Chick-fil-A Is Reopening Its Dining Rooms—Here’s How They Will Be Different

Chick-fil-A Exterior

With more and more states making the decision to reopen dining service at restaurants, businesses have laid out their plans for what a “new normal” will look like. While Chick-fil-A had been a notable holdout at a time when Burger Kings and Waffle Houses decided to reopen their doors, the wildly popular chicken chain has now laid out its plans.

As detailed in a 20-page document, Chick-fil-A has outlined a set of “Safe Service” standards for how it will operate its brick and mortar locations for the time being. The process largely involves a series of contact-minimizing policies and higher cleanliness standards, as well as some other minor tweaks that will affect the customer experience. 

For Employees

First and foremost, temperature checks: every employee’s shift begins with one, plus a “health assessment.” Employees will be told to wear face protection, and wash uniforms and re-wearable masks after every shift (which sounds like it could involve doing laundry on a pretty constant basis). 

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They’ll also have to wash their hands frequently, like after taking off gloves and handling cash—one more reason you should try to pay with a card if you can. High-touch equipment and surfaces throughout Chick-fil-A (both front and back of house) will be disinfected approximately every half hour. 

For Customers

On the customer experience side, things will change a little bit as well. Some locations may post an employee at the door to take orders, and using the Chick-fil-A app for contactless payment is encouraged. You’ll also have to swipe your own card if you plan to pay that way. 

Dining in will involve social distancing, enforced in part by closed tables. Any dine-in order will be served in a to-go bag complete with sauces, napkins, utensils, etc. to avoid the use of high-touch areas. Unfortunately soda refills will be off the table for now. 

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The one (pretty big) question mark that doesn’t seem to be in the document is anything related to masks for customers. The only mentions of masks or face coverings pertain to employees, and it doesn’t spell out any blanket requirement for customers to wear masks. However, the document also notes that restaurants “are adhering to state and local guidelines,” so state-level mask policies may come into play. 

While policies will vary by location and state/city ordinances, if you really, really want to sit in a Chick-fil-A right now, it is an option. Just be prepared for it to look and probably feel a bit different. 

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