Why Chick-fil-A Gave a Safe Haven to Delivery Drivers

    The chain opened a 'Brake Room' for the coldest months in New York City.

    Fast Food | February 16, 2023 | Malina Seenarine
    Inside Chick-fil-A's new breakroom.
    The Brake Room features comfy seats with phone chargers nearby.

    Chick-fil-A opened “The Brake Room” pop-up in February to give delivery workers of New York City a personalized place to recharge and relax while they’re making deliveries.

    The space, located in the Upper East Side, was explicitly made with the unique needs of delivery drivers in mind, according to Katie Joiner, principal team leader of performance marketing at Chick-fil-A.

    The Brake Room features comfy seats with phone chargers nearby and a bike rack in the basement for delivery drivers to safely store their bikes. Drivers are also able to enjoy a soda or water and have the option to grab a coffee from a barista.

    For the next two months, the pop-up will open to delivery workers who’ve made at least one delivery in the past week. Chick-fil-A wanted to create this pop-up with the coldest months in New York City in mind for the more than 65,000 delivery workers in New York City.

    Since 2017, food delivery has tripled in size with the highest amount of Manhattan-based Chick-fil-A restaurant deliveries reported in the winter months of 2022.

    The Brake Room is filled with “notes of gratitude.” Black and white photographs of delivery drivers geared up for work line the walls with personal quotes from them. One reads, “my goal is to support my kids and family— to have a better life.”

    In the middle of the space video monitors showcase praises from Chick-fil-A customers to delivery workers in both English and Spanish.

    One customer wrote, “to the weather warriors! A whole lot of gratitude for all you do.”

    The Brake Room will remain open until April 13 and be available to delivery workers Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

    “We were really thinking about that midday time between lunch and dinner,’ said Joiner. This time is when delivery workers usually will need some downtime or are waiting for more orders to come in.

    When it comes to getting the word out about the pop-up, Jared Codwell, owner and operator of a Chick-fil-A in the Upper East Side, says delivery workers come to his store frequently multiple times a day and most days of the week. He and his employees will inform them about the pop-up.

    Chick-fil-A will also have ads about  The Brake Room on bus shelters as well as on top of taxi cabs. The ads will be displayed in different languages.

    “We advertise in multiple languages to let them know they are invited and welcome," said Joiner.

    Chick-fil-A recognizes the importance of delivery drivers in its growth as a business and wants to continue building a community where its restaurants are located. The Brake Room is a small gesture to give back to that community.