Meet Jim Bryant
Owner Operator for 35 Years
Jim Bryant was born on June 3rd, 1965, in small-town Hot Springs, Arkansas. Blessed to have two loving parents, and one siblings, Jim grew up much like most of America in the 1970s. He entered the workforce at age 16 needing an after-school job. He applied for a little know company located in the Hot Springs Mall by the name of Chick-fil-A. He started at $3.35 an hour and joined a crew of 3-5 people each shift. Jim worked at Chick-fil-A until 1983 when he left for college in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Jim studied Marketing/Management with aspirations to one day work in the stock market. However, in an effort to help pay for his schooling, Jim picked up a part-time job working for Chick-fil-A inside the Northwest Arkansas Mall. Little did he know just what a role this restaurant would play in his life.
In 1985 Jim and a group of his friends started a bible study with the two-fold mission of growing closer to the Lord, and meeting Godly women. It was here that Jim would meet the love of his life, Stefanie, as they began dating shortly after the bible study was formed. August 22, 1987, Jim and Stefanie were married! At this point in his life, Jim had made a decision to abandon the world of stocks and bonds, and pursue a career with Chick-fil-A. He had held a leadership role in the NWA Mall location and wanted to apply for a Career Development Program with Chick-fil-A. However, in the midst of that application, Jim was approached to replace the current operator, as the current operator was relocating. Later that year Jim was named the new operator of the Northwest Arkansas Mall Location!
Jim found a true calling in operating Chick-fil-A's as he partnered with the Cathy family to help grow the business over the next three decades. From 1990 to 1996 Jim and Stefanie would have three children together (Kelsey, Chris, and Matthew). In 1996 Chick-fil-A built the first free-standing restaurant in the state of Arkansas, and Jim was named the operator for that groundbreaking operation. This was a true honor as it put Jim in a very elite group of "multi-unit" operators. One year later, the Bryants would have their fourth child Andrew who would complete the Bryant Family. With 4 young children, Jim made the decision to part ways with the Mall location in 2000, focusing solely on his free-standing restaurant. This strategic bet paid off, as Jim was given the prestigious "Symbol of Success" award by Chick-fil-A in 2003 for remarkable sales growth. In 2007 Jim regained the Mall location and has remained the operator until 2019.
Today he operates 2 of the highest-grossing Chick-fil-A's in the state of Arkansas and combined his two locations gross nearly 15 million dollars. His children have all grown up, and in 2016 Jim became a grandfather to the beautiful Ellie May! He serves as the operating consultant for two licensee locations and coaches newly selected operators! He works closely with the LifeShape Organization where he has led many international trips teaching business principles in India, London, and Scotland. Just recently Jim was named the project leader for all future trips to the United Kingdom. Furthermore, Jim serves on the board of Directors for Shiloh Christian Schools and Loving Choices. He is a long-time member of CrossChurch and leads an adult small group in his home every week. In his free time, Jim is a fan of all winter sports, (snow-skiing, snowmobiling, etc.) as well as an avid boater in the summer. He is the proud owner of two German Shepherds (Ceasar and Recon) and the biggest fan of Elvis you will ever meet!
Looking back Jim thinks fondly about the many incredible opportunities Chick-fil-A has given him. He recounts getting to spend whole days with founder Truett Cathy, and previous CFA president Jimmy Collins. He remembers breaking the glass ceiling of 6 million dollars in sales when he was told that was physically impossible with the current restaurant model. Looking forward Jim wants to be known as a "guardian of the brand" and continue to run a restaurant that is operationally excellent. Personally, he wants to be known as a man of Integrity, Influence, and Impact, all while being an incredible grandfather! Most importantly Jim is a man that wants to invest in bettering people. He loves what he does, as it gives him the opportunity to see lives impacted and changed for the better. Although a shrewd businessman, Jim truly embodies one of Truett's most recognizable saying, "We are in the people business, we just happen to serve chicken."
Meet your Operator, Jim Bryant!