The Deptford Chick-fil-A on Clements Bridge Rd (In front of Lowe’s Home Improvement) announced their store remodel starts soon and their last day of operation ahead of the temporary closure is Thursday September 7th.
The nearby Deptford Mall location is expected to remain open with their normal operating hours.
Clearly Chick-fil-A is one of the most popular fast food restaurants in America, and we’re all familiar with how the drive-thru lanes and parking lots can become jammed with cars!
Chick-fil-A Corporate is well aware of this and has instituted a program at many of their stores targeted at increasing capacity with drive-thru improvements, larger kitchens as well as extensive cosmetic upgrades to the stores.
For Deptford Clements Bridge Road it appears to be a full remodeling effort which will include adding a dual drive-thru lane with overhead canopies, a building addition in the back to facilitate faster kitchen production, as well as store upgrades inside and out.
42Freeway wrote about these Deptford plans back in December, but at that time the official start of the construction project was not announced.
This week the Deptford location made the official announcement of the temporary closure, via a post at their Facebook page.
The posting does not state when they expect to reopen, but I will add that this project seems very similar to the full remodel which took place the within the last year at their Mount Laurel NJ store.
That Mount Laurel project initially was announced to take six weeks, but they did not reopen for 4 1/2 months! Significantly longer than projected!
I have the new site plans for the Deptford store which indicate the building addition and new drive-thru layout, but I don’t have a clear understanding of the actual interior remodeling for Deptford.
But I’ll add, again solely based on what I saw with the Mount Laurel location (which had similar drive-thru improvements and building addition), that store was a complete gutting of the interior and exterior down to bare studs… effectively building an all new store. So while I am not 100% certain on Deptford in that regards, I am expecting similar.
This is all part of an improvement effort that Chick-fil-A is doing at many of their nationwide locations, with a main target of increasing the restaurant capacity and upgrading stores.
Plans vary per location but can include adding additional lanes to the drive thrus, building additions to increase the size of the kitchen, so they have room for additional kitchen equipment also targeted at increasing capacity.
While many of the store locations have been developed over the years in what seems to be properties that are too small for the now ultra-popular restaurant, Chick-fil-A expects that these improvements will allow them to get orders into customers hands faster, which will reduce cars maneuvering and waiting in the parking lot.
Of course this should also result in an increase in store sales after the remodels are complete. Customers are regularly turning away when they a line of cars at a Chick-Fil-A!
In the last year similar store upgrades with kitchen additions were approved and planned for the Gloucester Township Chick-fil-A (Cross Keys Rd), as well as Delran, and Evesham.
Additionally in Washington Township and Berlin they will be seeing some remodeling efforts targeted at the drive-thrus, but it seems based on public noticed they will not have the store addition component.
Recently Chick-fil-A was approved to develop a completely new store in Glassboro NJ.
And a brand new location opens this month in Cherry Hill on Route 70… which is actually a relocation from the existing store about 1/4 mile up the road!
The Deptford Chick-fil-A Remodel
I covered the upgrades in my December posts but seems reasonable to recap them here.
Full Dual Drive-Thru Lanes
A key aspect of the upgrades are the true dual drive through lanes.
Sure many fast food restaurants now have two lanes when it comes time to placing your order… But then they merge you back into the one common lane to pay for your order and receive your food
But Chick-Fil-A has something different in store for Deptford (and many other restaurants)
The model being introduced at Deptford will allow them to have two full drive-thru lanes which extend all the way through the process, including payment and being handed your order!
But with only one sidewall to the building, how are they going to achieve this? How does a second outer lane pay and receive their food when that outside lane is 15 feet from the building?
Chick-Fil-A will be adding an employee only door at the end of the drive-thru area, and the Chick-fil-A employees will be able to walk out of the store to talk to you at your car take payment for your order, as well as then bring your food out to you!
It’s a little extra work for the employees who have to go inside and out, but it will significantly increase the number of cars that can move through the drive-thru.
And of course when things are a little slower (if that ever happens), they don’t need to use that second outer lane and can just have the cars do the more traditional single lane drive-thru process of paying at the building windows.
Drive Thru Canopies
So with employees coming in and out of the building there’s the concern of what happens when it’s raining or snowing.
With that in mind both the menu order board area and the end of drive-thur lanes where you pay and receive your food, they are building large overhead canopies to protect from rain, snow and hail.
This should be a big win even for the customers during rain storms who can get very wet while rolling down their car window to complete the drive-thru process!
The Deptford store is also getting two small additions.
One will be focused in that drive-thru area to accommodate the new employee doorway.
Additionally at the back of the building a 580 square foot addition will be added to support a kitchen expansion.
They’ve really thought this through and realized that if they are adjusting the drive through to increase the number of cars and orders that are coming through, they also have to make sure they actually have the capacity to make enough food to support those customers
Links and Location
Chick-fil-A Deptford – Last Operating Day Sept 7, 2023 (temporary closure)
1480 Clements Bridge Rd
Deptford NJ 08096