Jan 29, 2024 - News

🚗 Troublesome Chick-fil-A's drive-thru put to the test

Chick-fil-A drive-thru

See how there's space for another car there? Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios

The Cotswold Chick-fil-A quietly reopened earlier this month after completing renovations intended to speed up its traffic-inducing drive-thru.

Flashback: To the dismay of walkability champions, Charlotte City Council consented to a controversial rezoning last year that allowed Chick-fil-A to permanently close its dining room and be drive-thru only.

  • The company said the reconstruction would address congestion issues on Randolph Road. Previously customers' cars would wrap around the block.

Zoom out: I timed Chick-fil-A's line at the time of the rezoning. It took 16 minutes, including four when I waited in my car on Randolph Road.

  • This past Friday, at exactly 11:30am, I tested the new design. It took six minutes to get my nugs.

💭 My thought bubble: Let this unscientific study show that the Chick-fil-A is quicker now. There was barely a line on Friday or on Wednesday, just before 4pm, when Axios' Laura Barrero drove by.

Yes, but: Do people know the Chick-fil-A is back in business? When I typed it into Google Maps, it told me the restaurant was "temporarily closed."

  • The bottom line: Will induced demand prevail when customers realize the chicken restaurant is open and, at least for now, faster?

Read why drive-thrus are a point of contention in Charlotte

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