Chick-fil-A has made 8 major changes in the past year to stay ahead of KFC

Chick-fil-A is the top fried chicken chain in the US, and it has been growing rapidly over the last couple years.

In 2014, the company grew by $700 million to achieve $5.8 billion in sales, making it larger than every pizza brand in the country, according to QSR magazine.

It’s now the eighth largest fast-food chain in the US by sales, and it generates more revenue per restaurant than any other chain in the country, according to QSR.

Here are a few changes Chick-fil-A has made in the past year to help spur its growth:

1. The Atlanta-based chain expanded to New York City. Manhattan’s first Chick-fil-A opened on October 3 at the corner of West 37th Street and 6th Avenue in a three-story, 5,000-square-foot space. The new restaurant is one of 88 that Chick-fil-A opened across the country in 2015. The chain also opened its first restaurant in Long Island on October 7.

2. The company started rolling out table service in its restaurants.

When customers order at the register to dine in, they are given a plastic table marker to place on their table and an employee will then deliver their food. Chick-fil-A employees also now canvass the restaurants offering to refill customers’ beverages or deliver items like napkins and condiments.

This service is not only beneficial to customers — it also clears out the area in front of the counter where customers cluster to pick up their food, David Farmer, vice president of menu strategy and development for Chick-fil-A, told Business Insider.

3. Chick-fil-A revamped its coffee.

Chick-fil-A launched a premium coffee line in August 2014 through a partnership with Thrive Farmers Coffee, which gives some of the revenues from coffee sales to a network of family farmers in Central America.

The new coffee offerings included an cold-brewed version with 2% milk and cane sugar, which is selling for $2.29 for 16 ounces.

One year after its launch, Chick-fil-A’s coffee sales had doubled, the company told Fortune.

4. Chick-fil-A got rid of cole slaw, which has been on the menu for 49 years, and is replacing it with a kale and broccolini salad.

The new so-called superfood side features hand-chopped kale and broccolini tossed in a maple vinaigrette dressing and topped with dried sour cherries and roasted nuts, including walnuts, almonds, and pecans.

The dish is just 140 calories for a 5-ounce portion and contains 7 grams of fat. By comparison, a medium order of the chain’s waffle fries are 400 calories with 21 grams of fat.

5. The company tested new sauces including a sweet and spicy sriracha, smokehouse barbecue, garlic and herb ranch, and zesty buffalo. The sauces are being tested in in South Georgia, Florida, South Alabama and South Mississippi.

6. The chain added new menu items, including a smokehouse barbecue bacon sandwich and side of a baked potato at select restaurants. Chick-fil-A also launched frosted lemonade nationwide, which is a blend of fresh-squeezed lemonade and its “icedream” ice cream.

. Chick-fil-A started offering a service called Mum’s Valet at some restaurants, in hopes of attracting more customers with young children.
The service lets parents order at the drive-thru with their children in the car with them, then go inside where a Chick-fil-A employee will have a table ready — with however many high chairs they need — and serve them.

8. The company, which has been criticised in the past for supporting anti-gay marriage organisations, announced plans to support an LGBT film festival in October. A couple months earlier, an Iowa Chick-fil-A restaurant donated 200 sandwiches to the city’s gay pride picnic.

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