Rolling Out

How Jon Hooper went from Chick-fil-A employee as a teen to store operator

The businessman tells his story
How Jon Hooper went from Chick-fil-A employee as a teen to store operator
Chick-fil-A operator Jon Hooper (Photo courtesy of Chick-fil-A)

Jon Hooper never even heard of Chick-fil-A until his family moved to Virginia when he was a child. He began working for the fast-food restaurant from the time he was 16 through college.


He spent time in Chick-fil-A’s interim manager program before becoming an operator in Fremont, California. Hooper actively seeks ways to give back and connect with others through his experience of being a Black man.


Before opening up his new Chick-fil-A restaurant in Emeryville, California, this spring, Hooper spoke to rolling out about his journey as a CEO.

How would you describe your leadership style?


I serve as an influential leader.

What is your mission statement?

At our local Chick-fil-A, we’re passionate about being the most caring business in Emeryville.

Why is teamwork important?

Coming together as a team allows us to learn new skills and better care for those that we’re serving.

What is the best way to recruit great talent?

To highlight the benefits that our restaurant has to offer. At our local restaurant, team members have opportunities for flexible work hours and leadership growth, competitive pay and benefits, hands-on training and mentoring, and the chance to apply for scholarships to support their continuing education.

From my journey from team member to operator, I have loved working in a fun and safe environment where people genuinely enjoy coming to work and take good care of our guests and each other. I am passionate about helping everyone realize and reach their full potential. I look forward to Chick-fil-A Emeryville providing great leadership and job opportunities throughout the East Bay.

What are your two favorite vacation destinations to relax and recharge?

I love going to Mexico, where my two favorite places are Michoacán and Tulum.

What two favorite quotes motivate you?

“No goal is too high if we climb with care and confidence.” ~S. Truett Cathy, Chick-fil-A Inc. founder

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” ~Nelson Mandela

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