The Red Flag On Your Chick-Fil-A Receipt Has A Secret Meaning

You have seen the advertisements. You have seen the online campaigns. Which fast-food company has the best chicken sandwich? Which hunk of fried white meat beats the band? While they pump out ad after ad online or on your TV, they seem to be more annoying than getting you to want a chicken sandwich from them, right? Fortunately, there is a place that does away with all the showmanship, the glitz, those eye-rolling attempts to sound relatable and tell you plain and simple: "Eat mor chikin'."

Serving up its own unique take on chicken since 1967, Chick-fil-A has always been the humble one, the friend of simple pleasures and simple meals. The menu is free from any sort of out-of-place menu items in a desperate attempt to keep up with the times. There are no failed marketing gimmicks or embarrassing overtly "hip" stunts. The official site even has something called The Chicken Wire written almost in the style of a community bulletin board, advertising everything from recipes, interviews with employees, trivia tidbits, and even certain Chick-fil-A items that did not quite make the cut. It appears that Chick-fil-A is more concerned with having great customer service and even better chicken. Nonetheless, in the world of fast food, everyone has more than a few tricks up their sleeves, and this chicken shack is no exception. In fact, you may have been looking at it the whole time as you drove home with your bag of 30-piece nugget meal.

A red flag item means a special order

Reddit user Kaerlok ordered breakfast from a local Chick-fil-A. The receipt showed 16 Chick-fil-A biscuits, one chicken, egg, and cheese bagel meal, one hash brown, one chicken burrito, and oddly, one "red flag" item. Confused as to what this meant, the user immediately took to the Reddit forum r/MildlyInteresting to ask others had an idea what it was for. Was there something wrong with the order? Did they change something he did not know about? Fortunately for the customer, the answer, it seems, was far more mundane.

According to one user, the "red flag" is simply code for a special order. The user explained that they used to order cups of gravy when they would frequent Chick-fil-A. As gravy was not normally available, the cashier would mark it with a red flag, which ensured the request would not be missed. If a customer wanted their sandwich wrapped in lettuce, the order would be marked as a red flag. Although if the customer would like to omit something like a tomato or onion, the user elaborated, the cashier has a button for that request. The red flag is for more "unconventional" orders, while more mainstream requests such as omitting a condiment follow the standard procedure.

While you may think this may make it a bit more complicated for the workers, it seems that red flag orders are sometimes used for more comical purposes when work is slow, as some Redditors liked to point out.

Red flags can help clarify special orders

If you usually get a "special order" at your favorite fast-food place, such as no pickles or cheese on your burger, it is sometimes a gamble to see if they will get your order right. Or maybe you feel kind of awkward ordering it, that painful moment in time when you have to try and explain your order without sounding like a snob. This was how Reddit user klankslayer felt when they put their special order at Chick-fil-A. A few times each week, they put in an order for "2 eggs, 2 sausage patties, and cheese in one bowl" — a special order for the chain's usual breakfast bowl. The problem, according to klankslayer, is that this order confuses the employees, and they sometimes ring their order up as a "breakfast bowl without hashbrowns," which the user asserts is more expensive and not exactly what they ordered. How could this order be such a challenge?

Another Reddit user, deejaysius, an employee of Chick-fil-A, was quick and happy to address this concern. They explained that special orders are sometimes a challenge due to employees being trained on handling regular menu items with quick, accurate service. Getting an unconventional order like that, they explain, could be harder to interpret and could likely result in an incorrect order. The remedy is to bring a receipt of your previous order, and read the section starting with the red flag. This will help them understand the order a bit better, and ensure you are getting the right items.