"Look, running a restaurant is a tough job," said Jodee Morgan, senior director of culture and talent operations for Chick-fil-A. Based in Atlanta (where the company is headquartered), she speaks in a delightful Southern twang and puts a long, heartfelt emphasis on words like "tough," like an empathetic grade-school teacher talking to a kid with a scabbed knee. "When Truett Cathy started his first restaurant (called Dwarf Grill), it was a 24-hour business. He would sleep next to the grill and jump up when he heard cars pulling up -- the gravel driveway was his alarm clock."
During one of his all-nighters lying on the kitchen floor and using his arm as a pillow, Cathy decided that his own employees -- including himself -- needed a guaranteed day off every weekend, lest they lose their chicken-slingin' minds.
"It's really about getting that work-life balance right. And that was so important then, and is still probably even more important now in the way the Cathy family continues to run their business," Morgan said. "And even if you aren't open 24/7, running a business is still a 24/7 job."