Taking a step into the future, Atlanta-based chicken sandwich giant Chick-fil-A has begun its national rollout of Apple Pay. The chain hopes to have Apple's iOS-based payment system up and running in all locations by the end of 2016, according to a Friday announcement.
The adoption of Apple Pay compliments Chick-fil-A's own Mobile Pay technology, which is accessible via the company's mobile app. Senior manager of digital experience Michael Lange says, "Chick-fil-A is focused on using technology to provide convenient ways for guests to interact with our restaurants."
The company has a history of keeping itself planted firmly in the past thanks to its views on social issues, but picking up Apple Pay is the latest step it's taken to appear more modern and connect with younger diners. Chick-fil-A recently dropped cole slaw in favor of a "Superfood Side" — a kale and broccolini salad — that was created by local empire builder Ford Fry. More Fry-created dishes could pop up on the chain's menu soon.
Bloomberg notes that even with further expansion, Apple Pay's success is determined by consumers, not the number of businesses that offer it.
"The challenge for us and Apple as well is to see how much the feature is adopted — not just by retailers but also consumers," Aki Iida, head of mobile for Zappos, told Bloomberg. "Consumers have to change their mindset, that this is a feature they want to use."