I have an idea for you.
I recently had the opportunity to visit the Newnan branch of Chick-fil-A Dwarf House. For those of us who only know your fast-food outlets, these gabled-roof restaurants with their full table service come as a surprise, and not an unwelcome one. How nice to have a smiling waitress who remembers my drink order (unsweet tea with a touch of real lemonade) and keeps it filled. How nice to watch the carbs and order a chicken breast with Southern veggies instead of the bun and fries.
I’ve got no complaints about the chicken; that’s what you do well. You season it better than your competitors and fry it up to a realistic home-cooked crispness in peanut oil. The squiggly edges give the crunch, the fat center reliably beads with juice when you cut it.
My beef is with the veggies.
Porky but limp greens, heavily breaded okra, sweet potato casserole so processed and sweetened that you can’t find the real sweet potato in there. The nice manager in Newnan, when he asked how everything was, politely fielded all my questions about the veggies. He said they arrived already prepared, ready to go.
So here’s my idea.
You’ve only got 11 Dwarf House locations, and they’re all around Atlanta. Couldn’t you devise some kind of system to transport all fresh veggies to them and put the same kind of care that you lavish on the chicken? Imagine how cool it would be for your customers if you had fresh pole beans, butterbeans and collards in season.
It’s not a big complaint. You’re not preparing your veggies any worse that most Southern-style cafeterias and chain restaurants. But you could make them better, right?
- John Kessler for the Food & More blog