Best of All – David & Chick-fil-A!
Meet David! David is very active in the Indianapolis community and can be seen weekly at not only GiGi’s Playhouse Indianapolis, but at his job with Chick-fil-A! After speaking with David and his family, we can see that Chick-fil-A has created opportunities in our community to make a difference and from the moment that anyone steps through the doors, you can feel the positive energy and dedication to service that sets Chick-fil-A apart! Read more about David’s journey through the eyes of his mother.
“We moved to the Indianapolis area in May of 2019. We lived in a small town in Southwest Michigan before moving here. After high school, David spent a school year in a program called Project Search. The program was located in a hospital. Project Search gives work experience along with job search skills such as resume writing and interviewing. David had 3 different work experience jobs at the hospital. After David completed Project Search, he volunteered at a nursing home while he looked for a job. His first paying job was at Culver’s where he delivered food to customers. He worked there for almost a year and then we moved to Indiana.
We took a few months to get settled before looking for a job for David. We had just registered with Vocational Rehab when we noticed a new Chick-fil-A near our home had a sign up saying they were hiring. The location was great for us and we had always heard good things about Chick-fil-A, so we filled out an application. On the application we said that David has a disability, but the application did not ask us to specify the disability. The owner called to set up an interview. When he was setting up the interview, I told him that David has Down syndrome. I wanted him to be aware of this before the interview. David and I had practiced interviewing at home, as a review from his Project Search days. We both went to Chick-fil-A for the interview and I asked the owner, Charles, if he wanted me to sit with David during the interview. Charles said no, he would just talk to David. Before leaving the restaurant, Charles told David he would hear from Charles within the next couple of days, but then leaned over to me and said David would be offered a job.
David had to complete some online training. The person who trained David had been a special education teacher for many years. She requested he have a job coach, so Vocational Rehab provided that service. They had asked how many hours David would like a week and we had said 20-25. David works for 5 hours on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. He said he was not available on Wednesday’s so he can go to GiGi’s! David’s first responsibilities were in the dining area cleaning tables, sweeping and restocking condiments. He really wanted to deliver food like he had been doing at Culver’s, so towards the end of the day they would let him deliver food. He wasn’t thrilled with the cleaning part of his job, but he did enjoy going to work. He started work in October of 2019 and then Covid hit. The dining room at Chick-fil-A shut down in March, so David was on leave. That was fine with us since we didn’t want him exposed to the virus.
In June of 2021, the dining room at Chick-fil-A had opened and we were eating there, when the owner Charles and his family came in to eat and sat at a table next to us. We started talking and I asked Charles if David could start working again. Within a couple of weeks David was back at work. They had David count sauces and put them in the drive-thru orders as well as make the various drinks that need mixing. That is what he is still doing and he absolutely loves his job. I think they knew he did not like working in the dining room, so they found a job for him that he loves. I think he really likes working near all the other people behind the counter so he can talk and interact with them.
When David started working again after Covid, I asked if a job coach was needed. They said no. I said they could inform me if there were any issues that needed to be discussed. Things have gone great and I check with the HR person every once in a while to make sure things are running smoothly. The owner and management at Chick-fil-A have been so kind and supportive of David. I can’t stress that enough. As to how other staff members view David, here is a recent quote from the HR manager “He by far boosts morale more than anyone, has been so happy (LOVED his time in Nashville), and has worked harder than ever. Today I had 5 different leaders individually tell me how impressed they’ve been with David. People actually don’t like working Wednesdays because David isn’t there. He is sooooo loved.” That warms my heart!
David absolutely LOVES working at Chick-fil-A. The other workers are very kind. When he sees other workers in the parking lot before and after work, they all yell “hi” or “bye” to David. I don’t think he would change a thing about his job. He loves counting sauces and making drinks. He is proud of his job. We recently went on vacation. The whole time, David was anxious to get back to Chick-fil-A. Between his job, GiGi’s Playhouse Indianapolis and some other activities David is involved with Book Club Wednesday evenings, Game Night 2 Thursday evenings a month, Hiking Club one Sunday each month, and Special Olympics, David has a very full life. We are so grateful for all of the opportunities he has.”
Like David’s busy work schedule, he is also very busy with GiGi’s activities! Attending GiGiFIT Adult, EPIC, and Music: Adult fill his Wednesdays to the brim! No matter what setting David is in, he is a natural leader and carries a serving heart. We are SO thankful that David found not only GiGi’s Playhouse Indianapolis, but Chick-fil-A!
If you’re looking for a workplace that values people, offers growth opportunities, and spreads kindness one person at a time, then Chick-fil-A and GiGi’s Playhouse are the places to be! 🌈 ✨