After almost a 5 month long remodeling effort, the Chick-fil-A Centerton Square restaurant in Mount Laurel is ready to reopen on Valentine’s Day!
The location’s Facebook page has been chronicling the many months long process, have been building up the hype towards reopening, and the countdown leads us to Valentine’s Day!
This morning they 100% confirmed the opening.
This is one of the first of many area Chick-fil-A locations to go through this transformation which is mostly targeted at speeding the drive-thru experience by creating two full lanes all the way through.
The building also has a small addition which was used to provide more kitchen area space.
But this is much more than just a basic remodel or refresh… this is literally all new construction built within the exterior walls of the former Chick-fil-A.
According to the photos posted online the building’s interior was completely taken down to the bare stud walls!
Everything inside the store will be brand new when you visit it again starting tomorrow.
Chick-fil-A DriveThru Upgrades
Clearly everyone is aware of how popular Chick-fil-A restaurants are, and how backed up their drive through lanes can become!
This was made even more apparent during the pandemic challenges where drive-thru use significantly increased across all fast food restaurants.
While customers continued the love the Chick-fil-A chicken restaurants and visit as often as they could… even the most loyal fans complain about the drive-thru experience!
All of the comments, surrounding traffic impacts and non-optimal customer experiences were not lost on the Executives of Chick-fil-A who started a series of upgrades… first tactical and then more permanent.
Over the last few years many locations added temporary improvements to the drive-thru lanes in order to move cars through faster.
But realizing that a significant percentage of sales were from the drive-thru window, Chick-fil-A knew they had to do something more significant.
In fact in the 2022 Mount Laurel Planning Board meeting for these upgrades, it was stated that the Center Square location had 90% of its business come through the drive-thru (it wasn’t clarified if this was factoring in pandemic time when restaurant were closed inside)
So simply the biggest part of the innovation is dual drive-thru lanes… lanes which will carry all the way through to the food pickup and payment area.
Dual-lane ordering is not unique, but in every other restaurant the two separate ordering lanes then merge into one when it comes time to pay and get your food.
But at those other restaurants merging the lanes then creates a bottleneck, and you wonder if anything actually moved faster!
As mentioned the innovation with Chick-fil-A is that they are carrying the dual lanes all the way through the entire process.
Which opens the question of how do they collect your money and hand you the food from two lanes? Is there a second little booth for food with some sort of conveyor system?
No, not at all. It’s much simpler than that.
In the new Chick-fil-A model there is a blend of the old sock-hop era drive-in restaurant.
At the new Chick-fil-A you stay in your car, you stay in your lane, but the employees come to you to take your order.
Similarly when you drive around to the other side of the building and it’s time to pay and receive your food, an employee walks out directly to your car to handle those transactions with you.
And to make all this happen, what originally was a window that you pull up to has now been replaced with an automatic door for the employees to walk through!
And since employees will be spending more time outside, both of these areas (ordering and payment/food) have new overhead canopies to protect the customers and the employees from rain, snow and too much sun.
This then brought on other necessary changes to help make this successful.
If they increase the amount of cars that can move through the drive-thru, what changes are then necessary to increase the kitchen throughput?
While I do not know the specifics of what new equipment or food processing concepts have been added to the interior of the building, I do know that they have added additions into the kitchen area which give the kitchen staff more room to make your delicious fresh chicken sandwiches, fries and more.
So now with changes to the drive-thru window areas, the ordering area, and the kitchen areas… at this point Chick-fil-A decided it was best to remodel the entire store’s interior.
Down to the bare studs. It’s all new.
As mentioned the Facebook page for the Center Square store has done an awesome job of sharing the remodeling progress with customers, and if you check out the page now you can get a glimpse of the new store interior and the drive-thru area.
Plus we have our images here!
Or of course you can just visit the store starting on Valentine’s Day and see what it’s all about!
Now keep in mind they’ve been closed for five months, so even with this super awesome drive-thru technology it is all new to the employees… so as everyone rushes out this first week to get their Chick-fil-A sandwiches, keep in mind you may experience some delays as they work out all of the details.
Links and Location
Chick-fil-A @ Centerton Square Mount Laurel
58 Centerton Rd
Mount Laurel, NJ 08054
Centerton Square Facebook
Centerton Square Website