One of the busiest fast food restaurants in the Tuscaloosa area is changing the way it serves its customers to reduce waiting times and increase security.
Ashley Gill, owner and operator of Chickfil-A in Northport next to the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market, said the restaurant serves an "absolutely insane" number of customers during their lunch break.
"I can not imagine anywhere else in the county serving as many customers as we are," Gill said. "There are more than 130 customers in an hour, and that alone in the drive-through."
Gill said she is grateful for this kind of patronage, but it causes traffic problems on and around the small lot in which her restaurant is located. 1
Gill said she wants to ease that traffic and increase the number of customers served, up to about 200 per hour at peak times, but that requires changes in the way people navigate through the drive-through.
"To that end, we've been trying to do something more innovative with people wrapping around the building," Gill said. "If they start off, they have to circle all the way around the lot before they get in the passage line, the goal being to try to get people out of 82 only when the light is green, to get them in, and when the light turns red, they do not sit all traffic. "
Gill said the restaurant set the new log before Monday and will continue to do so during the midday hours from 11:30 to 13:30. Finally, it will be for breakfast and Dinner is gradually introduced until the wrapping system is in place whenever the chick-fil-A serves customers.
She said the new system works well to reduce traffic on McFarland Boulevard some customers have expressed their displeasure to their employees.
Gill said it was okay to criticize the new system, but she asked clients to either criticize her or General Manager Shane Jones, either over the phone or in the restaurant.
"We want to thank the communities in Northport and Tuscaloosa for responding so well to Chick-fil-A and for bringing us into a" growth crisis "in which we grow to a point where we talk about things have to think differently, "said Gill. "We ask for patience and understanding as we all learn the new system, we hope that they will try and we will welcome any constructive feedback, but make sure it goes to the right person."
A short video guide to the new drive-through system can be found on the Chick-fil-A Northport Facebook page.
Reach Stephen Dethrage at [email protected] or 722-0227.