For Once, Chick-Fil-A Fans Will Be Excited About Its App – And A Tad Creeped Out

Despite loving Chick-fil-A's food, many customers are not big fans of its app. Over the years, customer complaints have ranged from its lack of deals to the inability to order above a specific dollar amount. Recently, the attention that previously focused on app features has shifted to the fact that Chick-fil-A's app gave away customer data.

Perhaps in hopes of winning back distrusting customers, Chick-fil-A announced a new series of app updates. In particular, the geofencing update could prove popular with customers, as it allows the app to alert the restaurant when customers are approaching to pick up their orders. According to Morgan Anderer, senior project lead on the Customer Digital Experience team at Chick-fil-A, these updates coincide with Chick-fil-A's dedication to efficient service and quality products. "By timing a customer's arrival with their order, we can ensure they're getting a meal that is both fresh and served quickly," said Anderer.

Beyond that, when ordering through the Chick-fil-A app, customers can view an estimated wait time based on several factors, including how busy a restaurant is when your order is placed. Chick-fil-A claims that the app's estimations are 90% accurate, which could be helpful for customers who have a busy schedule to keep. While this will likely save people time in long drive-thru lines, customers have valid reasons to be wary about location tracking.   

Customers don't necessarily love being tracked by restaurants

Although Chick-fil-A isn't the first restaurant chain to add a geofencing feature to its app – Dunkin', McDonald's, and Panera have already implemented location tracking — this doesn't mean customers are more receptive to the idea.

Beyond the fact that geofencing features use more battery than other phone features, leading many customers to disable it unless necessary, other customers are creeped out at the thought of being tracked by a company. While geofencing is used in several ways that can make people's lives more convenient, like tracking your car in case of theft or helping monitor your kids, it also opens up a host of potential security issues and other marketing-focused efforts that customers may not appreciate. The unfortunate reality of geofencing is that businesses like McDonald's can keep tabs on customers' locations while the app collects and stores sensitive information. If the app is hacked, that data could fall into the wrong hands.

Don't get us wrong: We're not saying you shouldn't use the Chick-fil-A app's new features. However, for those concerned about potential privacy issues, you might consider enabling the geofencing feature only when you're actively placing an order through the app. Then, turn off location settings once you've picked up your food.