Why Chick-Fil-A Still Can't Solve Its Biggest Problem With Customers

There's nothing else quite like a fresh hot chicken sandwich for a quick and easy lunch. According to Reader's Digest, it would seem that many Americans find that Chick-fil-A is the place to go to scratch that poultry itch. With a legendary chicken sandwich, warm and friendly employees, and a management system designed to be as compassionate and as supportive to their team as possible (via Business Insider), what exactly could a customer have a problem with?

The chain's trouble with customers doesn't lie in being unable to draw in a crowd or getting bad reviews — quite the opposite, actually. While Chick-fil-A's popularity isn't in danger of being overshadowed, one major flaw the restaurant has is their incredibly slow drive-thru (via Forbes). A combination of Chick-fil-A-hungry drivers and a slow drive-thru can lead to a bumper-to-bumper line, extending all the way out of the parking lot and into the street. This is not only dangerous to other motorists, but can alienate customers who are fed up with long wait times or simply in a hurry.

"There's a big drive-off factor: We estimate about 30% of the people are ... driving away, because the lines are so long," stated Chick-fil-A chairman Dan Cathy (via Atlanta Business Chronicle). Cathy explained that while the company attempted to remedy this problem by opening two restaurants closer together, the problem still remained. Fortunately, Chick-fil-A is still working to remedy their long wait times, including experimenting with a new, speedier drive-thru system.

Chick-fil-A is testing out an express lane

When a Reddit user used their phone to place an order for Chick-fil-A, they discovered a new option for a "drive-thru express lane," exclusive to mobile orders only. A customer could order online and pick up their food in the express lane without holding up the regular line. While many Redditors were glad to hear there was progress being made on the slow drive-thru issue, some were a bit skeptical of the idea, due to the classic unsolvable problem of customers who ignore guidance.

Some fear that customers who didn't order ahead online will still get into that specially-designated express lane, adding to potential backlog. "This is why this won't actually catch on. Too many idiots out there that are incapable of reading, or who think that the rules don't apply to them," bemoaned one Redditor. "And Chick-fil-A will have no choice but to serve them anyway, because the alternative is for them to just sit in their car and not move."

The company is also trying out something they call "Face-to-Face" ordering. Via The Chicken Wire, employees with tablets walk up to your car, take your order, and relay it to the kitchen. Another employee will come to collect payment, allowing the line to move twice as fast as a normal drive-thru. Chick-fil-A has even tried adding the old tried-and-true second drive-thru line to help move cars through faster, which if judging by how popular they are, they will certainly need.