Chick-fil-A Opening Two New Restaurant Concepts Aimed at Cutting Down Wait Times
Love Chick-fil-A but hate the constant long lines? Well, they're listening and are trying to help.
The super-popular fast-food chain will soon be opening two new restaurant concepts aimed at cutting down wait times.
The company will test a two-story drive-thru restaurant in Atlanta and a walk-up restaurant in New York City for digital orders only. Both new concept stores are slated to open in 2024.
Over the years, Chick-fil-A has introduced new features to help with wait times such as mobile ordering in their app as well as dedicated mobile thru lanes.
"Digital orders make up more than half of total sales in some markets -- and growing -- so we know our customers have an appetite for convenience," said Khalilah Cooper, executive director, restaurant design for Chick-fil-A.
“Understanding this desire for convenience, the locations for these tests were intentionally selected with the customers in mind, giving them more control over their desired experience and cutting down wait-time, while continuing to provide genuine hospitality and care to every guest.”
The new drive-thru concept is designed for greater ease and efficient service. Guests can choose to place their order with a team member or use the dedicated mobile thru lanes for orders placed ahead in the app.
The kitchen will be built above the drive-thru lanes and is expected to be twice as big as typical Chick-fil-A locations. The kitchen will also be above the drive-thru, and orders will travel through an overhead conveyor belt connected with chutes that run down the sides.
The new walk-up concept is designed for urban areas with heavy foot traffic. It'll be designed to allow guests to conveniently order their favorite items ahead of time in the Chick-fil-A app and then have it freshly prepared and ready for when they arrive.
(If you've ever done mobile ordering at a Disney or Universal Studios park, then this should be a comparable experience.)
"We want to leverage technology to elevate the human touchpoints in our restaurants,” said Cooper. “These new digital formats make the customer and Team Member experience more seamless and therefore more memorable, and give back precious time to connect with each other.”
In 2022, Chick-fil-A customers spent nearly eight and a half minutes waiting in the drive-thru lane. That's more than customers at any other popular fast-food chain evaluated in a report from customer experience solution firm Intouch Insights.
Time will tell if these new concepts help with speed and the overall customer experience. If they do work, expect to see more of these types of Chick-fil-A restaurants as your travel our country.
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