“I just sell chicken,” joked Spencer Frey (’12) when asked about his job responsibilities. But in reality, the 26-year-old alumnus has a lot more on his plate than chicken.
The ink on Frey’s business management degree had barely dried when Frey accepted a Team Member position at a Chick-fil-A in Macon, Georgia. His dream had always been to own a business, so within two months he had created a plan that would enable him to compete in a program offered to internal candidates pursuing a franchise with Chick-fil-A Inc. “I was accepted into the Leadership Development Program after 2.5 years of working my way up in a restaurant, and have had the great pleasure of traveling nationwide opening new restaurants,” he said.
But Frey’s journey to becoming a grand-opening supervisor at one of the fastest-growing food chains in the United States began several years earlier. Frey arrived at PCC as the typical freshman—eager to learn—and keeping an eye out for his future wife. It didn’t take long for him to meet Lexa (’11), another business management major. The two married after graduation, and today Frey credits Lexa with his success. “When I look back to my time at college, the big things that come to my mind are first, and foremost, meeting my beautiful bride and second, the biblical business degree I received.”
“The education and experience I had in Pensacola more than prepared me for my career,” he said. “I learned the importance of business and the various elements it takes to be successful. I had professors who genuinely cared about my growth and performance both in the classroom and in my spiritual life.”
Less than two years after being accepted into Chick-fil-A’s leadership program, Frey has helped open restaurants in ten different states. “I typically spend 4–10 weeks at an assignment where I coach and consult the franchisee on opening the new restaurant,” he said. “This has tremendously grown and stretched me to be more competitive as I pursue having my own store one day.”
At each new restaurant, Frey and his team start from the ground up. “Depending on the week, I could be interviewing new candidates, meeting with vendors and negotiating contracts for the restaurant, consulting the operator on various aspects in preparation of the grand opening, meeting with the general contractor to make sure construction for the new restaurant is on track, and creating systems to help ensure the business is organized and set up once open,” he said.
While Frey enjoys the excitement of life on the road, he still plans to operate his own restaurant. “I have the opportunity to cultivate young men and women and challenge them daily to be the best version of themselves,” he said, “As an operator, I would love to carry on that legacy by giving people the same opportunity I was given. I hope to produce future leaders—inside or outside of CFA—by giving them real responsibility that will grow both them and the business.”
“Chick-fil-A’s mission is to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A,” Frey said. “Our mission statement says nothing about being number one in quick service restaurants or any type of sales goals. Obviously, we have those; but it’s a lot more than selling chicken—it’s about having a great influence on both our guests and employees. I’m proud to work for such a great company that has core values that align with my own.”