Local diners lose their minds after Mac & Cheese debuts at Chick-fil-A

Published: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 @ 11:52 AM

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Yesterday was designed to be a “soft  launch” for Chick-fil-A’s new Mac & Cheese side dish.

But the soft launch immediately left earth’s orbit.

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“The word is out and has spread like wildfire,” Marla Davis, the franchise owner for two local Chick-fil-A restaurants in Cornerstone of Centerville and on Ohio 725 east of the Dayton Mall. “We were supposed to get our teams ready for the stampede. Yesterday, all of the restaurants in the Dayton market were running out of product. Our distribution center in Columbus has been scrambling to get us extra cases on our trucks.”

Portion of macaroni and cheese

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The new Mac & Cheese is the first permanent side addition to the menu since 2016, officials with the Atlanta-based fast-food chain said in a release. They described it as “a classic macaroni and cheese recipe, featuring a special blend of cheeses including cheddar, Parmesan and Romano. Baked in each restaurant each day, the dish is offered as a side option with any lunch, dinner, or kid’s meal.

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Davis has her own description of the dish: “All I can tell you is that it truly is the BEST Mac & Cheese,” she wrote in an email.

The Chick-fil-A in Beavercreek.(Mark Fisher)

Across town, a spokeswoman for Chick-fil-A’s Beavercreek restaurant on North Fairfield Road near the Mall at Fairfield Commons called customer reaction to the new Mac & Cheese side dish as “wildly excited.”

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Amanda Norris, executive director of menu and packaging for Chick-fil-A, said Mac & Cheese “is the quintessential comfort food.” The dish was tested in five markets across the country and “passed with flying colors,” Norris said.

“We have a very high bar when it comes to adding a menu item,” Norris said. “But the feedback from our customers in the test markets made this decision easy.”

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Davis said her concern is that the Chick-fil-A distribution center “has limited supplies to send to each restaurant until next week. It is all about supply and demand.”