Will Chick-fil-A Upset the Balance of Nationwide Food Delivery Chains?

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Most people who order food into their homes have probably traditionally thought of pizza, Italian or Chinese food. In recent years, more and more sandwich shops deliver, but fast-food stops have not exactly considered been big winners in home delivery. In a world where gig economics can win and where so many new services are acting as third-party deliveries, the fast-food industry may see its share of food delivery rising ahead.

Chick-fil-A wants to be one of those new winners. The company just announced a nationwide delivery partnership with DoorDash to deliver its food from over 1,100 of the Chick-fil-A nationwide stores.

It might not seem entirely new that Chick-fil-A is in the delivery business. It all depends on where you are located. Chick-fil-A’s release showed that it already has tested delivery with DoorDash since 2017 in select markets. While this is listed as nationwide, Chick-fil-A deliveries will be limited to customers located within a 10-minute radius of participating restaurants.

Chick-fil-A has been testing the DoorDash partnership in some markets, and it also launched some delivery-focused locations. The company also relaunched the Chick-fil-A Mobile App and is testing Mealtime Kits in the Atlanta restaurants.

According to data from the company, some 98% of respondents who used DoorDash during the pilot said the food they ordered was consistent with what they expected. It is probably not surprising that Chick-fil-A’s orders are said to be common during dinner hours and on inclement weather days.

The company also showed some additional data about frequently ordered items and trends. Some 98% of DoorDash orders include Chick-fil-A Waffle Fries, and delivery sales are highest for restaurants near hospitals and universities.

It remains to be seen just how big fast-food chains will win from deliveries. The website Fast Food Menu Prices showed in June of 2018 that the 13 fast food restaurants that deliver food already included Chipotle, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Panera, Jimmy Johns and Starbucks, but like this program, deliveries are generally in limited proximities to certain stores. And then there are the big pizza chains that deliver. Pizza Hut and Domino’s have greatly expanded outside of traditional pizza sales, and it’s a safe bet that they probably don’t want to see their sales get hurt by a new competitor in home delivery.

DoorDash’s website includes many locations where it will deliver Wendy’s, Schlotzsky’s, Burger King, Subway, Starbucks, KFC, McDonald’s and so on.

The Chick-fil-A release said:

Since the pilot began, both Chick-fil-A and DoorDash have invested in custom-built technology integrations to ensure order accuracy and a smooth delivery experience for customers. Through this partnership, Chick-fil-A will ensure a best-in-class customer experience by integrating DoorDash into its Point of Sale (POS) system. POS integrations allow DoorDash to scale additional Chick-fil-A restaurants at a faster pace while ensuring a better experience for the customer and the restaurant team by integrating with Chick-fil-A’s kitchen management system.

The world of food delivery has changed rapidly in recent years. Now a new well-heeled fast-food company is coming into the mix. Stay tuned.