Would you like a Bible verse with those fries? Check out these popular U.S. companies that incorporate their beliefs into their businesses.
Religion: Southern Baptist
Crafting mega store Hobby Lobby has been in the news a lot recently, first for their apparent sales boycott of Jewish holiday-themed decorations (for which they apologized and corrected) and then for filing a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act, which requires employers to offer morning-after contraceptive coverage. Both news items stem from the company's overt Christian operating policy, which won Hobby Lobby President Steve Green the 2013 Biblical Values Award from the National Bible Association.
Hobby Lobby's Statement of Purpose begins with, "Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles," which is evident in a couple of ways. The store is never open on Sundays to honor the Christian Sabbath and the only in-store music you'll hear is Christian-based. Hobby Lobby also attributes its practice of paying employees above-minimum wage to "sharing the Lord's blessings with our employees."
Religion: Born-Again Christian
At Forever 21, ultra trendy apparel like crop tops and mesh dresses come at cheaper-than-your-average costs. But did you notice that the value-priced clothing retailer gives away eternal youth for free? Just read the bottom of your take-home packaging — John 3:16 is printed on every bag: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
In a 2012 CNN interview, Do Wo Chang, Forever 21 founder and a devout Christian, said of the Bible verse, "I hoped others would learn of God's love. So that's why I put it there." And while they've toned down the religious sayings on their graphic tees, you can still find plenty of cross-embellished graphic tees and mountains of cross-shaped jewelry in their stores' stock.
Religion: Evangelical Christian
One of the world's leading producers of chicken, beef, and pork, Tyson records $33 billion in annual sales, meaning you've probably purchased their products countless times. And while the brand is instantly recognizable, Tyson's faith-based business values are hard to spot — unless you work there.
Thanks to John H. Tyson, born-again Christian and grandson of Tyson founder John W., every Tyson employee has at their disposal counseling services from the in-house Chaplaincy Program, which represents a variety of religious faith backgrounds, according to the Tyson web site.
John 3:16 crops up again on company packaging, this time at highly sought-after fast-food chain, In & Out Burger, which has locations in California, Nevada, Texas, Utah, and Arizona. On every sandwich wrapper and beverage cup, you'll find the popular Bible verse, in addition to Proverbs 3:5, John 14:6, Revelation 3:20, and Nahum 1:7.
The company stays mum on its Christian-based business views, but the New York Daily News reported that owner Rich Snyder instated the printing of religious citations on In & Out packaging in 1987.
If you've stayed in a hotel or motel anywhere in the U.S. at any point in your life, you've probably noticed that a Bible in the nightstand drawer is standard operating procedure. But at Marriott hotels, you'll find another religious text alongside your Gideon's Bible: the Book of Mormon.
Founded by Latter Day Saints member J. Willard Marriott in 1927, the Marriott brand discreetly espouses Mormon values by making the Book of Mormon available to guests, and also through it's commitment to smoke-free hotels. Furthermore, statements from Marriott confirm that the billion dollar-hotel chain will phase out pornographic/adult movie content from their pay-per-view offerings. In an interview with the Associated Press, J.W. "Bill" Marriott, Jr. says, "I’ve always been concerned about [pornographic] movies in rooms. In the next three or four years, we won’t have any more of those. That’s something we’ve had a real problem with because the Church is very, very opposed to pornography, as it should be, and we are for families."
Religion: Southern Baptist
Are you one of the multitudes of people who are addicted to Chik-fil-A's golden-fried chicken? Well don't expect to satisfy that craving on Sundays. Truett Cathy, the founder and CEO of Georgia-based Chik-fil-A, says he closes all 1,700-plus locations on Sundays for two reasons: "One, that there must be something special about the way Chick-fil-A people view their spiritual life and, two, that there must be something special about how Chick-fil-A feels about its people." He also believes that giving employees Sunday off "as a day for family, worship, fellowship or rest" is the secret to attracting quality people to the company.
On the more controversial side of this "values-based" business philosophy, Chik-fil-A president Dan T. Cathy was one of the first heads of a major company to openly oppose gay marriage in 2012, prompting backlash (a kiss-in) and support (a proposition to declare Aug. 1 Chik-fil-A Appreciation day by former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee) from various sides of the marriage-rights fence.
Religion: Seventh Day Adventist
Part of the family-owned bakery McKee Foods, the Little Debbie brand was launched in 1960 with chewy, gooey oatmeal cream pies to beat all the rest. And though the Company Statement begins with a faith-infused Family Statement — "The McKee family acknowledges the providence of God in our continued success." — you'd be hard-pressed to find evidence of the founders' Seventh Day Adventist faith without an encyclopedic knowledge of NASCAR.
From 2006 to 2010, Little Debbie branded cars from various racing teams — with one stipulation: On Saturdays, all Little Debbie logos were to be covered over to respect the Seventh Day Adventist Sabbath.
What began as a Christian dating site in 2000 morphed into an uber-successful, multi-faith dating site by the mid-2000s. Co-founded by Christian theologian and clinical psychologist, Neil Warren, Ph.D., eHarmony uses a patented Compatibility Matching System® with the goal of creating long-term relationships. Until 2009, however, eHarmony only offered dating options for compatible heterosexual singles. A 2008 lawsuit over the site's lack of matching services for gay and lesbian singles prompted eHarmony to launch a same-sex dating arm of the company called CompatiblePartners.net. "...When the attorney general of the state of New Jersey decided that we had to put up a same-sex site, we did it out of counsel that if we didn’t do it we were not going to have any business in New Jersey,” says Dr. Warren.
While eHarmony offers many different microsites for different ethnicities and faiths, they are all under the domain of eHarmony.com, except for the homosexual site, which remains completely separate.