David Daniels: How to Be Successful

The renowned Carrollton Chick-Fil-A, with a high speed drive thru and friendly staff, is set to open another location on Bankhead Highway in what used to be Ryan’s Steakhouse. There are very high expectations, set by the original Carrollton Chick-Fil-A, in the minds of Carrollton community members for the second location opening soon. David Daniels is the owner of both Chick-Fil-A locations and the mastermind behind the successful business. 

Daniels’ started in the Chick-Fil-A business in Stone Mountain, GA when he was in high school as part of the general staff. He says that when he worked this job it was just to pay different expenses and that he never anticipated Chick-Fil-A turning into his career. Daniels attended Lee University and pursued a degree in pastoral studies and ministerial leadership. After, he worked his way up to general manager at a Chick-Fil-A franchise. He then continued his career with Chick-Fil-A by becoming the owner of his own franchise. 

“Chick-Fil-A brought my family to Carrollton,” said Daniels. “We had the opportunity to take the local franchise in 1997.” 

Daniels recently spoke at the ongoing series, “BB&T Lectures in Free Enterprise”, hosted by the Richards College of Business. Daniels gave great detail on his route to being successful. He mentioned being a servant leader, always thinking ahead and having discipline and morals to guide you is the recipe for success. He also spoke about how a mentor throughout your professional journey would be beneficial in reaching your goals. Throughout Daniels’ career with Chick-Fil-A, he relinquishes a great deal of credit to his mentor and former boss, Brad Williams, for his success. 

Williams currently owns two locations in North Gwinnett and oversees both locations in the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. 

“Brad hired me when I was young and developed me into a leader in his store,” said Daniels. “Eventually I became his general manager and ran his store for him. During the process he invested in me heavily as a leader. He started out as a boss, but then became a mentor and a friend. To this day I still meet with him regularly to gain insights and wisdom from him. “ 

Daniels’ mentioned that being able to grow as a leader with Williams while watching him grow as well has been a very unique experience. He also mentioned that Williams is someone he greatly admires and aspires to be like in each stage of his developmental journey. Daniels has also turned to Williams for advice while opening his second location. 

Daniels now strives to be the same type of mentor to his staff. He mentioned that one of the most challenging things he has faced while owning Chick-Fil-A is finding great team members. When he does find great team members who have a similar value system as the company, he loves watching them succeed and develop into leaders just as he did. The values that Chick-Fil-A operates on were one of the most intriguing elements about the company to Daniels. 

“We operate on a basis of servant leadership, which sets us apart,” said Daniels. “We treat people differently, we develop people to their potential. Obviously our product and service are superior to anyone else. I feel there is no comparison to any other brand out there.” 



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