CINCINNATI -- The Atlanta division of Kroger Co. has put a Chick-Fil-A unit in one of its stores in a suburb of Augusta, Ga.
Kroger, based here, also is considering adding units of the Atlanta-based fast-food chicken sandwich chain to some seven or eight other stores in its 126-unit Atlanta division, said Jack Sentell, senior director of business development for Chick-Fil-A.
Sentell said his company is pleased with "the numbers and the volume" in Augusta. The program, the first in a Kroger store, is located at the beginning of the traffic path and shares space with another fast-food outlet, a local barbecue restaurant.
"We've found in our research that location in the front of the store is very important, and this unit has been profitable from day one," Sentell said.
Sentell said Chick-Fil-A prefers to share space with no more than one or two other fast-food restaurants. If there are more, he said, they tend to disperse the volume too much so nobody makes the sales they want.
Chick-Fil-A has units in two other supermarkets: a Smitty's Super Valu in Phoenix and a Smitty's in Tucson, Ariz. Seating for about 20 people is offered at the Kroger unit. "We think it's important to offer some seating even though we're targeting takeout business," Sentell said. "The supermarket's employees, for one thing, are more apt to eat there if there's seating."
The menu in in-store units is pared back to about 80% of what is offered in freestanding Chick-Fil-A stores. Chick-Fil-A operates 548 units, including freestanding and nontraditional units, all in the United States.