Principle Over Profits For Chick-fil-A

Some days on the calendar feel more special – just matter more. Thanksgiving is one... and Sunday used to be another. In fact, Sunday was the original Thanksgiving. But with work weeks expanding, Sunday has become the new Monday.

Not at Chick-fil-A, reports CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann. The fast-food restaurant's hungry for your business but only six days a week – Monday through Saturday.

And it's been that way ever since Truitt Cathy founded the chain 60 years ago.

How much has the menu changed over the years?

"Hamburgers were selling at fifteen cents," Cathy says.

Prices have changed but never Cathy's approach to Sundays. "We should ask ourselves what's important, what's not important. And when you live to your convictions, people respect that," he says.

To Cathy, Sundays are about something more than just making money.

Come Sundays, many fast-food restaurants do a brisk business, maybe 20 percent of an average week. But to Chick-fil-A, the issue is not playing percentages, but principle.

Some Chick-fil-A customers say closing those doors on Sundays has helped open their minds.

"We've left the dinner table. We now have dinner at the TV. We have dinner at the fast-food restaurants. Mr. Cathy is saying, 'come back, come home,'" says customer Ronnie Johnson.

And so on Sundays, like all of Chick-fil-A's 50,000 employees, store manager Melissa Wakefield is at home with her family.

"We have our church time together. We have our quality time together. That is our day," Wakefield says.

As for Truitt Cathy, he says: "I say if you just eat with us six days a week, we'll permit you to eat somewhere else on Sunday."

Fast food is Truitt Cathy's business. But to him, principle is priceless.

  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith is a senior editor for CBSNews.com