- Chick-fil-A announced Tuesday that it is now offering delivery nationwide through a partnership with DoorDash, according to a company release. More than 1,100 Chick-fil-A restaurants are participating in delivery.
- Chick-fil-A has been testing delivery with DoorDash since 2017 in select markets. Through the partnership, DoorDash is integrated directly into Chick-fil-A’s point-of-sale system.
- To promote the national rollout of delivery, up to 200,000 free Chick-fil-A sandwiches will be given away through Nov. 20 to customers placing a minimum $5 delivery order.
The delivery competition in QSR just intensified significantly. Delivery adds a layer of accessibility to an already high-demand product — Chick-fil-A is the fastest growing chain in the country, experiencing a 14% sales jump last year alone.
Though Chick-fil-A is not a first mover in the quick-service delivery space, it has taken critical future-proofing steps to ensure that it is among the most efficient. The company recently announced plans to open new prototypes in select markets, for example, that are specifically designed for delivered meals. The idea is simply to provide fulfillment-type locations — with no dining rooms or drive-thrus — to ensure that increased off-premise orders do not compromise traditional operations. With 86% of consumers using off-premise channels at least once a month and 28% reporting they order food via delivery more often than they did a year ago, according to Technomic, this seems a savvy innovation.
By exerting patience over the process and implementing a test for more than a year, Chick-fil-A had time to nail down the logistics, the food quality piece and the technology integration to minimize the chances of customers having a bad experience, which would be off brand for the chain. One of the biggest risks restaurant brands take when partnering with third-party delivery companies is a loss of control over the customer relationship. However, like Yum! Brands (Grubhub), McDonald’s (Uber Eats) and Burger King (Postmates), Chick-fil-A's move to stick to one aggregate offers a better chance of circumventing that risk.
There is a caveat to Chick-fil-A’s delivery rollout — it is only delivering to customers within a 10-mile radius. Although this can seem like a limitation, the decision to set such a parameter was made to maintain food quality standards. French fries have long posed a challenge for QSRs navigating delivery and 90% of DoorDash orders during the pilot phase included Chick-fil-A waffle fries. The 10-mile radius seems to be a wise boundary — 98% of customers who used DoorDash during the pilot reported that the food they ordered was consistent with the quality they expect from Chick-fil-A.