Why Chick-fil-A’s “Mom’s Valet” Misses the Mobile Mark

Quick service restaurant chain Chick-fil-A is rolling out a concept designed to make the food-ordering experience less hectic for customers with young children. BusinessInsider reported that through this new service–called “Mom’s Valet”–parents order their food at the drive-thru with the kids still buckled in their car seats, park the car, and come inside with their brood to find a table waiting for them and a Chick-fil-A employee ready to serve their meal. 

Any parent who has been the recipient of a poorly timed stink-eye from another restaurant-goer in the wake of a toddler’s outburst can appreciate this effort to make life easier. And it’s safe to say all consumers can appreciate a business that demonstrates an understanding of its audience. However, in a mobile-first world, Mom’s Valet is far from a new brand paradigm of segmentation and targeted personalization.

For starters, participating locations will promote Mom’s Valet on signs at the drive-thru (BusinessInsider). Come on Chick-fil-A! Is it 1995?  You have a mobile app…it’s time to harness its power! According to Millward Brown, 44% of consumers say that they would like brands to deliver deals and coupons to their mobile devices.  Rather than waiting for customers that are parents of young children to happen upon one of those drive-thru signs, why not leverage target audience profiles and behavioral data to send a message in real-time and lead the customer’s journey?

When an app user who falls in the “parent of young children” segment is in a 10 mile radius of a Chick-fil-A send the person a push notification about the ease of Mom’s Valet. Or around 3pm when dinner plans start to become a reality, send an email reminder about the hassle-free service. Marketing automation needs to go beyond just mass emails or printed billboards.  Consumers expect marketing to be personalized and contextually relevant to them — and they’ll respond too.  63% said they are highly annoyed with brands’ continued practice of repeating generic advertising messages, but more than three-quarters (78.6%) of consumers say they are likely to use a brand’s coupons or other offers only if those offers are directly tied to how they have previously interacted with the brand.

Consumers are ready, willing and mobile. It’s time to get up to speed.

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