New drive-thru lane coming for the Chick-fil-A at the Dalton Mall

Charles Oliver/Daily Citizen-News

Owners of the Dalton Mall said a drive-thru/curbside pickup area for Chick-fil-A and other restaurants in the mall should be completed in about three weeks.

Construction is underway for a new drive-thru lane for the Chick-fil-A at the Dalton Mall.

Chick-fil-A did not immediately respond to email messages. But on the Facebook page for the mall restaurant it posted Monday that "While construction on our new drive-thru is not quite ready, we have reopened our drive-thru lane to make your experience with us even easier."

"(Chick-fil-A) recently completed an interior renovation to their store," said John Mulherin, vice president of government relations for the Hull Property Group, the Augusta-based owner of the mall. "We did some renovations around the restaurant. As part of their overall project, we are doing this outside canopy."

Mulherin said the new canopy will serve as a curbside pickup area for any restaurant in the mall.

"This will allow us and the restaurants in the mall to better serve the customer," he said. "There's areas for other restaurants."

The mall website ( lists four restaurants inside the mall other than the Chick-fil-A, including a Chinese restaurant and a Japanese grill.

Many restaurants across the nation adopted curbside pickup last year when lockdowns aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 closed inside dining. And even as those lockdowns have lifted, many customers still want curbside pickup.

In a 2021 survey by the National Restaurant Association, 90% of customers said they wanted to maintain the option of curbside pickup to collect their food. And a 2021 survey by technology company Medallia Zingle found 87% said they want restaurants to continue to offer curbside pickup.

"I don't think curbside pickup is going away," said Mulherin. "People like the convenience. We are seeing this in all of our malls. It's an increasing trend even as inside dining has opened up. This is here to stay."

Hull Property Group owns 33 malls in 16 states, including the Mount Berry Mall in Rome and the Milledgeville Mall.

Dalton resident Odell Perry agreed curbside pickup is something restaurant customers will continue to demand.

"I'm not afraid to go into a restaurant, and that's nice," he said. "But sometimes you just want to grab something and take it home."

Dalton resident Janine Kelly agreed.

"It's nice to be able to call ahead and pick something up without having to get out of your car or wait in line," she said.

Mulherin said he isn't sure when the canopy will be complete.

"The steel is up, so it should go quickly," he said. "I'd expect it to be complete in the next three weeks or so."

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