Growing up in Florida, Kayla Griffin was an athlete who aspired to have a career working within recreational or professional sports. She later majored in Sports Management at the University of Florida. During an unpaid internship with the LA Unified School District in the sports management department, Griffin took a part time job at Chick-Fil-A which would change the trajectory of her life.
Still in her 20s, Griffin recently became the newest Owner/Operator of a Chick-Fil-A restaurant in Venice, CA where she oversees nearly one hundred team members at the bustling drive-thru eatery. In an exclusive interview with the Sentinel, Griffin gives insight into the competitive process of becoming a Chick-Fil-A franchisee, how her nearly four year interview process helped her to grow personally and professionally as well as her advice for former athletes on finding your life’s purpose outside of sports.
LAS: When your former boss first noticed that you should make a career out of working at Chick-Fil-A, how did you begin to change your mindset to shift from sports to this being a viable career?
Kayla Griffin: I thought it was a slow process but looking back, I guess it was a quick decision. I started Chick-Fil-A (CFA) as a team member, I was 20-years-old and my operator at the time approached me within my first three months. I worked my way to being a manager because we opened in a grand opening setting and they needed leaders. I was hired with a six-month agreement knowing that I was going to fly back home to graduate and start my life plan. At the time, I looked at CFA as just a fast food restaurant which is how many people feel who haven’t worked within the company. I was naive to the paths that you could take to make it a career. One day my operator sat me down and challenged me, he said ‘…Despite what you think, I know at the end of the day, you like it. I can see that you enjoy this and you might not know it but it shows.’ I couldn’t deny that I was having fun but I still had my pride and fear of what it would take to get to this point. He asked me to pray on it for 30 days and two weeks in I knew it was what the Lord was calling me to do.
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