At 14 years old, Karen had never even heard of Chick-fil-A. But when she was handed a card for a free Chick-fil-A sandwich at a Sandi Patty concert, she didn’t know that it would be the beginning of a career in the chicken business.
After getting her first job at the Chick-fil-A in the old Buckingham Square Mall, Karen fell in love with the company and became a manager at only 16. While putting herself through college, she helped to open the first free-standing Chick-fil-A in Colorado.
As a medical student, she thought the restaurant business was a temporary career. But soon she realized it could be more than that.
“I remember standing in the Chick-fil-A dining room at age 23 and just getting an incredible sense of satisfaction,” says Karen. “Just from serving people. And I had a lot of team members come back and tell me the impact I had on their lives. I knew I wanted to work with young people. I always thought it needed to be in the medical field, but then I realized that it really could be through Chick-fil-A, and they could be deeper relationships.”
And at the young age of 24, Karen became the operator of her first restaurant.
Today she loves serving the city of Aurora and the thriving diversity of the area.
“It’s just so diverse and so beautiful, and we serve such a wide variety of guests from different cultures and different places. And even the team — I love walking in and seeing how they are a representation of the community in which we live.”
Invested in Aurora
Nestled in the heart of our community next to the Town Center at Aurora, we at Chick-fil-A Alameda Avenue love to serve all of our guests who live and work in our neighborhood. But we know it’s about more than just serving up a savory Chicken Sandwich. It’s about investing in our neighbors who make our restaurant a great place to gather with family and friends.
We love to partner with our friends at the Aurora Police Department and other local government groups. When Gateway High School hosts the annual basketball game between local police officers and their varsity team, we’re there to refuel both teams with Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwiches and Waffle Potato Fries.
And come each December, your family can celebrate Christmas a little early with us at The Polar Express event — complete with a dramatic reading of the story, Christmas carols, rides on a horse and carriage, and of course hot chocolate. Because we believe that Chick-fil-A Nuggets and hot chocolate make the best combination.
Equipping Future Leaders
Everyone remembers their first job and the lessons and skills they learned. At Chick-fil-A Alameda Avenue, we believe those lessons serve as the foundation for the rest of someone’s career.
That’s why we’re passionate about providing the best training possible for our team members before they ever put on a uniform and serve their first guest. To us, that’s one of the best ways we can honor not only our own team members, but you as our guest! By making sure our team is ready to provide you with the best service possible.
And once they’ve been equipped to take good care of our guests, we love to hear about our team members’ dreams and goals for their future — and then show them how their job at Chick-fil-A can set them up for success in all areas of their lives.
From a simple “my pleasure” to learning how to develop healthy relationships with future bosses, coworkers or clients, we know that we have the opportunity to build the next generation of leaders. And that’s a pretty hefty calling in our book.