Chick-fil-A

Double Trouble?

Tony Holmes had a problem: The drive thru at his high-traffic Chick-fil-A restaurant in Apex, North Carolina, was too crowded.

For nearly two years, he tried line busting with employees outside wearing headsets. Then he gave those employees handheld remote units to streamline ordering. Both methods helped alleviate the drive thru’s bottleneck, but there were other issues that technology and manpower couldn’t address.

So in November, Holmes installed a dual drive-thru lane.

Chick-fil-A Celebrates 40 Years of Team Member Scholarships

Since Truett Cathy established the company’s first scholarship program in 1973 to encourage Chick-fil-A restaurant employees to further their education, the company has earmarked a portion of its proceeds to give back to its team members in the form of college scholarships. Last year was no different, with $1.39 million in total scholarships given to worthy recipients.

Wendy's Ranks No. 1 for Kid-Friendly, Healthy Options

According to Restaurant DemandTracker, a recent survey of restaurant customers in the United States, households with younger kids are much more likely to seek out restaurants with kid-friendly menus, and many of those consumers are looking for healthier food items on the menu for their families.

Households with younger children are especially likely to value a kid-friendly menu and slightly more likely to value healthy menu choices than households with older children.

Get in the Game

Imagine a market of 173 million potential customers. Seventy-eight million of them are female (often the primary decision-maker in the family), 61 million are college students, and 29 million have an income of more than $100,000.

Seems like a no-brainer for operators, right?

McDonald's Has Best Service, Value, Consumers Say

In a recent survey of restaurant customers in the United States, when it comes to identifying what drives loyalty for restaurants, the most commonly cited factors in determining which quick-service restaurant is visited most often are good value (58 percent), convenience (57 percent), low prices (53 percent), and fast service (51 percent).

Great-tasting food is only the eighth-most important factor in driving loyalty in this segment.

Year of the Brand

In this last Brand New Perspectives of 2012, I’m breaking from my usual Q&A format to recap some of the most important brand developments in fast food this past year.

Despite the sluggish economy and uncertainty that typically accompanies election years, companies in our industry chose to make some of their boldest moves in 2012, and some exciting new chains took the stage. Here are my picks for the seven biggest brand stories of the year.

Chick-Fil-A Takes the Title of America’s No. 1 Chicken Chain

Chick-fil-A tops the list of favorite chicken chains, according to a national study from Market Force, a worldwide leader in customer intelligence solutions. Chick-fil-A was voted America’s No. 1 chicken chain in a restaurant industry survey of more than 7,600 consumers. Raising Cane’s and Boston Market were ranked second and third, followed by El Pollo Loco, Zaxby’s, Popeyes, KFC, Wingstop, and Church’s Chicken.

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