Finally, something to eat on Sundays

By Tim Nelson
Updated July 23, 2018
Credit: Joel Carillet/Getty Images

Chick-fil-A is bigger than ever. Though long a Southern staple, recent years have seen the chicken sandwich chain expand nationwide, as evidenced by the opening of their now-largest store in Manhattan earlier this year. Now, Chick-fil-A wants to make its way into your kitchen.

Following in the footsteps of Blue Apron, Plated, and the million other meal kit companies you’ve heard advertised on a podcast, Chick-fil-A is launching its own Mealtime Kits. They’ll give chicken lovers a chance to prep their own dishes using the chain’s chicken starting August 27th. Available for $15.89 each for a two-person serving, recipes for chicken flatbread, chicken parmesan, dijon chicken, pan-roasted chicken, and chicken enchiladas. Each meal kit will include step-by-step instructions, and the ingredients can be refrigerated for several days before use.

While the emphasis on chicken dishes won’t come as a surprise, Chick-fil-A’s method of meal kit distribution might. Bucking the trend towards home delivery and subscription-based models, aspiring chefs will instead pick up individual meal kits directly from a Chick-fil-A location for at-home cooking. For now, they’ll be rolling out to 150 locations in and around Atlanta (where corporate headquarters is located). The recipes will vary by location, with each franchise offering up the necessary ingredients to make two of the five dishes at any given time.

While some would argue that having to go pick up a meal prep kit from a physical location undermines the purpose of such an offering in the first place, Chick-fil-A innovation program lead Michael Patrick sees this strategy as a differentiator in a crowded marketplace. “We designed our offering so our guests don’t have to order ahead, subscribe to a service, or make an extra stop at the grocery store,” he said in a press release. “They simply pick up a Mealtime Kit at one of our restaurants at their convenience.”

With revenues north of $9 billion last year and a reputation as the most popular fast food chain throughout wide swaths of the south and midwest, Chick-fil-A is betting that its kits can be a way to get customers to buy multiple meals in a single trip. At a time when struggling meal prep market leader Blue Apron has conceded that they need to sell their kits in supermarkets to survive, the chicken chain’s approach might even be a winning strategy.

Currently billed as a limited-time test run, Chick-fil-A fans around Atlanta can get into the kitchen with a Mealtime Kit from August 27th through November 17th. If you live in another part of the country and feel left out, you can fill out an online form in the hopes of bringing the meal kits to your area. If the Mealtime Kits do lead customers to “EAT MOR CHIKIN”, then there’s no doubt that they’ll be rolling out nationwide sometime in 2019.