Monday, January 11, 2016 3:33pm
Chick-fil-A knows parents are busy.
And it isn’t easy to grab a meal on the go when you’ve got young children in the back seat.
A number of Chick-fil-A restaurants across the nation are offer a service called “Mom’s Valet” in which parents can order meals from the drive-through, then park. By the time they’ve got the kids out of the car, a table is waiting for them with their food and high chairs inside.
Not all Chick-fil-A restaurants in Tampa Bay offer the service, but the ones on St. Pete Beach and on Gulf to Bay Boulevard in Clearwater do. Another one on Waters Avenue in Tampa will start offering it next week.
The program started at one Chick-fil-A a while ago, said company spokeswoman Bekki Poelker, and has since grown to more than 100 of the company’s 1,900-plus U.S. locations.
The service is free. Parents who want to use it just need to say so when they place an order at the drive-through. An employee will be waiting for them inside to serve their food.
“We’ve seen some services in fast food, like White Castle, which sometimes takes reservations and dresses up tables on Valentine’s Day, but for the most part, you don’t see a lot of this,” said Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Technomic, a Chicago-based food research firm. “It’s a great accommodation for parents, and from the Chick-fil-A brand standpoint, it fits well with their very specific philosophy with religion and family.”
The service received national attention earlier this month when a franchisee-owned restaurant posted about it on Facebook and it went viral.
“Our hope is that with ongoing improvements to our mobile ordering app, all customers will have access to this level of convenience at their fingertips in all locations in the future,” Poelker said.
Similar to Publix or Nordstrom, Chick-fil-A is a brand that has a cult-like following. When new stores open, fans camp in the parking lot for a chance to win free Chick-fil-A for a year.
In October, the Chick-fil-A on St. Pete Beach hosted an all-you-can-eat chicken nugget promotion, which received hundreds of thousands of shares and likes on social media.
In 2015, Chick-fil-A was named the No. 1 restaurant based on customer satisfaction by the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Chipotle was a close second.