Hospitality Technology: Why Southern Classic Chicken is Betting Big on the Drive-Thru

March 1, 2024

In an interview with Hospitality Technology, Southern Classic Chicken’s Vice President of Brand Operations Tom Gerdes discussed the rapidly growing Louisiana-based fried chicken franchise’s innovative drive-thru approach. The recently unveiled restaurant in Bossier City, Louisiana, incorporates a drive-thru and walk-up window, as well as a refreshed brand image. 

Southern Classic Chicken is geared up for expansion in 2024, driven by the adoption of a new hybrid construction model. In order to speed up build times and cut costs, the new model uses sections that are constructed off-site and then shipped to the location. Four new Southern Classic Chicken restaurants, including one in El Dorado, Arkansas, are slated to open with this updated design.

Gerdes also touched on the company's roots, emphasizing how the brand has offered quality fried chicken and Southern sides since its founding in 1989. While Southern Classic Chicken has traditionally offered dine-in options, its focus has shifted to a drive-thru/walk-up model to streamline operations and reduce the footprint of its restaurants. 

“Executing our drive-thrus efficiently is paramount, and the best way for us to drive traffic and create customer trust and loyalty is through efficiency and our ability to engage them through ‘quick connections,’ which is what we call hospitality in a high-speed environment,” he said. 

The discussion highlights Southern Classic Chicken's adaptation to industry trends, emphasizing convenience, efficiency and customer satisfaction through its drive-thru model while exploring further technological integrations to enhance the dining experience and brand loyalty.

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