Seeing as you eat at Chick-fil-A more than you'd like to admit, you'd probably know if the fried chicken sandwich giant offered a rewards program, right? Well, it turns out Chick-fil-A has had a secret and super-exclusive rewards club for years now, and despite many people's religious devotion to fast food chain, almost no one knows about it.
In fact, Chick-fil-A has offered the exclusive loyalty program, or its "A-List" club (see what they did there?!), since 2013. As explained in a report by CNBC, the program rewards the chain's VIP customers with perks like free food, discounts, private tours of its restaurants, and invites to special events. Only about 1,100 of the Georgia-based company's more than 2,000 locations currently participate in the program. Additionally, the CNBC report goes on to claim that unlike every other quick service chain's rewards program, you have to be invited by a Chick-fil-A employee to become a member. Well, crap.
Obviously, we had to find out more about this supposedly elite squad of chicken sandwich-eaters, and it turns out the club isn't as exclusive as the initial reports would have you believe. But admittedly, it's still cool.
"Customers are invited by franchisees to register which, in turn, allows the local restaurant team to get to know the customer better," Carrie Kurlander, Chick-fil-A's VP of Public Relations and Public Affairs, said in a statement via email. "Customers can also request to join the A-list at their local restaurant. Once registered, the customer then experiences more customized rewards and communication from his or her local restaurant."
Basically, the "A-List" club isn't so much a company-wide rewards program as much is it is a tactic some Chick-fil-A restaurants use to build relationships with customers -- aka motivate them to keep coming back for more fried chicken sandwiches.
"The A-list program is one of a number of ideas deployed by local franchisees that create ‘surprise and delight’ experiences for Chick-fil-A customers," Kurlander said. "Our local franchisees are involved in their local communities, and they believe that relationships with customers go much deeper than transactions."
In other words, you shouldn't feel left out. Well, at least not too much. This is especially true, considering Chick-fil-A also says "changes are coming soon" to the program, which means details about the current "A-List" could actually be out of date sometime in the near future.
"Exciting technology-based updates are in the works that we think will create an even better experience for our guests, and we look forward to sharing that story with you in the future!" Kurlander said. "Stay tuned."
Never has a rewards program at a fast-food chicken sandwich shop sounded so... eh, who are we kidding? You'll probably just eat the chicken sandwiches and waffles fries anyway.
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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and doesn't want to be part of a rewards program unless it comes with a shiny membership card. Send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.