Skip to Content

Deptford Chick-Fil-A Clements Bridge Reopens Thursday Feb 22nd. I Toured!

Deptford Chick-Fil-A Clements Bridge Reopens Thursday Feb 22nd. I Toured!
Reading Time: 8 minutes

Closed almost six months for a major remodel, the Chick-Fil-A on Clements Bridge Road in Deptford NJ reopens on Thursday February 22nd, starting with lunch at 11am.

I caught up this morning with Tom Henry who is the owner/operator of this location, and he reviewed with me the updates to the restaurant.  Tom knows this area and the people very well… he’s from West Deptford!

Deptford Chick-Fil-A Clements Bridge Reopens Thursday Feb 22nd at 11am.

While there absolutely are improvements to the indoor dining area, it’s clear the core focus was about improving the drive-thru experience to make the experience better, and preparing orders faster for all customers.

To support the increased customer capacity expected from the drive-thru improvements, a large kitchen upgrade was implemented which streamlines and increases the number of delicious Chick-Fil-A sandwiches, waffles fries and more that they can create per hour.

Deptford Chick-Fil-A Clements Bridge Reopens Thursday Feb 22nd at 11am.

The key aspect to the drive-thru improvements is an innovative dual lane configuration which runs all the way through, from ordering to payment… and the Chick-Fil-A employees can easily walk to your car to make payment and receiving your food as fast as possible!

Additionally, a unique longer wrap-around lane configuration supports significantly more cars… but the team hopes it doesn’t come into play as the new kitchen capacity should allow them to move food and orders out much faster, significantly shortening the wait time

Dual drive-thru lanes all the way around will significantly increase capacity at Chick-Fil-A Clements Bridge Rd Deptford

Tom tells me that the 20 year old restaurant had already tripled its original capacity from when it first opened, and with the remodel improvements… Well other Chick-Fil-A locations with similar designs have been able to handle still another 2 times or more the amount of customers as what Deptford was previously supporting at it’s max!

Core construction at Deptford is completely finished and all of the inspections have been passed, but there was  a lot of activity at the site today as contractors worked to complete “punch-list” items such as paint touch-ups.

But please keep in mind that the configuration, equipment and many/most employees are all new, so despite these expecting amazing improvements… give them a couple weeks slack before they are fully operating at 100%!

Deptford Chick-Fil-A Clements Bridge Reopens Thursday Feb 22nd at 11am.

Chick-Fil-A Deptford • Dining Room

The dining room experience as part of the remodel has had many changes including décor styles, but overall I don’t think customers will notice significant differences from before the remodel.

Regulars may notice “They bumped that wall out didn’t they?” or “I think the counter shifted over a bit?”… but overall the dining layout is very familiar to what was there before.

The indoor play area remains, at the Deptford Chick-Fil-A Clements Bridge Rd

One aspect of the dining experience that remains in Deptford is the indoor play area!   Not all Chick-Fil-A remodels are keeping the play area, such as Mount Laurel who converted theirs to additional dining space.

Tom explains that Chick-Fil-A does analysis of several factors to make the decision, and Deptford’s family-oriented location close to many neighborhoods and the Deptford Mall led them to keep the play area for the Clements Bridge Road Chick-Fil-A.

Interior upgrades at Deptford Chick-Fil-A Clements Bridge. Contractors where working on final “punch-list” items during my visit.

In the center of the dining space is a communal table which was hand built by artisans from A Better Way Ministries.   Made from salvaged materials from unwanted homes, the hands that built the table belong to a person who also once felt unwanted and abandoned!

Hanging above the table is a light fixture made from classic Coca-Cola bottles.

The significance of this is that Chick-Fil-A founder Truett Cathy started his business career at eight years old, selling Coca-Cola door-to-door.  The young entrepreneur would buy a six pack for a quarter and then sell the individual bottles door-to-door for a nickel each!

A special artisan crafted table from A Better Way Ministries, at Deptford Chick-Fil-A Clements Bridge Rd

Tom gave me a tour through the kitchen area which is now three times larger than prior, and has been reconfigured to better streamline the different cooking and food preparation workstations.

The extra space was created by some interior repositioning of walls in the counter but also an addition was built to the back of the restaurant building, solely to further extend the kitchen area.

Behind the counter at the remodeled Deptford Chick-Fil-A… leads to a huge kitchen upgrade! Three times the size!

The chicken pressure fryers are located in their own area away from other stations so that the cooks can focus on preparing the best chicken.

Waffle fries are actually the #1 seller at Chick-fil-A because they are teamed up with basically every main entrée. To ensure the freshest and hottest fries, the fryers are actually situated up front of the kitchen, closer to the order/counter areas for inside dining and the drive-thru.

The new “walk out” drive-thru window at Deptford Chick-Fil-A Clements Bridge Rd

With a big focus on improving the drive-thru experience, the interior area of the drive-thru space for employees is also significantly larger, offering plenty of room for employees to grab sodas and orders.

The big change here which fits into the whole new drive-thru experience is the introduction of a “walk out” door for employees!

It’s an innovative design where the bi-fold style glass door can be configured to be a fully opening door allowing employees to walk out and easily reach cars on the other lane, or it can be set up to operate like a traditional drive-up fast food window…  maybe for those rare times when Chick-fil-A is not as busy and they only operate with one lane.

Curbside Service? Several readers have asked if curbside service was going to return. Tom tells me that it’s in the plans and they hope to have it return this Spring, but with so many new things in play for the new drive-thru setup, they want to spend the initial few weeks focused on mastering those aspects… and then they will reintroduce curbside!

Chick-Fil-A Deptford • Exterior

For the drive-thru rebuild the construction teams basically removed all of the old parking lot and drive-thru configuration, rebuilding from the earth up!

Even with the enhanced drive-thru land allocation, the new parking lot offers a similar number of parking spaces including two electric car charging stations!

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations at Deptford Chick-Fil-A Clements Bridge Rd

Obviously the building was not rebuilt and is still in the same location, so with that being said, the vehicle entrance remains the same… coming in from the larger shopping center entrance which brings in cars from Lowe’s parking lot or Clements Bridge Road.

A big challenge with the prior configuration of the drive-thru was the distance from the parking lot entrance to the ordering window only allowed for maybe 8 cars… and when that drive-thru lane backed up (as it frequently did) the customer cars could block traffic within the shopping center, including those just looking to come off of Clements Bridge Road and head into Lowe’s Home Improvement!

So the unique improvement is a drive-thru lane which first wraps completely around the building one time, BEFORE you then enter the actual ordering drive-thru area… which is ANOTHER lap around the building.

In a prior article, a 42Freeway reader described it as “The Chick-Fil-A 500″… comparing it to a circular Nascar style racetrack!

So by doing this it increases the drive-thru vehicle capacity to over three dozen vehicles!

Tom clarified that this configuration is very unique for Chick-Fil-A, but something that was needed at Deptford to ensure that customers do not back up into traffic.

But again please don’t think that means you’re going to be sitting in what is now a longer lane forever…  as the streamline dual lane ordering and payment process will be in place, as well as that triple sized kitchen!

Drive-Thru ordering area at the Deptford Chick-Fil-A Clements Bridge. Overhead roof, heat and fans!

That first loop around the building is single-file, but as cars approach the ordering area (under the roof canopy), the lanes split into two.

There are two menu boards here as well as the large overhead canopy to protect customers and employees from the elements.  Exterior grade fans are in place to cool off in the summer time, and several large overhead heaters will heat things up in the winter.

Drive-Thru ordering area at the Deptford Chick-Fil-A Clements Bridge. Overhead roof, heat and fans!

For breakfast and late night ordering customers will likely be directed to order via the menu, but during the core lunch and dinner time slots you’re typically going to find Chick-fil-A employees standing outside under the canopy, ready to take your order right at your vehicle’s window.

It seems like a small adjustment but having the Chick-Fil-A employee outside at the customer’s window, can really helps speed up the ordering process as it’s very clear that that employee’s sole purpose is to give focused attention to the customer placing an order and answer any questions

From there the cars travel around the back of the building (continuing in their individual lanes) until they reach the opposite side of the building… Where an even larger overhead canopy roof is installed!

Order payment and pick-up… Employees can walk to your car! Remodeled Deptford Chick-Fil-A

It is in this area where customers pay for their order and receive their food.

A typical pattern would be the cars remaining in their individual lanes, and employees utilizing that innovative walkout door to come directly to your car to take payment as well as hand you your food.

Door or Window.. innovative drive-thru at Deptford Chick-Fil-A

But as mentioned earlier, at the times when the restaurant is not as busy they may utilize just one lane and offer a more traditional “pull up to the window” experience from the single interior lane.

I plan on being back for the opening… and will likely be doing a follow-up in a few weeks or months, asking 42Freeway readers to give their thoughts on the changes.

But remember, for the next few weeks be a little extra patient with the employees… it’s all new to them too!

Deptford Chick-Fil-A Clements Bridge Reopens Thursday Feb 22nd at 11am.

Links and Location

Chick-fil-A Deptford – Reopening Thursday Feb 22nd 2023 at 11am
1480 Clements Bridge Rd
Deptford NJ 08096