What 'Surprise And Delight' Means At Chick-Fil-A

When it comes to fast-food customer service, Chick-fil-A has a reputation for being the best in the game. It's why customers are willing to sit patiently in the drive-through despite Chick-fil-A's wait times being ranked the longest among popular fast-food chains (per QSR), and it's the main reason behind Chick-fil-A's financial success during the pandemic.

Chick-fil-A's customer service, however, is more than just friendly employees. The fast-food chain also has a habit of doing what's called "a surprise and delight." According to a thread on the Chick-fil-A Reddit, this is when a Chick-fil-A employee tacks on an extra menu item, free of charge, onto a guest's order. 

According to self-identified Chick-fil-A employees on the thread, there is no rhyme or reason to how Surprise and Delights are allotted. Whether it's a milkshake that was accidentally made twice or it's approaching closing time and there's still a ton of fries in the fryer, Chick-fil-A employees are instructed to use the opportunity to simply make another customer happy.

Chick-fil-A believes in reducing food waste

Food waste in America is an ongoing problem, and the fast-food industry is one of the biggest culprits. Chick-fil-A states on its official website that the company strives to combat this by encouraging staff to limit the food they discard and by instating a "cook less, more often" policy, which ensures both fresh food and unnecessary waste at the end of each workday. This in turn means lots of Surprise and Delights.

Redditor Toshio_Magic shared, "If you stood at a counter long enough and waited you could get some free food. Better than throwing it away." VeganCereal03 added, "We actually donate all the chicken we cooked but didn't sell on time," which Chick-fil-A confirms is part of a program called Chick-fil-A Shared Table. Through the program, Chick-fil-A is able to donate all of that extra chicken directly to homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and charities. 

As it turns out, Chick-fil-A's food reduction efforts surprise and delight their customers just as much as they benefit local communities — a win-win all around.