Brittney Lofthouse Contributing Writer
Caleb Peters has worked for the Chick-Fil-A franchise since he was 14 years old. He started as a team member and worked his way up the ladder until finally becoming the owner of the soon-to-open Franklin location.
Citing the company’s commitment to success and unwavering values, Peters said building a career within the Chick-Fil-A corporation was an easy decision.
“The company has entire teams dedicated to helping individual restaurant owners succeed and to ensuring positive customer experiences,” said Peters. “They provide incredible support and guidance within the brand, while also encouraging and supporting you as an individual owner.”
Peters and his family moved to Macon County to serve as the owners of Franklin’s Chick-Fil-A restaurant, which is located at the base of Dowdle Mountain Road. They live in the Cartoogechaye Community and said that their commitment to Macon County goes beyond business owners.
“This is now our home,” he said. “We are touring my daughter’s daycare this week and are excited to explore the area. While Chick-Fil-A is a national brand, each individual store is very much individually owned. This is my family’s business, this is now our home. We are in this for the long haul.”
Peters said that is one of the biggest differences in the Chick-Fil-A brand compared to other fast food franchises. While other fast food restaurants have one person who can own dozens of restaurants, Chick-Fil-A is individual, where the owner lives and works in the community.
“Even though I am the owner, I will very much be here day-to-day,” he said while sitting in the dining room, which is slated to open on Monday, Jan. 13. “If there is something wrong, I can’t fix it if I am not here to see the problem myself. I may not be working the fryer every day, but I want to be here and ensure our customers are happy and that we are successful.”
Chick-Fil-A received an influx of more than 300 applications for the new store and currently has just over 90 employees ready to begin training in the 5,000 square foot facility this week. Peters said that they expect there to be some attrition. In his experience managing other stores, he said that is likely to be about 10 to 15 percent after the store opens, however, he is confident the store has additional applicants to fill those expected vacancies.
One of the most highly anticipated aspects of the new restaurant, aside from the restaurant itself, is the indoor playground. With the flooring scheduled to be completed on Wednesday, Peters said the playground may need some finishing touches before it is open to the public, but the goal is for both the playground and the inside dining room to be open fully to the public in conjunction with its the grand opening.
“We knew coming into this that the community really wanted to see an indoor play place,” said Peters. “Corporate ultimately left it up to me whether or not I wanted to keep it, and with a 3-year-old myself, it was definitely something we wanted to prioritize for the community.”
Peters won’t be alone for the grand opening. Corporate sends a team of specialists specifically to aid in the grand opening process.
“We also have about 30 team members from other stores who will be here to ensure everything runs smoothly,” said Peters.
Macon County Sheriff’s Office Patrol is aware that traffic congestion will be a concern for the first few days and that they are working with Peters to ensure things operate smoothly and safely.
Peters said they have entire team members dedicated to the traffic flow and will have a mile signage to help patrons. The restaurant’s drive thru has the capacity to hold 40 cars, with wrap-around parking and an entrance on Siler Road.