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Success With One Click: A 16-year-old's First Job At Chick-fil-A Saves Operators An Estimated $35 Million

April 18, 2024

In the bustling world of fast-food service, efficiency is key. Every minute spent on administrative tasks is a minute taken away from serving customers and ensuring a smooth operation. This reality was not lost on James Finlinson, a teenager with a knack for problem-solving, whose simple idea revolutionized how Chick-fil-A Restaurants managed their workforce.

Back in 2017, James was just a regular high school student in Ammon, Idaho. Like many teenagers, he sought to earn some pocket money and gain work experience, so he landed his first job at the local Chick-fil-A Restaurant. Little did he know that this seemingly ordinary job would set him on a path towards entrepreneurial success.

While working at Chick-fil-A, James observed a common problem faced by his director, Jessica. Every day, she spent hours manually transcribing schedules from her computer to paper, a tedious and time-consuming task. Recognizing an opportunity to help, James offered to develop a solution to streamline this process. And thus, OneClickApp(TM) was born.

Encouraged by his father, Jan Finlinson, to delve into software programming, James began coding after school, during evenings, and weekends to address Jessica's scheduling issue. In exchange for his efforts, Jessica paid James a modest sum of $75 per month—a testament to his early entrepreneurial spirit.

Despite his initial success in solving Jessica's problem, James faced uncertainty about how to turn his solution into a viable business. With just one paying customer and lacking entrepreneurial experience, he found himself at a crossroads. However, fate intervened when James and his father visited the Chick-fil-A Support Center in Atlanta, Georgia, where they met two software engineers who recognized James's potential and encouraged him to persevere.

The turning point came when James was introduced to Michael Alvarez, a seasoned entrepreneur known for his success in the mobile app industry. With Michael's guidance, James's vision for OneClickApp(TM) gained traction. Michael wasted no time in organizing a webinar and launching a website to showcase James's innovative solution. The response was overwhelming, with leaders from 50 Chick-fil-A Restaurants expressing interest in the product.

Despite facing the challenge of being away on a service mission for his church, James's commitment to his venture never wavered. Upon his return, he found his fledgling business had flourished under Michael's leadership, with over 80 Chick-fil-A Restaurants utilizing OneClickApp(TM) to streamline their workforce management.

Today, the impact of OneClickApp(TM) on Chick-fil-A operators is nothing short of remarkable. With an estimated value of over $35 Million, the app has revolutionized employee retention, communication, and operational efficiency. Serving over 40,000 team members and leaders daily, OneClickApp(TM) has become an indispensable tool for nearly one in five standalone Chick-fil-A operators.

Reflecting on his journey, James Finlinson remains humble and grateful for the opportunity to serve the company that shaped his success. "I feel blessed to be able to serve so many of the great team members and leaders for the company that I owe my success to, Chick-fil-A," he remarked.

At its core, OneClickApp(TM) is more than just a scheduling tool—it's a comprehensive workforce management solution designed to simplify the complexities of running a fast-paced restaurant operation. From shift management to training, from breaks to accountability metrics, the app offers a suite of features aimed at optimizing efficiency and enhancing employee satisfaction.

With its VendorBridge approval and widespread adoption within the Chick-fil-A community, stands as a testament to James Finlinson's ingenuity and determination. What began as a teenager's simple idea has blossomed into a leading workforce management platform, transforming the way Chick-fil-A operators nationwide manage their teams.

James Finlinson's journey from a teenage Chick-fil-A employee to the CEO of a multimillion-dollar software company serves as a powerful reminder of the transformative potential of innovation and perseverance. His story exemplifies how a single idea, fueled by passion and dedication, can revolutionize an industry and create lasting impact. As we navigate an ever-evolving business landscape, let us draw inspiration from James's success and embrace the power of one click to drive positive change.

To learn more about James Finlinson story, visit:

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