A look inside Chick-fil-A's planned new prototypes

The chicken-sandwich chain plans to open two new prototypes targeted at takeout customers, including one of them with a four-lane drive-thru under a second-story kitchen.
Chick-fil-A drive-thru
Chick-fil-A's four-lane drive-thru features a kitchen on the second story. | Photos courtesy of Chick-fil-A.

Chick-fil-A’s next Atlanta-area restaurant may be one of its most innovative.

The chicken-sandwich chain plans to open a pair of new test concepts next year that cater to takeout customers in radically different markets, an acknowledgement of the evolving strategies for fast-food real estate and consumer demand.

That includes one location, slated for the Atlanta metro area, that will feature four drive-thru lanes, two traditional lanes and two mobile order lanes, that will travel under a large, second-story kitchen.

Another one, slated for New York City, is a walk-up restaurant targeted at urban consumers. Both, however, will be geared toward the digital customer. “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 of restaurant design for Chick-fil-A, said in a statement.

The company said that the designs give customers “more control over their desired experience.” They’re also designed to cut down on wait times while still promoting customer service.

The drive-thru concept features a kitchen above the lanes. Lanes hold up to 75 cars. And a food transport system sends the food from the kitchen to employees at the lanes. Demand for drive-thru and mobile orders remains heavy in the post-pandemic era, and a number of fast-food prototypes are designed to serve a heavier number of such customers.

The walk-up design enables customers to order ahead but they still receive their meal from an employee. That restaurant is designed to give Chick-fil-A more options for expansion into urban markets with heavy walk-up traffic.

Take a look at the two prototypes here.

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