It’s noon on a weekday and the town’s fast-casual hot spot is hopping, with customers lined up past the front doors. When the manager sees the massive crowd, one question comes rushing to his mind: How can we keep all of these patrons at our restaurant?
National news headlines have recently been peppered with stories of quick-serve customers behaving badly and employees keeping their cool. From last year’s video of a Chick-fil-A drive-thru employee smartly handling an irate customer to this year’s story of a Dairy Queen crewmember who stood up to a woman after she took money from a blind man, quick-serve employees have been thrust into the national spotlight by offering shining examples of good customer service.
Since the advent of the modern quick-service drive thru—some would say in the early 1970s, though the idea of a pick-up window has been around for much longer—operators have tinkered with the nuts and bolts to create a drive thru that is as fast, efficient, and pleasant as possible. Innovations throughout the years, from wireless headsets and order-confirmation boards to dual lanes and pre-sell signage, have created a better drive thru capable of handling the 60–70 percent of business that now loops the exterior of most quick-service restaurants.
Though breakfast is nothing new for Chick-fil-A—the chicken chain introduced the daypart nearly 30 years ago—major success in the breakfast daypart has largely been limited to the markets that public relations manager Mark Baldwin calls the “biscuit belt.”
According to www.colgate.com, it has been estimated that 9–15 percent of Americans avoid seeing the dentist because of anxiety and fear. That's about 30–40 million people.
Local Maitland, Florida, resident, Linda Vail, is one of these people. A bad experience at a dentist office as a kid was the root of her fear.
The list of the fastest-growing retailers this year tells a story of consumers’ growing affinity for fast-fashion, specialty grocery items, and apparel. STORES Hot 100 Retailers list, published annually in the August issue of STORES magazine, consists of retail companies that reported the greatest increase in domestic sales between 2011 and 2012. All public and private companies with more than $300 million in sales were eligible for the list, which was compiled by Kantar Retail.
Chocolate enthusiasts and coffee drinkers are invited to escape the summer heat and re“treat” to Chick-fil-A beginning August 5, as the company launches its newest limited-time flavor milkshake, Mocha Cookies & Cream.
Travelers at Dayton International Airport will soon discover a new Starbucks and Chick-fil-A before taking off on a flight. These additions, as well as further enhancements, are a result of a newly approved lease extension agreement between global restaurateur HMSHost and the airport. The new agreement extends the partnership between the Dayton International Airport and HMSHost through 2020.
The quick-service industry is feeding consumers an experience worth an encore—in some cases, at least.
According to a recent study by customer experience firm Temkin Group, the industry ranked second among 19 for highest customer-experience ratings. In addition, the industry’s average rating jumped 2 percentage points this year over last to more than 76 percent.
Bruce Temkin, managing partner of Temkin Group, says the high scores are fueled largely by consumers’ expectations: quality food with a minimal wait and an accurate order the first time around.