Quick service restaurant (QSR) chain Chick-fil-A announced plans to open its first virtual brand, Little Blue Menu.

“At Chick-fil-A, we’re constantly challenging ourselves to ensure we’re meeting our customers where they are. That’s why we’re stepping outside of the box to pilot a new concept focused on variety, delivery, and innovation later this year in Nashville and in 2022 in Atlanta,” said a statement on the Chick-fil-A website.

Rumors about the virtual brand began to circulate after the chain filed a trademark application on May 4 for Outfox Wings, a wing brand available on the Little Blue Menu, Business Insider reported.

The delivery-only brand will serve menu items currently available at Chick-fil-A, such as chicken sandwiches and fries, as well as a variety of other cuisines, including salads, roasted chicken, wings and more.

There are currently no plans to sell wings at brick-and-mortar Chick-fil-A locations, a spokesperson for the brand said.

The virtual brand pays tribute to the Founder S. Truett Cathy’s original restaurant, the birthplace of the “Blue Menu,” which constantly changes and evolves according to consumer demand. 

Little Blue Menu “will harness the entrepreneurial spirit and hospitality of Chick-fil-A, serving both the classic menu plus a variety of different cuisines… all made under one roof, arriving in one bundled order,” according to the company’s website.


A long-lasting trend?

With the announcement, Chick-fil-A joins several other major foodservice brands, including Bloomin’ Brands and Brinker International, that have launched chicken-focused virtual wing brands in the past year.

Virtual brands, also known as ghost kitchens, focus on optimizing third-party delivery.

“We’ve asked operators whether ghost kitchens will continue to be popular and 42% of them have said they think it’s a long-term trend,” Kelley Baille Fechner, director, customer solutions, Datassential, recently told WATTPoultry.com. “I just don’t see this going away. There are too many positives to it.”

Fechner will explore carry out and home delivery opportunities that emerged during the pandemic and suggest ways chicken can fuel the foodservice recovery post-COVID-19 at the 2021 Chicken Marketing Summit.

Attend the 2021 Chicken Marketing Summit

Make plans to attend the 2021 edition of Chicken Marketing Summit scheduled for July 18-20, 2021 at the Omni Amelia Island Resort in Fernandina Beach, Florida. Registration is now open with early savings available. 

This year, the conference will shine a light on what consumers will be looking for in the post-pandemic world and how poultry marketers can find success in the marketplace.
For more information and to attend, visit:  www.wattglobalmedia.com/chickenmarketingsummit/.

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