Chick-fil-A Dropping a Key Menu Item

The fast-food giant has been pushing the boundaries of the very deep loyalty many customers have for the brand.

Mar 23, 2023 - 06:30
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Chick-fil-A Dropping a Key Menu Item

The fast-food giant has been pushing the boundaries of the very deep loyalty many customers have for the brand.

Chick-fil-A holds a special place in the fast-food pantheon. The brand's customers love its chicken sandwiches and have an enormous loyalty to the company pushing it to the top of most lists of best-loved fast-food chains.

It's a loyalty built on the company's customer service and food. And while the chain has its controversies on the corporate level, its franchise owners -- who operate a single store and live in that store's community -- generally build a deep connection to customers.

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Bonds like that, however, have to be nurtured. In recent months, Chick-fil-A has tested customers' loyalty by quietly raising cost of items points earned through its rewards program.

The chain also expanded how many items were being offered for reward redemption, but making earned points less valuable (something Starbucks SBUX also recently did) is a shot at your most loyal customers. Now, the company is about to make a menu change -- one that's similar to a change McDonald's (MCD) - Get Free Report made years ago -- that runs the risk of angering more of its biggest fans.     

Image source: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Chick-fil-A Taking Popular Choice Off the Menu

A number of Chick-fil-A locations have shared on various social media platforms that the chain would be taking its side salad off the menu in early April. That's a blow to fans who want to offset their fried chicken sandwich or nuggets with a side dish that's healthier than french fries.

"We are spring cleaning here at Chick-fil-A and taking this opportunity to refresh our menu. The side salad's last day will be April 1," the chain's Tifton, GA location shared.

Other locations posted similar notes with slightly varying last days for the side salad.

"A fresh bed of mixed greens, topped with a blend of shredded Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses and grape tomatoes. Prepared fresh daily. Served with charred tomato, crispy red bell peppers and choice of dressing," the fast-food giant shared on its website.

At 470 calories, a number that could be lower based on dressing choice, Chick-fil-A's salad actually has more calories than its medium Waffle Fries (420) and its Mac & Cheese (450).  

McDonald's Cut All Salads

McDonald's stopped selling all salads in 2020 blaming supply chain issues due to the covid pandemic. There was certainly some truth in that, but it's hard to believe the fast-food giant would not have kept a side salad if demand truly existed for it. 

At the time, the chain said it was continually evaluating its menu offerings and, while it has made many changes since then, it has not brought salads back to U.S. menus. That's almost certainly because, while people say they want healthy options, they don't actually order them when they go to McDonald's.

That's at least partly why the chain failed in its efforts to make the plant-based McPlant a hit in its home market. Customers simply don't visit McDonald's for healthy choices.

Chick-fil-A, which still will offer three entree salads, likely found that customers who opt for fried chicken generally choose fries or another indulgent side dish. Salad eaters likely opt for the chain's full salads (one of which, the Cobb salad, comes in at 850 calories and contains fried chicken).

Still, the loss of the side salad removes a way for Chick-fil-A customers to hedge their health bet by eating one of the chain's signature chicken sandwiches along with a non-fried, non-heavy side dish.          


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