A Chick-fil-A Operator’s Perspective

by Sarah Beth McCloud


With more than 40 years of Chick-fil-A experience under his belt, Operator Gary Soriano had set up his Restaurant to become a bit of a well-oiled machine. It was successful and profitable, and there weren’t any major issues that threatened to block a path to future success.

But Gary knew his leadership team well – as good business owners do – and he sensed they weren’t connecting as deeply as he knew they could. He saw an opportunity to take his leaders to the next level by developing them in a new way, so he started looking for credible options.


Over the course of his career, Gary had been exposed to several experiences with WinShape ministries, so when he found himself in the middle of a search for development options, he began to wonder if WinShape Teams could help.

Gary knew that WinShape Teams had a passion for developing strong, healthy and fulfilling teams through non-traditional methods. He also knew enough about their immersive experiences to know that his leaders would walk away with specific, immediate applications to take back to the Restaurant.

He was sold.

Through a series of challenges paired with a DiSC assessment workshop, WinShape Teams helped Gary’s leaders begin the process of becoming stronger, healthier and more fulfilled. By shining a light on each individual, Gary says the experience helped the team foster a better appreciation for each other. It also equipped them to know how to talk to one another and give each other feedback more openly.

For Gary, one of the most significant moments was watching them begin to talk almost collectively about people development.

“One thing I learned was how much our leadership team wanted to communicate, wanted to trust one another more,” he said, “but they just didn’t know how to get there.”

With WinShape Teams’ help, they found their way. Gary’s team had finally been given a platform to help them connect, build trust and establish healthy communication. Because of that, they were able to align themselves as they arrived at the collective importance of developing others.

Following their experience with WinShape Teams, Gary’s leaders began communicating effectively in the Restaurant and relating to each other on levels they hadn’t previously. This model has since trickled down to Team Members, creating a new culture of trust and honesty among Gary’s entire team.

But even beyond the communication and camaraderie was the direct impact on the Restaurant that naturally followed. In just two months after taking his leaders through the WinShape Teams experience, Gary saw an improved level of performance, a higher rate of sales growth and increased profitability.

“I think every business out there is looking for ways to foster growth among their leadership and leadership teams, and WinShape Teams is the perfect choice for that,” Gary says.


“You come out of that with a new understanding of who you are, who your team is and how you can best work together. It was money well invested.”

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