol of Success
2015 Champions Club

Interested in applying to
Chick-fil-A? Join the legacy!
Email our Director of People
to learn more. Use the link
below to submit your application.