A planned renovation of the Gallatin Chick-fil-A on North Belvedere Drive will expand the restaurant’s kitchen and add a second drive-thru lane. JOSH CROSS

A major renovation of the Gallatin Chick-fil-A is expected to start next year and will increase the popular restaurant’s kitchen and drive-thru capacity once completed.

On Monday, the Gallatin Planning Commission unanimously approved revised plans for the restaurant to allow for a remodel of the existing building at 101 North Belvedere Dr. and installation of a dual lane drive-thru at the site.

“The reason for the change is to address the bottlenecks in our parking lot and try to make it easier for our guests to navigate,” restaurant franchisee Greg Garretson said. “Our goal is to be safer and quicker.”

As part of the project, two ordering points with menu boards will be added to the eastern side of the building. Both lanes will then continue around the restaurant to separate pickup locations on the opposite side of the building. Canopies will also be added across both lanes on either side of the building.

“The parking lot of the Chick-fil-A is a little bit interesting sometimes with all of the cones,” Gallatin Planning Commissioner Matt Harris said about the plan during a committee meeting earlier this month. “The parking spaces that are there can’t be used anyway because the way the line is running around the building. I actually see this as being a positive for Chick-fil-A and for that property to solve a congestion problem over there.”

In addition to adding a second drive-thru lane, Garretson said the interior of the Gallatin location will also be expanded as part of the project.

“The biggest change other than the outside that everybody will see is our kitchen will probably increase two to three-fold in size,” Garretson said. “You need the kitchen capacity to keep up with the customer.

“This is just trying to address all of the pinch points and trying to come up with a plan to allow for extra capacity going into the future.”

According to the recently released 2020 SeeLevel HX Annual Drive-Thru Study, which looked at drive-thru performance of 10 quick-service restaurants nationwide, Chick-fil-A ranked first in accuracy, customer service and taste. However, the study found that the company came in last place in the category of speed.

Construction on the project is expected to start sometime in mid-2021 and will result in the Gallatin Chick-fil-A location being temporarily closed for undetermined amount of time while work is underway. The remodeling work will be the largest to occur at the restaurant since it opened in January 2004.

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