How Chick-Fil-A's Legendary Drive-Thru Skills Fixed This COVID Vaccine Glitch

In New Jersey, a Chick-fil-A franchise is upping face-to-face interaction with customers by integrating a top-of-the-line video chat ordering system into its five-lane drive-thru experience (via QSR). In Wisconsin, a Chick-fil-A restaurant is putting up three temporary heated huts so that their drive-thru employees can brave inclement weather (via Patch). Drive-thrus have always been big business for the chain. Per a National Restaurant Association study quoted by Forbes, in 2019, as many as 35 percent of Chick-fil-A locations handled six-plus vehicles consistently throughout opening hours. More impressive still, its employees managed constant queues with accuracy and friendliness ratings that beat out its competition.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, QSR reports that the chain has upped its drive-thru etiquette even more: installing hand-washing stations and upping their game in mobile-ordering and cashless payment technologies. In December 2020, Chick-fil-A published a contactless ordering guide to further increase its employees and customers' safety. Which is why it comes as no surprise that when Mount Pleasant, South Carolina's mayor, Will Haynie, noticed traffic was backing up at the city's vaccination site, the expert he called in was from his local Chick-fil-A.

How Chick-fil-A helped Mount Pleasant's vaccination drive

It all started with what Mayor Haynie called a "computer glitch" on Friday, January 22, 2021. The glitch soon caused lines and a one-hour delay at the Mount Pleasant vaccination site. Haynie reached out for help. "We asked local Chic Fil A [sic] manager Jerry Walkowiak for help today after a computer glitch backed up things at the drive-through vaccination site. Instead of just giving advice, this video shows what he did," he posted on Facebook (via WFAA). In the video that Mount Pleasant's mayor posted to Twitter, the local Chick-fil-A manager expertly directed traffic, while simultaneously ensuring that Mount Pleasant's residents had the paperwork necessary to receive their COVID-19 vaccination. According to a subsequent Facebook post, with Walkowiak's help, the town vaccinated over 1,000 residents on Friday alone.

Meanwhile, Chick-fil-A's efforts didn't go unappreciated among social media users. "When you need to job done bring in a pro," cheered one Twitter user in reaction to the news. "The ultimate experts in drive-through management," affirmed another.