With the new Chick-Fil-A restaurant opening in downtown Athens this week, there has been a lot of buzz about the structure of the new storefront. The new store’s design emphasizes efficiency of takeout orders, having no inside ordering. The new location has the option to place the order at the window for takeout, or one can pick up a previously placed mobile order inside the store. Seeing this, I have thought a lot about how Chick-fil-a has been able to use the concept of mobile ordering and transform how people interact with their phones within their restaurants.
Like many fast-food restaurants, Chick-fil-a has a mobile order app that allows customers to order their food before entering the restaurant on their phones. Chick-fil-a has been able to turn their app into something much bigger than just placing orders, by offering a points system and offering exclusive promotions. Having the points system becomes almost a game for users, allowing people to see how many points they have earned while using the app. My friend group has even began making a game of who has the most points with their Chick-fil-a app.
Chick-fil-a has also created a unique aspect with their app, allowing customers to earn points while use the app even when ordering their food in the traditional way. The restaurant allows customers to scan their mobile app when they place their order, so users earn points even without using the mobile order feature. This concept has adapted with the consumer demand of an interactive experience between digital media and traditional shopping, meeting the standards of the modern shopping experience.
It will be interesting to see how the new storefront will make this app and mobile ordering more prominent, given that the location does not fit the traditional fast food restaurant design.