Chick-Fil-A Is Opening A Massive 75-Car Drive-Thru In 2024

Last October, QSR's 22nd Annual Drive-Thru Study found that Chick-fil-A had the longest drive-thru lines of any fast food restaurant in America. Unless you have 8 ½ minutes to wait in line, it looks like foodies will need to hit up the Taco Bell down the street instead. Now, Chick-fil-A lines are about to get even longer — but in a good way.

In 2024, Chick-fil-A will be rolling out the first-ever 75-car drive-thru. If that sounds like a lot, that's because it is. While we don't know the planned length, one could provide a ballpark guesstimate. For instance, from bumper to bumper, a 2023 Jeep Cherokee measures roughly 15 ¼ feet long. Multiplied by 75 cars, that comes out to 1,144 feet in length, just shy of a quarter mile. That would be sizeable just for the car corral. The facility will boast four lanes and the kitchen will also be twice the size of a standard Chick-fil-A operation. The fast food giant will start testing this new mega-drive-thru concept in the Atlanta area. Chick-fil-A will also be testing a new walk-up concept in New York City to accommodate heavy levels of pedestrian foot traffic.

For guests who opt for mobile order-ahead, the new restaurant will offer a designated line to accommodate those orders and move the process along even faster. Chick-fil-A first announced plans to implement the Drive-Thru Express lane in stores nationwide earlier this year in April, following a testing period. (Apparently, it passed the test.)

Moving right along

Don't let the idea of a quarter-mile line scare you off. It's true that QSR's study ranked Chick-fil-A 10th out of 10 for speed, behind McDonald's, Taco Bell, Wendy's, Dunkin, KFC, and more. Per the study, Chick-fil-A averaged 509.1 seconds per order, compared to KFC in first place with 302.6 seconds per order — but there's one major confounding variable here. According to QSR, if Chick-fil-A lines took longer to get through, it's because they were consistently packed with the most cars; in actuality, the per-car speed was faster than any other fast food chain.

Historically long lines haven't seemed to be deterring fans, either. Chick-fil-A was named Gen Z's all-time favorite restaurant in Piper-Sandler's biannual survey last fall and then took first place again in the Spring 2023 survey. But, even if enough customers say Chick-fil-A is worth the wait, long drive-thru wait times can pose other problems beyond an impatient guest or two. Sprawling Chick-fil-A drive-thru lines have wreaked havoc in densely-populated cities, as stretches of cars halted traffic and poured into the parking lots of neighboring businesses. Allotting enough room to keep long lines contained could be a huge stride for anticipatory, symbiotic urban planning (in addition to a 75-car drive-thru just being a really cool concept).

Chick-fil-A has not yet specified exactly when fans can expect to see these new stores open, just that it's scheduled for sometime next year. Until then, it looks like it's back to the line for Fil-A foodies.