Week-old Chick-fil-A app hits No. 1 for iTunes downloads

June 6, 2016 | by S.A. Whitehead
Week-old Chick-fil-A app hits No. 1 for iTunes downloads

In case you haven't heard the news, Chick-fil-A has managed to become the No. 1 most downloaded free app on iTunes, not only by announcing the introduction of the new technology last Wednesday, but also by enticing downloads with an offer for a free chicken sandwich for everyone who downloads the app by the end of June.

More than 1 million people have already jumped on board with the app, which launched the same day as the new KFC mobile app. KFC did not include a free offer with its introduction. Nor did it commission a survey — whose results Chick-fil-A also released last Wednesday —  finding that most millennials would “do almost anything” to avoid waiting in line at a drive-thru with kids in the car.

Though it's impossible to tell what is driving the popularity of Chick-fil-A's app, it's clear that they've hit on the right combination of marketing, technology and research to score a big win with their customers. Also, the chain prides itself on a commitment to its founders' Christian family values, and tends to have a particularly committed following among millennial families, one of the largest generational segments this country has ever seen. 

Chick-fil-A also emphasizes the healthful nature of its menu items, including antibiotic-free chicken and other choices that demonstrate a commitment to sustainable agriculture and safe, responsible suppliers. As research bears out, chains are increasingly compelled to practice such policies in order to gain and retain customers.

Other QSR brands such as KFC, McDonalds and Burger King have launched apps without reaching the No. 1 spot iTunes, which might mean that Chick-fil-A is emerging as the QSR with the right recipe for success in the sector. This despite a continued boycott resulting from anti-gay marriage comments made in 2012 by Chief Operating Officer Dan T. Cathy, son of founder S. Truett Cathy.

iStock photo.


Topics: In-App Payments, Loyalty Programs, POS, Restaurants



S.A. Whitehead

Award-winning veteran print and broadcast journalist, Shelly Whitehead, has spent most of the last 30 years reporting for TV and newspapers, including the former Kentucky and Cincinnati Post and a number of network news affiliates nationally. She brings her cumulative experience as a multimedia storyteller and video producer to the web-based pages of Pizzamarketplace.com and QSRweb.com after a lifelong “love affair” with reporting the stories behind the businesses that make our world go ‘round. Ms. Whitehead is driven to find and share news of the many professional passions people take to work with them every day in the pizza and quick-service restaurant industry. She is particularly interested in the growing role of sustainable agriculture and nutrition in food service worldwide and is always ready to move on great story ideas and news tips.


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