Chick Fil-A Drive Thru

Sean Miller Fan

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Is it just me or does Chick Fil A desperately need a new business model? While they have always been popular, they seem to have just exploded in the last few years. They either need to double the number of locations, significantly raise prices, or commit to some type of 3-4 lane drive thru system, which I know will take more land but I'm not sure their current model is sustainable. These locations have teams of traffic directors, people outside taking orders on ipads, runners, etc. Every visit is like queuing to get into an amusement park parking lot
 

Mikefln

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Is it just me or does Chick Fil A desperately need a new business model? While they have always been popular, they seem to have just exploded in the last few years. They either need to double the number of locations, significantly raise prices, or commit to some type of 3-4 lane drive thru system, which I know will take more land but I'm not sure their current model is sustainable. These locations have teams of traffic directors, people outside taking orders on ipads, runners, etc. Every visit is like queuing to get into an amusement park parking lot

You find something to bitch about for everything don't you?

1) I am sure they did a cost analysis on raising prices vs not.
2) They are not on the stock market, they are an independent company and obviously are very particular about their expansion of stores and Franchisees.
3) there is a reason why they have such a long line, so why mess with success.
4) You still get out of there faster than another fast food place that has shorter lines so why care how many people are in front of you.
5) No one is forcing you, if you don't like the current product don't go.
 

HOF Coach

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Is it just me or does Chick Fil A desperately need a new business model? While they have always been popular, they seem to have just exploded in the last few years. They either need to double the number of locations, significantly raise prices, or commit to some type of 3-4 lane drive thru system, which I know will take more land but I'm not sure their current model is sustainable. These locations have teams of traffic directors, people outside taking orders on ipads, runners, etc. Every visit is like queuing to get into an amusement park parking lot
Are you bored with volleyball arenas today?
 

Sean Miller Fan

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its far cheaper to pay for a few more high school kids than add locations or expand. the lines are always long but it works like a well oiled machine cycling everyone through.
Until one of those kids is run over and killed in the parking lot. It will happen eventually.
 

recruitsreadtheseboards

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To be honest.....I have to agree with SMF here. While I try not to eat Fast Food chains when traveling, sometimes it is unavoidable. Everytime I drive past a Chick Fil A and see that clusterbleep through the drive thrus...I move on to another spot (McD's or Wendy's).
 
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HailtoPitt

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Jun 18, 2001
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Chic-Fil A is a model of efficiency that other busy fast food restaurants should follow. Their food is almost always hot and freshly made. Compare that to Wendy's, where the food is usually not hot and freshly made. Or with Popeyes, where it can take 45 minutes for people to get their orders.

I don't care about their political views. Their food and service are always good
 

OH Pete

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Until one of those kids is run over and killed in the parking lot. It will happen eventually.
I rarely see them crossing back and forth across the 2 drive through lanes. Besides, it is so crowded that the cars usually don't go more than 3 MPH. Seems to me that more lanes would result in a great chance of an accident.
 
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HailtoPitt

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To be honest.....I have to agree with SMF here. While I try not to eat Fast Food chains when traveling, sometimes it is unavoidable. Everytime I drive past a Chick Fil A and see that clusterbleep through the drive thrus...I move on to another spot (McD's or Wendy's).

It might look like a cluster but it really is not. It's remarkable how quickly everyone gets through. If the food isn't ready when you get to the window, they have you pull into the parking lot and that helps everyone to move through quickly.
 

OH Pete

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To be honest.....I have to agree with SMF here. While I try not to eat Fast Food chains when traveling, sometimes it is unavoidable. Everytime I drive past a Chick Fil A and see that clusterbleep through the drive thrus...I move on to another spot (McD's or Wendy's).
You should give them a try. A packed CFA us usually faster than an average crowd at McDs and Wendys.
 

HOF Coach

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I rarely see them crossing back and forth across the 2 drive through lanes. Besides, it is so crowded that the cars usually don't go more than 3 MPH. Seems to me that more lanes would result in a great chance of an accident.
The current death rate in Chick Fil A drivethrus is ZERO, which matches how much credence one should give SMF with his original rant on this thread.
 

OH Pete

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To be honest.....I have to agree with SMF here. While I try not to eat Fast Food chains when traveling, sometimes it is unavoidable. Everytime I drive past a Chick Fil A and see that clusterbleep through the drive thrus...I move on to another spot (McD's or Wendy's).
Plus, this never happens at Chik-Fli-A, but seems to always happens to me everywhere else.
 
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You find something to bitch about for everything don't you?

1) I am sure they did a cost analysis on raising prices vs not.
2) They are not on the stock market, they are an independent company and obviously are very particular about their expansion of stores and Franchisees.
3) there is a reason why they have such a long line, so why mess with success.
4) You still get out of there faster than another fast food place that has shorter lines so why care how many people are in front of you.
5) No one is forcing you, if you don't like the current product don't go.
You are going to say that the facts somehow overrule SMF? Pshaw.
 

cease10

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Oct 17, 2009
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I don't know about CFAs in PA, but where I live in the south. CFA has the most efficient drive thru by far. The workers are wearing safety vests and directing traffic with stop signs in hand. Some locations do have 3-4 lanes. Some locations have 2 lanes wrapped around the building. There's also multiple workers with ipad/notebooks walking up to cars taking orders.
 

HOF Coach

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I’m not sure their goal is to eliminate the line. It is like free marketing, an implicit endorsement of the quality of their product.
BINGO!

(SMF won't get this point, but ask any operator of a food truck about the importance of having a line of customers is in attracting more customers.)
 
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recruitsreadtheseboards

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Chic-Fil A is a model of efficiency that other busy fast food restaurants should follow. Their food is almost always hot and freshly made. Compare that to Wendy's, where the food is usually not hot and freshly made. Or with Popeyes, where it can take 45 minutes for people to get their orders.

I don't care about their political views. Their food and service are always good
Speaking of...pretty excited a Popeyes is coming to Harmarville.
 
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bayardstreet

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I would always grab a Popeyes at the Atlanta airport. This goes back 10 years. They have slowly moved north. Excellent Chicken Sammie and frequently beats out Chick F let in taste polls. Like Lou Pappan used to say “Chicken Chicken Chicken”
 
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pittdan77

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The Vast Wasteland of Central Pennsylvania
I would always grab a Popeyes at the Atlanta airport. This goes back 10 years. They have slowly moved north. Excellent Chicken Sammie and frequently beats out Chick F let in taste polls. Like Lou Pappan used to say “Chicken Chicken Chicken”
Popeye's is just better food. I spent a lot of time in the south. You can't get away with selling bad fried chicken down there.
 
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Sean Miller Fan

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Makes more money than any other fast food chain on a per location basis but I'm sure they'll want to hear your ideas
Not sure what that is saying. That's like having the nicest trailer in the trailer park. When you have to have 16 year old kids working as air traffic controllers in your parking lot, that's a sign that changes to be made.
 

pittdan77

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Not sure what that is saying. That's like having the nicest trailer in the trailer park. When you have to have 16 year old kids working as air traffic controllers in your parking lot, that's a sign that changes to be made.
Not that big profitable multi-billion dollar companies care about killing a kid or two but has it even happened?

Do you wake up every afternoon and decide what topic you're going to be wrong about for the day?
 
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HailtoPitt

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Speaking of...pretty excited a Popeyes is coming to Harmarville.

Popeyes is #1 for me... but only when down right. Unfortunately, it's like rolling the dice from location to location and time of day. Popeye's will often take a long time with your order... Only to screw it up. I don't understand how that's possible.

One Popeyes I tried recently at around noon told me that they were still prepping and wouldn't open for 30 more minutes. This was during the lunch rush. Just sad. If their spicy chicken wasn't so damn good, I don't think they would make it.
 

Sean Miller Fan

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Popeyes is #1 for me... but only when down right. Unfortunately, it's like rolling the dice from location to location and time of day. Popeye's will often take a long time with your order... Only to screw it up. I don't understand how that's possible.

One Popeyes I tried recently at around noon told me that they were still prepping and wouldn't open for 30 more minutes. This was during the lunch rush. Just sad. If their spicy chicken wasn't so damn good, I don't think they would make it.
Last time I was there, I waited almost 30 minutes. Only 5-6 cars ahead of me. I swear they only had 3 people working at the time. Funniest part was that their menu board advertised some limited time sandwich so I ordered it only to be told that that location doesn't carry that sandwich. I said, do you mean you're just out but will get more in. Nope, they never carry it....so why advertise it?

Chipotle has gotten really bad during the pandemic also. I've placed online orders only to get there to wait with 30 other people outside the doors because our orders were supposed to be ready
 

Wanstash21

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Chic-Fil A is a model of efficiency that other busy fast food restaurants should follow. Their food is almost always hot and freshly made. Compare that to Wendy's, where the food is usually not hot and freshly made. Or with Popeyes, where it can take 45 minutes for people to get their orders.

I don't care about their political views. Their food and service are always good

their efficiency is ranked #1 for fast food places.

besides their awesome food, they're for being extremely efficient and like you said, the food is fresh. Their model is top notch - they totally dominate their lane.
 
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wbrpanther

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Is it just me or does Chick Fil A desperately need a new business model? While they have always been popular, they seem to have just exploded in the last few years. They either need to double the number of locations, significantly raise prices, or commit to some type of 3-4 lane drive thru system, which I know will take more land but I'm not sure their current model is sustainable. These locations have teams of traffic directors, people outside taking orders on ipads, runners, etc. Every visit is like queuing to get into an amusement park parking lot
Input from SMF is EXACTLY what Chick-Fil-A needs.
 

pittjas

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Weird thread even by SMF standards. CFA is like universally praised for how efficient the whole operation is.
 
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Gunga_Galunga

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CFA is killing it and maximizing their revenue per dollar of fixed cost at a level that others could only dream of. In-N-Out might be the only other fast food chain who could be in the same ballpark.

You have to be totally clueless to suggest they need a new model, or at least really dumb. Take your pick... clueless or dumb... maybe both.
 

recruitsreadtheseboards

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Last time I was there, I waited almost 30 minutes. Only 5-6 cars ahead of me. I swear they only had 3 people working at the time. Funniest part was that their menu board advertised some limited time sandwich so I ordered it only to be told that that location doesn't carry that sandwich. I said, do you mean you're just out but will get more in. Nope, they never carry it....so why advertise it?

Chipotle has gotten really bad during the pandemic also. I've placed online orders only to get there to wait with 30 other people outside the doors because our orders were supposed to be ready
Hopefully with a new store, they will be more diligent. Alot of issues with Popeyes, is they aren't always in the most "organized" areas for work force. OR...they are along turnpike rest stops and they are part of 1-2 other restaurants and poorly run.
 

recruitsreadtheseboards

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Weird thread even by SMF standards. CFA is like universally praised for how efficient the whole operation is.
Like I said, the optics of their drive thru scares me. I will try it (one in the Waterworks in Fox Chapel) sometime and see how smooth it is. I mean, their food is good.