- Chick-fil-A launched dine-in mobile ordering Thursday that allows guests to order from a table instead of waiting in line, according to a press release shared with Restaurant Dive. The option will be available at participating restaurants nationwide.
- Guests place a dine-in order via the Chick-fil-A app, tap a smartphone to a table number and a team member will deliver the order to the table using the table number, which is integrated with Near Field Communication technology. Customers can also use the feature to order additional items following their meals without having to walk to the counter.
- Customers also receive Chick-fil-A One points toward rewards with dine-in mobile ordering.
While the biggest trend in the restaurant industry has been mobile ordering for pickup, mobile order for dine-in is just starting to pick up steam. Panera started offering table delivery in 2014 as part of its Panera 2.0 release. BJ's Restaurant tested a dine-in pre-ordering technology with Allset earlier this year that allows customers to reserve a table, order ahead and pay the check before getting to the restaurant.
Chick-fil-A's application of this tech could allow it to gain even more traction in the restaurant industry. Chick-fil-A began testing the concept in 2018 at 80 restaurants in Tampa, Florida, Nashville, Seattle, San Francisco and Silicon Valley, and received positive feedback from customers, according to the press release.
This additional service will only help Chick-fil-A's brand reputation and high customer satisfaction ratings, especially since it now has the slowest drive-thru times in the industry. Even though wait times increasing at Chick-fil-A have more to do with its growing popularity among consumers, long lines can be bad for business. This can result in customers going elsewhere and decrease overall customer satisfaction.
Having a better in-app experience can also help drive sales (think Starbucks and its mobile app). Chick-fil-A's app has undergone several changes since its launch in 2016, adapting to customer feedback in 2018 with the addition of a tiered membership program, faster ordering experience and better navigation. The addition of a dine-in option will likely lead to even more downloads of the app, especially if customers use it to forgo the line during its busiest times.