Changes in Chick-Fil-A on 33rd impact students
Photo by: Riley Depasse
To many students at Oklahoma Christian University, Chick-fil-A at Edmond Crossing is a regular go-to destination for any meal. This restaurant recently underwent a major change by switching ownership.
Mac McMurry left his previous Chick-fil-A at Quail Springs Mall and moved to the Edmond Crossing location on April 1.
McMurry is no stranger to the Chick-fil-A working environment.
“I started at Chick-fil-A in 1995 as a team member in Tulsa,” McMurry said. “I worked there for three years, and I really enjoyed my time there, but I was never originally planning on a career in fast food. After leaving the store in Tulsa, I decided to go back to Chick-fil-A because I liked the people I worked with and the environment.”
The current owner of the Chick-fil-A at Edmond Crossing moved to Edmond in 2009 and began working with the Chick-fil-A at Quail Springs Mall.
“When I moved to the Chick-fil-A on Edmond Crossing, everyone thought I was joking since it was April Fool’s Day,” McMurry said.
Since making the transition two weeks ago, McMurry is still trying to learn the ins and outs of his new work environment.
“Really there shouldn’t be much change,” McMurry said. “I’m just trying to learn from everyone there. The owner that just left did a wonderful job, and I am trying to build on what he did and also make small improvements.”
An employee of Chick-fil-A and a senior at Oklahoma Christian, Amanda Powers, said she thinks the new owner is off to a good start.
“Our new owner interacts more with our customers than our managers right now,” Powers said. “I feel like he is still trying to get his foot in the door and figure things out. Right now he is more people oriented, which is good.”
Senior and Chick-fil-A employee Brad Grow said he likes the new owner.
“Mack’s a really great owner,” Grow said. “He is just a really nice guy and really open to change. It has actually been a really easy transition.”
McMurry said he enjoys what the store is doing now and is excited to build on those things.
“We have a great partnership with Oklahoma Christian, and I decided to keep that going,” McMurry said. “We also have a real investment in the community, and I want to continue to be very involved with the community.”
The restaurant’s previous owner transferred to a Chick-fil-A located in Austin, Texas.
“Cliff was originally from Austin, so it was a great opportunity for him,” McMurry said. “He loved this area, but Austin is where he is from.”
With the change in ownership came an adjustment in staff as well.
“Cliff took a couple of the workers with him to Austin,” McMurry said. “Their loyalty was with Cliff, and so we lost some upper leadership.”
Powers commented on workers who chose to follow the old owner.
“He took two [employees] with him, and they were ones that brought a lot of energy to the store, so it was kind of sad seeing them leave,” Powers said. “It’s a little weird with them being gone.”
With the old managers transferring to the new store, Grow said it can be a little challenging at times.
“That was different because now most of our management staff is new,” Grow said. “It was hard because now they are supposed to run the store, but it’s a little difficult since they’re new. It hasn’t changed a lot of the day-to-day operations because we know our system and how things work, so we just do that. But I do miss the workers that left.”
Since a few workers left, McMurry was able to bring some of his workers from the Quail Springs location with him.
“There are a lot of new people,” Grow said. “They are really good at not like, turning it into their store. They are good about asking us how we have been running it and wanting to stick with how we do things.”
The old and new staff had a chance to get acquainted with each other following the change in ownership.
“We had a couple of events where the new owner and the people he brought with him came in so we could meet them and get to know them rather than just being thrown in the workplace with all of us,” Powers said. “So we kind of already knew them as they were coming in because of that,” Powers said. “They do things a little different, and so I guess we are just trying to figure out the balance. It hasn’t been too bad at all.”
McMurry said he enjoys being a part of the Edmond community.
“When we moved down here three years ago, I didn’t have any previous exposure to Oklahoma City,” McMurry said. “I just fell in love with the people here. It is a very supportive community and everyone is very supportive of each other. Edmond has a great small-town feeling.”