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Cosi takes a page from Chick-fil-A

cosi sandwich napkin

In addition to closing restaurants and streamlining its menu, Cosi says that a key driver of its recent turnaround efforts has been a new incentive program modeled after one employed by Chick-fil-A.

The profit-sharing program, which Cosi tested in October and rolled out systemwide at the start of the year, has “created an environment where managers are empowered to think like owners” and has had a positive impact on unit-level morale, CFO Miguel Rossy-Donovan told analysts on an earnings call Thursday.

In January, the fast casual said that it was cutting corporate staff and closing more than 10 percent of its units in an effort to reduce overhead costs.

Comps at the chain were relatively flat for the fourth quarter of 2015, increasing 0.7 percent.

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