Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Chick-fil-A Thinks Metro Atlanta Wants to Eat Mor Chickin

Chicken chain joining the burger brigade 
Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A plans to open next to Cook-Out on Northside Drive near Georgia Tech. The new Chick-fil-A would be built in place of Comp24, a marketing & advertising firm currently in a one story building at the corner of Ethel Street & Northside Drive.  

Chick-fil-A already has a location two miles away on Howell Mill Road, but this location would better serve the westside community of students and faculty of Georgia Tech. Additionally, another Chick-fil-A restaurant opened this past August within the new College Football Hall of Fame near Philips Arena, also two miles away.  

The new Chick-fil-A would be adjacent to the soon to open Cook-Out and existing Krystal, and across from both McDonald's and Burger King. 

According to permits filed with the city of Atlanta, the new Chick-fil-A building would be about 4500 square feet while the current structure is over 20,000 square feet.  

A source within Chick-fil-A told me the current plan is to have the new restaurant open by October 2015.  

As has been mentioned previously, both North Carolina-based Cook-Out and Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A operate "faith based" businesses.  Cook-Out plays Christian music in many of its restaurants and features scripture verses on its cups.  Chick-fil-A often partners with religious groups and other faith based organizations, while its chairman Dan Cathy has been criticized for being a little too public with his biblical rhetoric.  

The Chick-fil-A empire was built on the "Original Chicken Sandwich," (a fried chicken fillet with a pickle on a white bun) waffle fries and fresh-made lemonade, but the menu variety has broadened over the past few years. Chick-fil-A launched a partnership with THRIVE Farmers this past summer which brought "Farmer-Direct" coffee to the chain's nearly 2,000 restaurants. The proprietary Chick-fil-A blend represents both an improvement in the chain's coffee program as well as a business that works to improve the lives of the farmers who produce the coffee beans.

While a grilled chicken sandwich has been a menu option for years, the sandwich got a makeover and relaunch.  Along with improvements to the grilled chicken and grilled chicken club sandwiches, the chain launched grilled chicken nuggets chain-wide. Chocolate chunk cookies and multigrain oatmeal were previously added to the menu to offer more variety for both breakfast and snack options.  

Similar to Chipotle Mexican Grill and Wendy's, Chick-fil-A offers a nutrition calculator.  Not that you really wanted to know, but Chick-fil-A's current LTO (limited time offer) milkshake, Peppermint Chocolate Chip, comes in at 910 calories for the standard 20 ounce size.  (The small 14 ounce comes in at a mere 660 calories.) 

Restaurants such as Del Taco, Panda Express and Pollo Tropical have reportedly all expressed interest in the Northside / 14th Street area, so perhaps Chick-fil-A won't be the last new restaurant we see there.

S. Truett Cathy, who passed away earlier this year, opened the first Chick-fil-A (known then as "Dwarf Grill") in Hapeville in 1946. Today, the chain has grown to nearly 2,000 locations in 41 states.  With sales in excess of $5 billion, Chick-fil-A has overtaken KFC as the largest chicken chain by sales. Amazingly, Chick-fil-A accomplished this feat with less than half the number of locations of KFC, and while being closed on Sundays. 


Anonymous said...

I haven't been down to that area in a long time. Are any of these restaurants being designed to assist in efforts to make Northside Drive more pedestrian friendly? Or are they all suburban-style site plans with emphasis on parking and drive-thrus?

Matt said...

I'm really not trying to be a jerk but Northside Drive/US41 is a major artery, I'm pretty sure those restaurants will have parking and drive thru's.

It would be idiotic if they did not.

Mailey E. McLaughlin, M.Ed. said...

I wonder if CFA will be hiring a cop to direct traffic there? No way anyone will be able to turn left out of there onto Northside. It's illegal now (people turn out of McDonald's going left, over double yellow lines), but maybe they will change that.

Tyler B. said...

Umm... @The Doubtful Guest you do know that that IS legal to turn left across a double yellow lines (especially form a driveway/curb cut like that)? The lines are usually only dashed when there's a secondary street/ROW intersecting another arterial road. Northside needs a center turning lane and a road-diet similar to Ponce to help with the back-ups when a car is trying to turn left. (Plus the bike lanes would be beneficial for the growth of this area.)

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