Chick-fil-A wants to send your drive-thru chicken on a conveyor belt and down a chute

Jul 27, 2023, 4:43 PM

A rendering showing Chick-fil-A's new elevated drive-thru design. (Courtesy of Chick-fil-A, Inc.)...

A rendering showing Chick-fil-A's new elevated drive-thru design. (Courtesy of Chick-fil-A, Inc.)

(Courtesy of Chick-fil-A, Inc.)

(CNN) —Chick-fil-A is testing out two new restaurant concepts — a four-lane drive thru with a kitchen above and a walk-up store for digital orders — as it becomes the latest chain to try to get customers to skip the dining room.

The drive-thru is set to open in Atlanta next year. Customers can either order ahead via the Chick-fil-A app and then receive their meals at one of two lanes dedicated for mobile orders or order as usual through a regular drive-thru lane. That model’s kitchen is about double the typical size. To get the food from the kitchen to customers, the restaurant will use an overhead conveyer belt with chutes down the sides, a system similar to that already in some restaurants, according to the company.

The pick-up location is just that: Customers order ahead and then walk into the store to pick up their orders. It’s slated to open in New York City next year and is designed for urban locations with lots of foot traffic.

Chick-fil-A’s newest sandwich has no chicken in it

Speedy service is key for fast food restaurants, especially at the drive-thru, where a long line or a bad experience can scare off customers. Backed-up drive-thrus are even creating congestion for cities and towns. And digital orders can make for longer lines inside restaurants, where people kept waiting get frustrated.

In recent years, fast food restaurants have been experimenting with new formats, including drive-thru systems that get customers through the line more quickly and smaller stores that cater to people who don’t want to eat on premises.

McDonald’s (MCD) on Thursday announced that it is planning to start testing out a smaller-format concept called “CosMc’s” in a handful of locations next year, for example. Taco Bell has also been testing out drive-thru locations with second-story kitchens, delivering tacos to drive-thru customers via a “vertical lift.”

Chick-fil-A tends to earn top marks for its drive-thru, and for its service in general. But there’s room for improvement. In a drive-thru survey last year in which Chick-fil-A, along with Carl’s Jr., earned the top spot for satisfaction with service, the chicken chain failed to make the top five for order accuracy.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

Food & Recipes

Chef Jeff Jackson is back in the KSL TV studio preparing an easy weeknight dinner, Honey Lime Chili...


Recipe: Chef Jeff Jackson’s Honey Lime Chili Chicken Rice Bowls

Chef Jeff Jackson is back again with an easy weeknight dinner that can be on the table in 30 minutes.

21 days ago

Zach Lemann, curator of animal collections for the Audubon Insectarium, prepares cicadas for eating...

Kevin McGill, Associated Press

Would you like a cicada salad? The monstrous little noisemakers descend on a New Orleans menu

They may look like little monsters. And their seemingly endless racket may be a nuisance. But as parts of the nation prepare for the emergence of trillions of noisy cicadas, bug experts say the little creatures can also be a tasty snack.

2 months ago

Chef Jeff Jackson's cheesy chorizo empanadas. (KSL TV)...


Recipe: Smith’s chef Jeff Jackson’s Cheesy Chorizo Empanadas

Chef Jeff joins KSL TV to showcase his recipe for cheesy chorizo empanadas.

2 months ago

Smith's Chef Jeff Jackson developed a recipe for Lasagna Nachos he shared live from the KSL TV stud...


Recipe: Smith’s chef Jeff Jackson’s lasagna nachos

Smith's Chef Jeff Jackson shares a recipe live in the KSL TV studio for lasagna nachos.

3 months ago

Community Action Services is Utah's second largest food bank, and it has seen a 65% increase in dem...

Dan Rascon

Second largest food bank in Utah sees 65% increase in demand, donations needed

One of Utah's largest food banks is in dire need after demand for their services increased and they're now left with only a month's worth of supply.

4 months ago

Gourmandise's selection of desserts featured on their Thanksgiving holiday menu, available for take...

Mary Culbertson

Five of the most unique Thanksgiving specials in Salt Lake

The most unique Thanksgiving food in Salt Lake listed, linked, and featured for browsing and ordering pleasure.

7 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Chick-fil-A wants to send your drive-thru chicken on a conveyor belt and down a chute