The Reason Some Chick-Fil-As Won't Serve Well Done Fries

Cooking the perfect French fry isn't easy. Serious Eats' Caroline Russock describes the journey as "a long and painstaking evolution" involving hours of "cutting, soaking, rinsing, re-rinsing, frying, cooling, and re-frying... [because] French fries are not just fried potatoes", so we can appreciate the care and thought that went into developing Chick-fil-A's classic waffle fries. (Which the Chick-fil-A website states have been cooked using the same recipe since 1985, when the menu item made its debut.) 

There are many reasons to love Chick-fil-A's fries. They come in a unique shape, are made from real potatoes, and are sourced from a family-owned farming business in Washington State. And before you think this is all just talk, one former employee shared on Quora that they "got all of our fries in boxes, and inside those boxes were big, brown paper bags full to the brim with the waffle fries. We kept these fries in a freezer, and when we needed them we fried them in oil for a minute and a half give or take. We'd get deliveries of these boxes every month or so, and just kept them frozen until the fries were needed." But wait, don't fries need more time than a minute and a half in hot oil to cook?

Making fries well done slows down service

Social media is full of theories as to why Chick-fil-A won't give fans more than a pale colored waffle fry when — let's face it — a golden brown, crunchy fry would probably be slightly more appealing and maybe even taste better. While there was a rumor that Chick-fil-A opted to stop serving well done fries for health reasons, the reality isn't as simple as that. As one Reddit user put it, "it's definitely not related to health concerns. I know at my store, the goal is to be as efficient as possible to benefit both the team and the guests, and well done items slow everyone down by taking up a whole fryer. It may seem like a few minutes wouldn't make a difference, but during peak hours it really does. It would be too confusing to try to explain to guests that we could do well done items at certain times but not always, so it makes sense to just get rid of the option altogether". 

Chick-fil-A cannot guarantee consistency for well-done fries

Another Reddit user commented that it's not just about speed, but also maintaining some level of consistency. They stated "The main issue with asking for fries that are crispy or 'well done' is the fact that there is no way to guarantee uniformity when making them. There is no set button and it is up to the fryer to determine when they think it is crispy. Besides this fact, asking for crispy fries delays the frying process of the normal fries and throws a wrench in the 'fast' part of 'fast food'".

It seems the only way you're likely to get Chick-fil-A fries well done is to do it yourself. The Daily Meal says you can make copycat Chick-fil-A waffle fries at home by cutting the fries with a mandoline and using a two-step process to fry the potatoes: first frying at a lower temperature (320 degrees Fahrenheit) to cook the potato and then frying for a second time in high heat (375 degrees Fahrenheit) to get your waffle fries as well done as you like them. For a solid Plan B, you could order waffle fries from your local Chick-fil-A and then bring them home to re-fry for yourself. Plan C, well, you can always just eat them as they are. We're sure you'll find some way to compromise.