Chick-fil-A serves mac-and-cheese now: On brand or not?

Photo: Chick-fil-A

Now that Chick-fil-A has become one of the biggest restaurant chains in America, it reaches a hurdle: How do you continue to add to your menu without attempting to fix what’s clearly not broken?

For the oft-debated chain, the current answer can be found in the same kind of regional-minded fare on which it’s made billions so far. As of today, all Chick-fil-A locations will now sell mac-and-cheese, which the company touts as its “first permanent side addition to the menu since 2016.” Six days a week, Chick-fil-A will join fast-food chicken rivals like KFC and Popeyes in offering the side.

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The new addition did at least touch off a bit of internal Takeout discussion this morning, over just how well it fits with the rest of the chain’s established menu. For one, it’s a fork food being sold at a largely hands-first establishment; when most of Chick-fil-A’s food is meant to be held and/or dipped, mac-and-cheese does feel like a slight step off the beaten path. And when waffle fries, fruit cups, and salads are the usual side offerings, it’s definitely a richer and heavier option for diners. That said, it’s in line with the chain’s Southern leanings, and you don’t need us to remind you that mac-and-cheese is usually delicious. It’ll probably be a hit, given that everything at Chick-fil-A seems to be a hit these days.

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