With contractors moving quickly on the new Chick-Fil-A Restaurant planned for the Milford Plaza Shopping Center, there are just as many moving parts happening behind the scenes as on the construction site. Owner and operator of the Milford Chick-Fil-A Chris Hobert has been training with the corporate offices as he prepares to open his first business. Literally a world away from his former life, where he served the United States abroad as a member of the Navy SEALs, Hobert says his training in teamwork and leadership will be a major asset to the success of the business.
After graduating high school in South Jersey, Hobert attended the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. A student of Aerospace Engineering and a member of the academy’s swim team, he was drawn to the Navy SEALs training and after completion was active duty with a SEAL unit in Virginia Beach, VA for eight and a half years. During that time, Hobert served his country with three deployments in Iraq, one deployment in Afghanistan and another in Germany. He currently serves in the Naval reserves.
As a child in South Jersey, Hobert’s family owned a hardware business where he worked for several years. Although he was persistent in being a member of the United States military, he always knew that he wanted to start his own business. During his years of service he spent time researching running a small business and was encouraged by a family member to look into a Chick-Fil-A franchise.
“Since I had not owned a business before I thought a franchise would be the way to go,” said Hobert. “I began to read several books written by the owner of Chick-Fil-A and learned as much about the company as I could.” Conducting phone interviews while deployed in Germany, Hobert attended his first in-person interview with Chick-Fil-A the day after he returned from overseas.
Hobert, his wife and two children recently moved to Delaware from their home in Virginia Beach and have begun to meet local individuals to get a feel for the Milford community. He is excited to start a new beginning, both personal and professional.
“My wife and I are excited to plant some roots and finally settle down and be a part of the community,” commented Hobert. “Professionally it will be great, it has always been a dream of mine to own my own business.”
As owner and operator of the new Chick-Fil-A, Hobert hopes to be more than just a boss to his employees, he wants to become a “positive role model, a coach and a mentor.” He admits that the challenges of his past career and the new one seem very different but he will be relying on his training in teamwork and leadership to help the business thrive.
“At face value my service in the Navy and the new business look like a world apart, but they both are about getting people working together towards a common goal,” said Hobert. “At the end of the day, business or military, it is about people and teamwork. The mission is different, but both are pretty complex and a lot goes into it.”
Hobert states that the opening day of the Milford Chick-Fil-A Restaurant will be a decision that will be made at the corporate level based on the construction process in the Milford Plaza Shopping Center. As with all Chick-Fil-A openings, the Milford location will host their “First 100” promotion where the first 100 customers will receive a year’s supply of meals, 52 meals per person. Hobert states that the application and hiring process for employees of the new Chick-Fil-A will begin soon and individuals interested should keep an eye on their Facebook page, at Chick fil A at Milford, for updates.