Delivering on the Drive-Thru: Best Practices from Customer Experience Leader Chick-fil-A

Few consumer brands are more renowned for delivering stellar drive-thru experiences than Chick-fil-A. The chicken franchise is so beloved that their store openings are highly-anticipated community events with opening day routinely sees a heavy volume of hungry diners lining up to devour the brand’s signature chicken sandwiches. With the rising use of lower contact channels during COVID, the brand’s drive-thru has been a key driver of the fast-food empire’s growth during the pandemic. They’re so successful with drive-up logistics, they’re even being asked for their insights on managing long lines for vaccine deployment in some locations. 

Chick fil A mobile order sign placed on the street with car and trees in the background

Even with their well-choreographed balance of efficiency and personalized service, the nation’s third-largest restaurant chain is not without detractors, especially those taking issue with their popular drive-thru lines and the impact on surrounding businesses. As we previously outlined in Window of Opportunity, there is so much that banking can learn from this southern chicken brand and their distinctively gracious customer service. Facing mounting pressure to keep the lines moving along, here’s how they’re upping the ante again:

  • Deploying even more humans with in-hand technology to support the drive-thru, staff delivers more than food with humanized customer service. 
  • With that level of outdoor support, though, workers need more comfort for the elements. Branded winter and summer wear, climate-controlled canopies and even new weather pods help workers in all conditions. 
  • Drive-thru assistance doesn’t have to be outdoors only either. The chicken chain is now using FaceTime for social distancing and extreme weather protection. Though tech, it’s still a friendly human face for the brand. 
  • In certain high-volume markets, the restaurant chain is leveraging ghost kitchens to support delivery service, rather using overburdened restaurant locations to prepare food. 
  • Lastly, Chick-fil-A One – the brand’s mobile order and pay App – also accrues reward points while speeding customers through the drive-thru. Convenience and brand loyalty all in one place. 

The takeaway for FIs: Place your customer’s experience at the center of everything you do and keep innovating to deliver on your brand promise every day.  

To learn more about enhancing experiences and optimizing your retail network, email