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Chick-fil-A is adding hand washing stations at drive-thru restaurants.

Chick-fil-A to add handwashing stations at drive-thru restaurants

Some employees might also wear masks, chain says

Chick-fil-A is stepping up its COVID-19 safety measures by installing handwashing stations at all drive-thru and mall locations by April 11.

The Atlanta-based chain, like other U.S. restaurant companies, has been updating its safety procedures by following guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control. For weeks, the CDC has maintained that the best way to stop the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus is to wash hands with soap and water and to maintain a physical distance from others by six feet.

Chick-fil-A said it is instructing its team members wash their hands a minimum of every 30 minutes and every time they interact with cash. The handwashing stations will be located near the drive-thrru and will be deployed by the end of the week.

“We also have provided Purell Wipes as a way for Team Members to regularly sanitize their hands in addition to handwashing,” the company said. “They also are frequently disinfecting other items they may touch.”

Chick-fil-A is taking additional steps to protect guests and employees when it comes to credit card transactions.

Employees will be “encouraged to ask guests using credit/debit for payment to swipe their own cards, if they can.” Customers might also see employees “wearing face protection” while working in a restaurant, the company said.

Wearing masks has been a controversial topic for weeks among consumers and public health officials.

On Friday, the CDC finally took a position, stating that non-medical grade masks like cloth face coverings, should be worn by the public in settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain such as the grocery store or pharmacy. But having a mask on does not replace social distancing, which along with hand-washing and staying home, is the most effective way to stop the spread of the deadly virus.

Many chains across the U.S. have escalated safety measures as the number of cases continue to spike across the country, especially in highly dense cities like New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. Last week, McDonald's said it would start screening employees before they start work. The safety checks include asking workers a number of COVID-19 related questions to ensure they are feeling well before starting a shift. 

Tampa, Fla.-based Checkers & Rally’s recently began using trays to pass food and credit cards in the drive-thru lane to help maintain a completely contactless enviroment.

On Friday, April 3, Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos said the chain and its franchisees are  “committed to serving your community” with the utmost attention to safety for operators, employees and customers.

The chain said company leaders are looking at ever-changing laws and mandates occuring in various communities and states to ensure each restaurant is in compliance.

“The health and safety of those who serve and those we serve is always first and foremost,” Tassopoulos said. “We will not do anything that may sacrifice health and safety.”

Chick-fil-A has about 2,300 restaurants. Of those, it’s unclear how many remain open for off-premise operations during the pandemic. When asked, the company did return a request for comment.

For our most up-to-date coverage, visit the coronavirus homepage.

Contact Nancy Luna at [email protected] 

Follow her on Twitter: @fastfoodmaven

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