Texas hospital plans Chick-fil-A unit

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas could have a Chick-fil-A franchise in its main cafeteria as early as next March. Toni Watkins, director of food, nutrition and conference services for the 866-bed hospital, says that after a failed attempt several years ago, administration has given the green light to bring the fast-food company onto the campus.

“We started the process in January and we hope to open by March 2015,” Watkins says. The unit would join Subway and a local sushi vendor, which are also in the main cafeteria, and Au Bon Pain, which operates a lobby kiosk, as commercial operators in the building. The business plan calls for Texas Health to return 10% of sales to Chick-fil-A each month. 

“We tried to do this earlier, but the ROI was too high for it to be feasible,” Watkins explains. “So the project died, but then I was encouraged to bring it back up, and this time we were able to redo our ROI to under two years.”

Watkins says Chick-fil-A fits in well with the hospital’s retail plan because it is perceived as selling healthier products, as do Subway and Au Bon Pain.

“And the following Chick-fil-A has here is tremendous,” she adds. “Employees are really excited to have the concept coming in.”

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