A rep for the chain confirms that the tours will begin being offered on April 29 to coincide with the launch of the new line of Chick fil-A salads.
Tours will be offered at all freestanding Chick fil-A eateries and most of those stores located in malls. Licensed Chick fil-A restaurants — those in airports, business parks, college campuses — will not be required to participate nor will a few mall locations where management does not permit customers behind the counter.
As for actually requesting a tour, the rep says, “We suggest that customers contact their local Chick-fil-A to determine if they have predetermined tour times or if they can simply come in at any time. However, we have asked that all of our restaurants be tour ready at a customer’s request.”
The rep adds that there may be local restrictions from area health departments, or from lease agreements with property owners and mall management.
“Several of our restaurants throughout the country already have been offering these tours for the past couple of years and have established processes, including regularly scheduled tour times,” the rep tells Consumerist.
What about if it’s too busy for a tour?
“They are encouraged to honor the request, but they also can refer the customer to daily/regularly scheduled tour times or ask the customer if they would like to enjoy their meal first so the kitchen can make sure other orders are being fulfilled in a timely manner,” explains the rep.
Ever wanted to know what goes on in the kitchen of a fast food restaurant? Maybe not, but for those that are curious, a new report claims that Chick fil-A will be opening up its kitchens for tours to anyone who asks.
According to AdAge, Chick fil-A will allow customers behind the counters to see how things work at the chain’s 1,700 locations. It’s all part of an increased move toward transparency for the company. It will also be adding calorie counts to all its menu boards.
While it might sound like a good idea to some, others in the industry say it can raise some pretty big problems.
“[H]ow are they going to do this if they’re in the middle of a hugely busy lunch or dinner hour?” asks one restaurant marketing consultant, adding that most fast food kitchens don’t really offer a tour-worthy experience like you’d get in a kitchen of a full-service eatery.
Another expert raises concerns about the safety and liability raised by allowing non-employees into a working kitchen.