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Chick-fil-A unveils futuristic design with kitchen above drive-thru lanes

Laveta Brigham

Chick-fil-A becomes latest brand facing backlash The ‘Outnumbered’ panelists discuss whether the public backlash toward ‘woke’ companies is going too far as Chick-fil-A faces calls for a boycott after making commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion. Chick-fil-A is set to introduce an innovative restaurant design at its Atlanta and New […]

Chick-fil-A is set to introduce an innovative restaurant design at its Atlanta and New York City locations in the coming year that includes a four-lane drive-thru positioned beneath the kitchen, a move aimed at enhancing efficiency in response to the chain’s already bustling drive-thru order lanes.

“By building the kitchen above the drive-thru lanes, meals are expedited to the Team Member who delivers the order directly to the customer in a space protected by the upper level, so hospitality won’t be sacrificed for speed of service,” a Chick-fil-A news release on July 27 reads.

“Regardless of how you choose to order your meal, the restaurant design is made to elevate and accelerate the experience but keep the human interaction at its core.”

The four-lane drive-thru concept has the capacity to accommodate up to 75 vehicles, the company said. 


Chick-fil-A customers

A Chick-fil-A counter is seen with many customers, including a Grubhub and DoorDash delivery person waiting for orders, at the Queens Center Mall in Queens, New York. (Lindsey Nicholson/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

The elevated structure also offers the advantage of a kitchen with double the capacity of typical outlets. Patrons can conveniently place orders in advance using the mobile app or opt for the traditional approach of ordering from an employee upon approaching the drive-thru lane.

“Digital orders make up more than half of total sales in some markets — and growing — so we know our customers have an appetite for convenience,” Khalilah Cooper, executive director, restaurant design, said in the news release.

With an estimated 200,000 drive-thrus dotting the country, congestion from long drive-thru lines cause more traffic in highly populated cities, like in New York and Atlanta.

Dedicated mobile lanes for walk-up service only will be rolled out to funnel foot traffic at the New York location first.


Chick-fil-A in Novato, California

Customers enter a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Novato, California, on June 1, 2023. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The locations will use an advanced food delivery system involving an elevated conveyor belt equipped with channels on its sides. This setup will transport their renowned chicken sandwiches directly to staff members positioned at the ground level.


“We want to leverage technology to elevate the human touch points in our restaurants,” Cooper said. “These new digital formats make the customer and Team Member experience more seamless, and therefore more memorable, and give back precious time to connect with each other.” 

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