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UNTapped: Why do I have to order separately at the Union Chick-Fil-A?

UNTapped: Why do I have to order separately at the Union Chick-Fil-A?

UNTapped: Why do I have to order separately at the Union Chick-Fil-A?
October 25
00:35 2018

The UNT Union Chick-Fil-A has its customers purchase all items à-la-carte, and features fewer menu options and higher prices than standalone Chick-Fil-A’s. Additionally, all purchases must be made in cash, card or flex, and gift cards are not accepted at the Union location.

The reason being? UNT’s Chick-Fil-A is actually a Chick-Fil-A Express.

Although there are numerous express restaurants across the U.S., not much information about them exists online other than dozens of colleges and cities advertising new locations to hungry students.

According to Chick-Fil-A customer service, express locations are special Chick-Fil-A restaurants that occupy small spaces with high foot traffic, like areas within college campuses, airports or office buildings. Unlike standalone restaurants with fully furnished dining areas, kid’s playgrounds and drive-thrus, many Chick-Fil-A Expresses have little to no seating or space to accommodate extra dining features.

As for the menu, a Chick-Fil-A representative said the company limits express menu options, such as chicken strips or combo meals, to ease the availability and distribution of food. Express-style venues receive less food than standalone locations to accommodate for its smaller size, so customers must order from a smaller list of options in an à-la-carte fashion.

Many express menu items cost more than typical Chick-Fil-A fares.

Tara Dakin, a UNT Chick-Fil-A supervisor, said the Union Chick-Fil-A adjusts its prices in accordance to Chick-Fil-A mandates. Prices are a little higher than normal at express restaurants because they operate as licensees of third parties, like the universities or businesses that host them. Both Chick-Fil-A and the third-party operators have a hand in establishing costs.

Some students, like interdisciplinary studies freshman Cayla Hardesty, have taken notice of the differences between the Union Chick-Fil-A Express and regular locations.

“The Union Chick-Fil-A has a less selective menu, and there [are] not as many options,” Hardesty said. “You have to ask for an individual entrée and then a side. It’s probably to make more money. I feel like I spend less money when I get a combo meal [at standalone locations] as opposed to ordering each item individually.”

Even with the added costs, the Union Chick-Fil-A consistently draws long lines of customers around meal times each day, interdisciplinary studies sophomore Dominic Olkewicz said.

“[Going] any time in between classes is ridiculous,” Olkewicz said. “It’s probably a good 25-minute wait to order at peak times. But it’s Chick-Fil-A — it could be packed, and they still get [orders] done fairly quickly.”

Olkewicz, who knew former Chick-Fil-A workers, needed no speculation to explain the UNT Chick-Fil-A’s prices or shortened menu.

“They miss some things,” Olkewicz said. “It’s not productive, and it doesn’t make sense to carry the whole menu. That’s just how it is on campus.”

Featured Image: The UNT Chick-Fil-A Express in the Union aims to accommodate college students. The express-style option allows customers to order from a small list of options in an à-la-carte fashion. Dimmagio Escobedo

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