Serving customers and others is all a part of Rob Dinsdale’s life
Feb 28, 2019 03:25PM
By Bob Bedore
Rob Dinsdale’s happy smile is a familiar sight at the Chick-fil-A in Jordan Landing (Bob Bedore/City Journals)
By Bob Bedore | [email protected]
If you’ve been to a Chick-fil-A, you’re bound to hear the phrase “My pleasure” said more than just a few times. It’s a little thing that helps set the food chain apart. But for Jordan Landing Operator Rob Dinsdale, the pleasure goes far past the boundaries of his store.
“We’re all here on this earth just trying to make it through life,” Dinsdale said. “If everyone who had even the slightest bit of extra could help out those in need, whether it’s with material things — food, money, clothes — or a kind word, thought or smile, just imagine how much better off we’d all be. I’d like to think that we all have the ability to make this happen.”
And Dinsdale does everything he can to make his dream a reality. In his store, he’s instilled a culture of service throughout that has made working and eating there a joy. The Jordan Landing location has employees that have been working there for more than 10 years. That’s multiple lifetimes in fast food years.
“I want employees to feel a sense of pride about working here.” Dinsdale said. “I want them to know that they can make a difference in people’s lives through even the simplest of gestures. I want this to be more than just a job; I want it to be something that will stick with them long after they leave here.”
Dinsdale tells a story about one young employee who was working the drive-thru and had a woman come up and suddenly realize that they had forgot their wallet. The employee told her not to worry about it. You can get us next time.
“I like that he felt like he could do that without trying to ask for permission,” he said. “It’s a culture we’re trying to build here. And you know what? One day I was working the drive-thru and a woman—I don’t know if it was the same one—said that she had been comped at the window before and now wanted to pay for the person behind them. Before I knew it, we had a string of people all just paying for the person behind them. It just became an awesome thing to see. And to have the team members see it and think, this just doesn’t happen anywhere else.”
Dinsdale uses his restaurant to do good whenever he can. Sometimes it’s obvious such as the fundraisers that often take place, military appreciation events, mother/son and daddy/daughter date nights, and other fun events. Sometimes it’s in the donation of food for charity events (both in and out of West Jordan). And sometimes it comes from ways that most will never see.
“When we were about to open, I found out about a woman who had a child that had a condition that wouldn’t let them play in the play place because of germs and other things that come from a lot of other children playing there,” he said. “So, I invited her to come in before our opening day and let the child play as long as they wanted. It was wonderful!
It’s amazing the things we find out just by visiting our guests. Everyone has a story, and we don’t know what those stories are, but we have a way to impact their lives in a positive way, so that’s just what we do.”
Dinsdale’s desire to serve extends beyond the store.
“My parents influenced me in a very positive way,” he said. “They always instilled in us a need to serve others. This continued as I went through school and worked in student government. I was always looking for ways to help others.”
And now it’s his turn to pass that along through his children.
“We like to do things together as a family,” he said. “We’ll put together packs for Haiti or for other places in need. And we like to put kits together to keep in the car that we can hand out to those that we can see that are in need.”
It’s this type of attitude of service, and so much more that brought Dinsdale to the attention of the Craig Dearing Legacy Award. Dinsdale was presented with the award at its annual awards banquet.
The award was created in 2016 to honor Craig Dearing for his decades of service in West Jordan. It is presented to an individual who serves their community and leaves a lasting impact. Last year’s recipient was Steve Wright.
“I had no idea that I had been nominated,” he said on receiving the award. “I didn’t even know there was an award like this.”
And true to form, when asked about his feelings about getting the award, Dinsdale answered, “I’m honored, but I’m sure that there are people worthier than me.”
His employees would disagree. Jose Boyas Diaz has been with Dinsdale pretty much since the location opened 13 years ago, and if you’ve been to the store, you’ve seen Jose’s smile greet you. “Rob brings harmony to this store and everything he does,” he said. “He expects a lot. He has standards but not in a bossy way. He just sets the example and wants us to be the same. Nothing he expects from us is something that he isn’t doing himself, and at a higher level.”
Other employees have praise for Dinsdale.
“I came to Chick-fil-A at a point in my life when I really needed a win,” said Krysi Winkler, an eight-year veteran of the store and current store manager. “Rob took me in and made me his marketing manager. I had no idea what that was, but he said we’d figure it out together. I didn’t really do that great at that job, but he kept me around and has found the right places for me. And when I told him that I was going to have to leave so I could get some other benefits, Rob found a way to get me those benefits.
He just brings an amazing culture to the store. And when you’re a part of a culture like this, you don’t want to leave. It’s easy to be loyal.”
Chick-fil-A is a chain that prides itself on being a part of the community. Company leaders make sure that their operators are up to the challenge.
“It took me two years and about 100 interviews to get this location,” Dinsdale said. “I think getting into the FBI is easier.”
Each operator can hire a marketing person to help the stores find ways to help. Employees are given benefits that go beyond most similar work places.
“Last year, we were able to give away 10 scholarships at this location,” Dinsdale said. “This allows us to not only get great employees who want to serve but also keep them around.”