Chick-fil-A noted its development staff will be able to better control costs and build time by minimizing uncertainties related to schedule and labor. “By incorporating modularized construction into our restaurant development programs, we will be able to reduce the construction time needed to rebuild existing restaurants by 6-10 weeks,” Lollis said. “That allows our operators to minimize lost sales and increase team member retention.”
“A shortened construction time allows us to keep employees engaged and excited about what’s coming in the future,” added Jim Waddle, the operator of the Roswell location.
There are other benefits, too. Since portions of multiple restaurants are built at the same time during modular construction, Chick-fil-A can work to ensure consistent quality through testing and inspections. In other words, flaws are called out before modules show up on-site.
“We knew that taking a modular approach would shorten the construction timeline, but we weren’t willing to sacrifice quality in the process,” said Trent Gilley, lead designer of the modular building program at Chick-fil-A. “By building the restaurant offsite, we maintain control over the build process without the interference of outside factors, which helps ensure a consistent quality of construction.”
By reducing construction waste, Chick-fil-A units will be built in a more sustain and efficient way, the company said. Modular construction reduces site disruptions and impact to adjoining property owners due to shorter duration and less traffic generated on-site.
Chick-fil-A generally keeps expansion goals tight to the vest. But, if the brand wants to, there’s plenty of whitespace to grab. In 2019, Chick-fil-A was only one of six restaurant brands to eclipse $10 billion in domestic sales. But it had far and away the fewest locations at 2,500. In fact, in all of quick service, Chick-fil-A is just the 19th largest brand on the map.
How it stacks up by total systemwide sales year-end 2019: McDonald’s ($40.4 billion); Starbucks ($21.5 billion); Chick-fil-A (11 billion); Taco Bell ($11 billion); Burger King ($10.3 billion); and Subway ($10 billion). Also to note, Chick-fil-A is closed on Sundays. It makes up for this with an industry-leading average-unit volume of $4.517 million.
Now let’s flip to U.S. unit count for those brands. Subway (23,802); Starbucks (15,041); McDonald’s (13,846); Burger King (7,346); Taco Bell (7,089); and Chick-fil-A (2,500).