Last week, Chick-fil-A announced the nationwide rollout of its partnership with DoorDash. Customers can now place orders for delivery from 1,100 restaurants, nearly half of the company’s US locations.
Chick-fil-A remains a digital leader in the quick service category, landing in the Gifted category of Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Restaurants thanks to a sophisticated loyalty and ordering app and high engagement on social media. While Chick-fil-A began working with DoorDash in 2017 and sent emails to customers in areas where it was rolling out delivery, the brand took a cautious approach. It only expanded after finding that 98% of customers found the experience matched their in-store experience with the brand.
The relationship with DoorDash remains nascent, as the brand doesn’t yet promote the service on its own site. That’s common: while 80% of restaurant brands tracked by Gartner L2 are available on DoorDash, only 15% of quick service brands hand off to DoorDash (or any other courier service) from their sites. However, this is changing. KFC and Taco Bell recently began publicizing their relationship with GrubHub on their brand sites, months after parent organization Yum! invested in GrubHub.
Chick-fil-A should look to Taco Bell for effective execution of delivery handoff. Taco Bell customers can enter their zip codes on the Taco Bell site and be directed to the GrubHub landing for their local restaurants. While couriers like GrubHub and DoorDash can be valuable partners for offering fast delivery, restaurants should be wary of customers growing loyal to the services themselves, particularly as DoorDash promotes its own loyalty program, DashPass.