Chick-fil-A has no issue driving customers into its restaurants and through its drive thru. In fact, QSR’s 2018 Drive-Thru Study showed six or more cars crowding the lane 40 percent of the time. And the 2,200-plus-unit brand’s average-unit volumes of $4.1 million are tops in all of quick service. But that doesn’t mean Chick-fil-A doesn’t want to cash in on the off-premises surge.
With a growing demand for to-go orders, Chick-fil-A announced it is testing locations in Nashville, Tennessee, and Louisville, Kentucky, without dining rooms. These units will focus instead on catering and delivery and are set to open this month. Customers in the markets can still order catering at any local Chick-fil-A, but the fresh models will serve as hubs for catering and delivery.
The Nashville location has no dining room or drive thru—roughly 4,200 of its 5,800 square feet will be dedicated to the kitchen, which is more than double the size of a normal Chick-fil-A’s space.
Chick-fil-A chose Church Street as the location “because it’s at the center of one of the fastest growing cities in the country,” it said. The store has easy access to highways for deliveries to multiple destinations, including downtown Nashville, local hospitals such as Nashville General and Saint Thomas, and college campuses like Vanderbilt and Belmont.
“Customers are relying more on mobile delivery,” Nashville restaurant franchise operator David Sims said in a statement, “and this new location helps us provide that convenience.”
Customers can order by walking up to the front counter inside the restaurant, or through DoorDash delivery. They can also order catering to be delivered or picked up at the restaurant.
Another new caveat: The restaurant doesn’t accept cash. It will only take credit/debit, “making the Chick-fil-A Mobile App the easiest way to order,” the brand added.
The location will serve the full menu.
Chick-fil-A’s Louisville restaurant will be a similar format. In this case, there will be no dining room or walk-up ordering. It will focus solely on preparing catering and delivery orders for Chick-fil-A restaurants in Louisville’s East End.
This store, slated for mid-October, will be roughly the same size as typical 4,800-square-foot stores. “This is a tremendous opportunity to create a better experience for restaurant team members and customers alike,” said Bruce Smith, operator of the new location,” in a statement. “Team members can stay focused on making sure every customer has the best possible experience at our restaurants. It’s never been easier for customers who are picking up their catering orders.”