Industry News | October 15, 2008

New CFA Store Opens in Va.

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Chick-fil-A will reward those willing to wait in line for its newest stand-alone restaurant at 112 Market St. in Winchester, Virginia, on Oct. 16 by giving away $26,000 in free Chick-fil-A food to the first 100 adults in line that morning.

A one-year supply of free Chick-fil-A Meals (52 coupons) will be awarded to each of the first 100 adults, age 18 and older with identification, at the new stand-alone restaurant. The line can begin forming up to 24 hours prior to the opening, with the prizes being given away on Oct. 16 between 6 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. The restaurant will open thereafter.

"When we started the First 100 Fans promotion we were stunned when someone arrived 18 hours in advance and asked where he could wait in line," says Chick-fil-A Inc. President Dan Cathy, who has camped out at dozens of openings. "Almost five years later, we've given away more than $7 million in free Chick-fil-A food across the country to raving fans who've braved snow, wind, rain and triple-digit temperatures to help us celebrate the opening of each new Chick-fil-A."

Chick-fil-A grand openings attract raving fans from around the country with some traveling many hours and hundreds of miles from several states away to take part in the festivities.

The new 4,227-square-foot restaurant seats more than 134 and will create about 55 new jobs. The restaurant features warm colors and wood accents as well as an indoor play area for children, which includes an interactive section for toddlers.

Chuck Guffee has been selected to operate the new Chick-fil-A in Winchester. Guffee started his career with Chick-fil-A in 1983 when he was selected to operate the restaurant in Apple Blossom Mall. In 2000, he opened Winchester's first stand-alone Chick-fil-A on Pleasant Valley Road. While the Apple Blossom Mall location will remain open, Guffee is relocating from the mall with plans to operate both the Pleasant Valley Road and Rutherford Crossing restaurants.

With this year is forecasted to be the chain's most aggressive product rollout period in Chick-fil-A history, the new Winchester Chick-fil-A restaurant will offer several new menu enhancements including a new Chick-fil-A Chargrilled Chicken & Fruit Salad with Harvest Nut Granola topping and a new Chick-fil-A Chick-n-Strips Salad with strips that are 50 percent larger than the previous offering. The Chick-fil-A Chicken Salad Sandwich has also undergone a makeover and is served on new premium wheatberry bread with leaf lettuce. The chain's Cool Wraps selections now come in a new multi-grain flatbread.

The new restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., serving a full breakfast menu until 10:30 a.m.

Chick-fil-A was recently named Best Drive-Thru in America by QSR magazine after a three-month industry study of 25 quick-service restaurant chains in all 50 states. This is the fifth time Chick-fil-A has topped the annual industry survey which measures order accuracy, speed of service, menu board appearance and speaker clarity.

Chick-fil-A, which had the busiest drive-thru with an average of more than three cars in the lane, topped the competition in the category consumers reporting caring about most - order accuracy. According to the newly released data, Chick-fil-A drive-thru orders placed during the lunch and dinner test periods were accurate 97 percent of the time, an improvement of nearly two percentage points from 2007 when Chick-fil-A was again top in order accuracy.

Helping Chick-fil-A get those orders correct was its speaker clarity which the study found to be best in the quick-service industry. And despite having the busiest drive-thru, the study found that Chick-fil-A's average service time was just under three minutes per vehicle. In all, the study reviewed almost 6,000 orders for accuracy and more than 11,500 service times when comparing the various chains.