Starting this week, Chick-fil-A is testing out ‘family-style’ meals that are meant to feed a family of four for less than $30. The $29 family meal opens include either 30 chicken nuggets, 12 chicken strips, or four chicken breasts either grilled or fried, and a choice of two sides. Side options include a fruit bowl, mac and cheese, a salad, and bacon baked beans. The new option will only be available at Chick-fil-A locations in Greensboro, N.C., Phoenix, and San Antonio until November 18. Once that trial period has ended, customer feedback will help the fast food chain decide whether or not to expand the idea.
These family meals are meant to help Chick-fil-A bolster its dinner time appeal, as the chain has admitted that dinner is easily its least busy mealtime. By providing these family meals, the chain is betting it can provide a meal that families will want to take home and enjoy together, similar to the KFC or Boston Market approach.
Nutritionally speaking, the meal isn’t bad, especially if you make smart side choices. One grilled Chick-fil-A chicken breast, the healthiest option, contains 230 calories (the fried breast is 320 calories and has 990 mg of sodium.) A serving of four chicken strips has 470 calories and 1,250 mg of sodium. Side order wise, the fruit bowl is a good choice, as is their superfood side, which includes kale, broccolini, dried cherries, nuts, and a vinaigrette dressing. Mix and match well and you can have a decent dinner.
What’s more, Chick-fil-A’s family dinner push is decent for the American family. Sitting down to dinner with your family has been shown to have massive benefits. The ritual helps bond families and also has been linked to improvement in both children’s grades and mental health.
Of course, Chick-fil-A is not the first fast food establishment to try to market to families. Friendly’s, for instance, based much of its business around families, although the restaurant is now barely staying afloat after filing for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection back in 2011. But as one of the fastest-growing fast food chains in the country, Chick-fil-A probably doesn’t need to worry about that quite yet.