Chick-fil-A Opens Its First Modular Restaurant

The process reduces construction schedules, ensures consistent quality.

November 10, 2020

ATLANTA—In October, Chick-fil-A opened its first restaurant built via modular construction, a move that could change the way the company builds future outlets, according to QSR magazine.

The new restaurant was built offsite and shipped to a location in Roswell, Georgia, just outside Atlanta. A crew pieced it together upon arrival, a process that the chain says can reduce construction schedules for rebuilds and remodels by 6–10 weeks.

While many benefits are obvious, the most notable ones may be reducing long wait times on redesign projects and getting operators and employees back to work after a redesign or remodel. In addition, the procedure allows store operators to recoup sales and collect ROI from design improvements sooner.

The design style, Chick-fil-A said, also allows for more consistent quality and a reduction in construction waste. Because the restaurants are created off-site in a controlled environment, weather conditions, like rain, snow, wind and extreme temperatures will play less of a role in development schedules.

“At Chick-fil-A, we’re constantly looking for ways to innovate and improve how we build our restaurants,” said Gregg Lollis, senior director of restaurant design. “Our team has been researching this type of construction for several years, and we expect to introduce additional modular building projects in the coming months.”

“When it comes to rebuilding or remodeling a restaurant, this is a huge factor for our team,” added Chad Baker, principal reinvestment lead at Chick-fil-A. “The modular option gives us an advantage of starting these projects ahead of schedule, before the existing restaurant even has to close its doors.”

Since portions of multiple restaurants are built at the same time during modular construction, Chick-fil-A can work to ensure consistent quality through testing and inspections.

“We knew that taking a modular approach would shorten the construction timeline, but we weren’t willing to sacrifice quality in the process,” said Trent Gilley, lead designer of the modular building program. “By building the restaurant offsite, we maintain control over the build process without the interference of outside factors, which helps ensure a consistent quality of construction.”

As the world of foodservice continues to innovate and evolve, don’t forget to go back and watch “Understanding Dayparts and Optimizing Each Hour of the Day,” “Beverages for the Win” and “Feeding the New Consumer: Health, Food Trends, Pandemics and More!”, all part of the NACS Crack the Code Experience, which runs through December 4. These sessions and more are available in live and on-demand formats, so even if you miss them, you still have access to them if you register for the event. In addition, next week, new foodservice education sessions will be premiering, including “Competing for Food Sales,” “Bananas and Donuts: Good vs. Fresh vs. Healthy,” “Tracing the Foodservice Supply Chain,” and “Calculating the ROI of Foodservice.” Don’t delay—register now!