This is what will be different at Chick-fil-A after dining rooms reopen

1. You can get free food dressed as a cow on Cow Appreciation Day 2. Kids eat free Tuesday 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at participating locations. 3. Several Texas stores opened on a Sunday after deadly tornadoes killed 11 near Dallas 4. You can become a Chick-fil-A operator for around $10,000 5. Many Chick-fil-A restaurants do the "Cell Phone Coop Family Challenge" to encourage conversation

Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days since sitting in the dining room of your local Chick-fil-A was a thing.

As mandatory shutdowns have ceased and guidelines have loosened, Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A has announced a return to the days of in-restaurant dining. The franchise plans to reopen its thousands of dining rooms across the country. The more than 2,300 locations across the country have been closed to inside dining since March due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Many locations had still offered curbside delivery and drive-thru service as alternatives.

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In a Friday blog post, the celebrated fast-food chain announced it would slowly reopen indoor dining but did not specify which restaurants would open dining rooms or when.

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“Our restaurants are locally owned and Operators are following the guidelines of their individual communities when it comes to expanding service offerings,” according to the latest blog from the restaurant’s Chicken Wire. “This means Chick-fil-A restaurants will open for carry-out and in-restaurant dining on different timelines. It also means individual restaurants may close again if needed.”

The restaurant noted what steps will be taken once dining rooms are opened. Here are some of the changes to expect at your local Chick-fil-A in light of COVID-19:

Inside and outside service, Chick-fil-A customers can expect: 

  • Restaurants are following the evolving guidance from CDC, local, state and federal leaders and guests will now notice Team Members wearing face coverings while working.
Staff will be required to wear masks while serving in Chick-fil-A’s dining room and via curbside service.
Staff will be required to wear masks while serving in Chick-fil-A’s dining room and via curbside service.

Other dining room changes:

.• Front counter plexiglass shields will be installed to make it easier to maintain 6 feet of distance between Team Members and guests. Some restaurants may also install a plexiglass shield in the drive-thru window.

• New signage will provide a clear path for guests to maintain social distancing guidelines while placing and picking up carry-out orders. Social distancing floor decals will be placed 6 feet apart along the walking path inside and outside of the restaurant building.

• Hand sanitizer stations for guests will be placed inside restaurant dining rooms.

• Conducting regular evaluations of these new measures within restaurants, along with enhanced protocols for daily Team Member health checks, wearing masks, frequent hand washing, contactless ordering, payment and meal delivery, social distancing and sanitization.

Chick-fil-A is installing new outdoor handwashing stations at its locations.
Chick-fil-A is installing new outdoor handwashing stations at its locations.

At the drive-thru:

New outdoor handwashing stations to make it as easy as possible for Team Members working outside of the restaurant to wash their hands (the best prevention, according to the CDC) at least every 30 minutes, which goes above and beyond current guidelines. Team Members also regularly sanitize their hands with Purell Wipes.

• Team members will wear gloves and have been provided guidelines on safe glove use and the importance of frequent hand washing, even when using gloves. Team Members who handle transactions are wearing gloves and washing their hands every time they interact with cash.

• Limited person-to-person contact, guests are encouraged to utilize mobile ordering and mobile payment through the Chick-fil-A® App.