WAXAHACHIE — Residents have taken the slogan, “Eat Mor Chikin,” to their hearts and stomachs. The chicken craving has officially forced Waxahachie’s Chick-fil-A to undergo a renovation and expansion of its current building.
The project, which will begin in February, involves a remodel of the building, expansion of the kitchen and the addition of a second drive-thru lane. The Waxahachie City Council helped the project move forward with its approval of the restaurant’s request for a specific use permit at its Monday night meeting.
“We have capacity issues. We have been operating well over what we were designed to handle for several years now. Chick-fil-A has selected us to do a compressive and hopefully a long lasting upgrade to our restaurant,” Owner and Operator of Waxahachie Chick-fil-A Philip Browne said. “The kitchen will be completely redone to handle more than double the volume we can do right now per hour. So that is a big thing. We will add a second drive-thru lane. We will have a double drive-thru lane as opposed to the system that we have right now. The restaurant will get a face-lift on the outside and the inside.”
Browne said the restaurant serves about 2,000 customers a day. During a peak period, it serves anywhere from 100 – 133 vehicles in the drive-thru in an hour. The remodeled building will allow Chick-fil-A to serve 100-120 customers per hour on the inside and more than 200 vehicles in the drive thrus. Drive-thru sales make up about 60 percent of the total sales for the restaurant, Browne said.
The project will start around Feb. 17 and would take about eight-and-a-half weeks to complete. During four and half weeks of the project, the restaurant will remain open but once more intense construction begins it will close. He expects that the restaurant will reopen in the early to middle part of April.
“It (the inside) will be very contemporary. There will be a community table that can seat 10 people around a high table. That will be kind of like a gathering point for people to come and sit and meet if they want,” Browne said. “We will redesign the front counter (for employees) to get out from multiple points to serve guest more quickly, refresh beverages, clear tables and all of the things that we try to do now. It gets kind of difficult because we only have one way to get out of our counter.”
Browne said the large condiment counter would also be removed to add additional dining space.
He noted that employees are going to be taken care of during the remodel and expansion.
“We have a lot of part-time team members they are enjoying taking some time off. There will be some others that we are finding other Chick-fil-A locations (to work at). Plus, there is going to be a lot of work to do around here in the way of reorganizing and spring cleaning type of thing,” Browne said. “We will be around and be busy, but I am hoping for 10 -14 days of no one having to think about anything to do with chicken. They can go off and visit with family. Just have a little bit of time off after 12 years of a lot of business going on.”
Browne said some customers have expressed a little bit apprehension, as they have stated that they will not know what to do without Chick-fil-A when the restaurant temporarily closes. He wants to assure customers that when they reopen it will be bigger and better.
“We have learned a lot in the last decade of how to expedite customers efficiently and also to do it our way, which is the personality and charm and the desire to serve in a God-honoring way,” Browne said. “All of that will be on display in the middle part of April.”
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