Sponsored: John McPhaul continues to operate Kinston Chick-fil-A with a smile

Sponsored: John McPhaul continues to operate Kinston Chick-fil-A with a smile

Photo by William “Bud” Hardy / Neuse News

John McPhaul’s first ownership venture has worked well, and the community has been a big part of its success.

Chick-fil-A of Kinston will celebrate its eighth year in business in December and McPhaul has been the operator for the entire duration. McPhaul said he’s appreciated the morals of the organization, which made him want to be a part of Chick-fil-A.

“I always admired the brand, loved the food and I can align myself with the values of the company,” McPhaul said. “You’re in business for yourself, but you’re not by yourself with a great support network. I wanted to own a business and it’s difficult being selected as a Chick-fil-A operator. It’s a long process, but I feel blessed to have been given the opportunity and I want to be a good steward of what they’ve provided for me.”

McPhaul was born in Raeford and is a graduate of Franklin High School. He took a job at Newell Rubbermaid in Winchester, Va., but sought the opportunity to apply for an operator position at Chick-fil-A, which brought him to Kinston.

“When I went through the Chick-fil-A selection process, you can choose geographical preferences and I wanted to be open,” McPhaul said. “I said I would go anywhere in the Southeast, but my top choice was North Carolina. It happened to work out and I’m thankful for it.

“I found out I was selected for this location right before Labor Day Weekend and left about a month later to go to Chick-fil-A University — it’s what they call their fundamentals of restaurant leadership — for seven weeks in the home base of Atlanta. I landed here in mid-November, going through the process hiring a team of 70 people in two to three weeks before we opened on Dec. 9, 2010.”

McPhaul wasn’t a stranger to the area with family in La Grange, but said immersing himself in the community was vital.

“The company encourages you to get involved in the community, and I thought it was important to see how the city worked,” McPhaul said. “I’ve been able to work with multiple boards in Kinston and Lenoir County, just seeing how everything clicked.”

McPhaul said he’s enjoyed his time in Kinston and hopes to continue working here.

“I’d like to be here until I retire,” McPhaul said. “I’m 46 now and think I’ve got a good 20 years in me—we’ve made it our home and I don’t see a change anytime in the near future.”

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