When you think of big businesses, you probably imagine men in pressed suits and boardrooms full of people making important agendas. After all, big business relies on those behind the scenes to keep the gears turning the way that they should.
While corporate strategy might be all about dollars and cents, that doesn’t mean that every successful business out there thinks about money alone. In fact, some have become successful for incorporating something very unbusinesslike into their mission…
Check out these super-famous companies and you’ll see a list of who’s who in every field, from sports to fast food. They all have the same secret to their success: their religion! It might surprise you, but these 18 companies are known for sneaking hidden religious messages into their goods and services.
1. Chick-Fil-A: This company isn’t just known for its delicious fried chicken offerings. It’s also known for its strict adherence to keeping the Christian sabbath. So don’t try to go in and grab a sandwich on Sunday—you’ll be out of luck!
2. Forever 21: You don’t have to look very far to see the religious influence in clothing store Forever 21. On the bottom of every one of their bags you will find the words “John 3:16,” which directs shoppers to a chapter and verse from the Bible.
3. Tyson Foods: Chances are that when you see a Tyson Foods truck roaring down the highway, you aren’t thinking about religion. However this is one company that takes its faith very seriously. In fact, 120 of its own private chapels are staffed with pastors to offer its staff spiritual care.
4. In-N-Out Burger: This fast food giant is more well-known for its delicious burgers and fries than for any sort of serious religious fervor. That said, you’ll find “John 3:16” printed on the bottom of the paper soda cups in the company’s bid to send you toward your Bible.
5. Alaska Airlines: When you have a long flight on Alaska Airlines and you’re presented with a meal, don’t expect just a tasty dose of calories. You’ll also receive a note card with a passage on it from the Old Testament of the Bible.
6. Marriott Hotels: The founder of this hotel chain, John Willard Marriott, was a devout Mormon who credited his faith as a major part of his success. If you stay in a Marriott hotel, you won’t just find the usual Bible in your drawer; you’ll also find a Book of Mormon.
7. JetBlue: When you think “JetBlue,” you’re probably reminded of affordable flights and DirectTV at every seat. What you might not know is that the airline founder, David Neeleman, was featured in a book called The Mormon Way Of Doing Business for his decision to make all of his call-center job positions for stay-at-home moms.
8. Interstate Batteries: This company might provide power to many cars, but did you know that it believes said power is only possible thanks to a divine one? On its website, the mission statement reads that it intends “to glorify God as we supply our customers worldwide with top quality, value-priced batteries, related electrical power-source products, and distribution services.” Amen.
9. Trijicon: Weapons maker Trijicon came under serious fire when it was revealed that biblical references were printed on one of its Army-used rifle sights. This goes directly against laws that forbid proselytizing in countries like Afghanistan, where these sights were being used.
10. Hobby Lobby: This store is about a whole lot more than arts and crafts. It takes its religious convictions so seriously that it actually sued the federal government over whether or not it should legally have to cover its employee’s emergency contraception.
11. ServiceMaster: Though the name ServiceMaster might not be familiar to you, its famous company Terminix probably is. While Terminix is dedicated to ridding your home of pests, ServiceMaster’s mission is a little more lofty: “Serving God in everything we do.”
12. Mary Kay: When Mary Kay Ash launched her cosmetics company, nobody ever expected it to go on and become the titanic industry it has become. Mary Kay Cosmetics opened up in 1971, and Ash credited her success to God, her “silent partner.”
13. H.E.B.: This giant grocery chain is known as the place to go if you want to find everything on your list. Its founder, Howard Butts Jr., is so passionate about meeting customers’ every need that he joined evangelist Billy Graham to found a religious retreat center.
14. Curves: This ladies-only gym was established with the idea of making women at every fitness level feel comfortable about going to the gym. However, the company was founded by a man whose religious beliefs have made him an unspoken advocate for the pro-life movement.
15. Tom’s of Maine: This company is known for creating healthy alternatives to traditional products like toothpaste and deodorants. What you might not know is that its founder, Tom Chappell, graduated from Harvard Divinity School, and he believes that a business should be treated like a ministry.
16. Timberland: Timberland CEO Joss Swartz ended business dealings with a factory in China because of its poor conditions. “I can’t show you the scripture that relates to the rights of a worker, but I can show you text that insists upon treating others with dignity,” he said. “It says in the Hebrew Bible one time that you should love your neighbor as yourself, but it says dozens of times that you shall treat the stranger with dignity.”
17. Carl’s Jr.: This burger joint might be well-known for its messy dishes and raunchy commercials, but its founder, Carl Karcher, is actually a very devout Catholic and proud American. He makes sure each one of his meetings starts with the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer.
18. Anschutz Entertainment Group: This prominent entertainment group owns the LA Galaxy soccer team. It is headed up by Phil Anschutz, who is a prominent figure in the conservative community—and whose beliefs prompted him to support legislation limiting the rights of gay people.
Who had any idea that these big brands and the people who run them have their faiths play such a major role in everything they do? It’s always interesting to learn what motivates successful people in all of their endeavors.
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