Chick-Fil-A to open drive-thru only location to ease traffic

North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE)– Chick-Fil-A hopes a new design will ease congestion at one Charlotte location that has been called a “traffic nightmare” due to the long lines of lunch hour cars.

After 25 years, the Chick-Fil-A on East Woodlawn Road is no more after being demolished. The site, across from the Park Road Shopping Center, was approved for redevelopment by the city council in 2019.

The Chick-Fil-A at this location will be rebuilt as a drive-thru only restaurant. When it reopens in July, there will be no indoor dining but there will be an outdoor patio area. There will also be fewer parking spaces.

“A great big thank you to everyone for all the love and support you’ve shown us over the last 25 years,” the operator of the business said on Facebook. “We love our community.”

Customers are excited but skeptical the new location, with two drive-thru lanes, will ease congestion. Some think it will make the situation worse.

“I really don’t think it’s going to cause that much of a difference, said Phillip Wooten. “Lunch hour at any Chick-Fil-A across the state, whether it’s where I live in Shelby or in Charlotte, the drive-thru’s are backed up everywhere.”

“I mean people do like to go in and order their food versus just grabbing it out of a window,” he added.

The developer did not respond to a request for comment but previously said 83 percent of business was from drive-thru or carry-out.

“If it’s just a drive-thru,” said Michael Murphy, who came to the Park Town Village to get a haircut, “I think it’s going to cause more of a backup on Woodlawn Road.”

If it’s just a drive through I think it’s going to cause more of a backup on Woodlawn Road.

Nobody from the store responded to an email seeking comment but Chick-Fil-A’s corporate office sent FOX 46 a statement.

“I can confirm Chick-fil-A at East Woodlawn Road is undergoing a complete renovation,” said company spokesperson Jessica Ferrell. “The project includes a number of enhancements to help increase our speed of service and traffic flow. We look forward to serving the Charlotte community again in the summer!”

It is unclear what those enhancement are or if nearby Chick-Fil-A’s, like the one on South Boulevard, will see even more traffic while this location is out of service.

It is unclear if other locations will adopt a similar design.

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