Customer Engagement Best Recipe for Success at Church’s Chicken

Listening to and engaging with its customers are crucial elements at Church’s Chicken.

As part of its strategic realignment to ignite system-wide growth, Church’s Chicken recently announced the $5 Real Big Deal, a customized meal offering thousands of different combinations of fried chicken and Tender Strips, home-style sides, a honey-butter biscuit, and a Jalapeno pepper. The $5 Real Big Deal is the company’s most customizable, highest value offering, and will be available at every Church’s restaurant across the nation.

Jennifer Chasteen, vice president, brand strategy & activation for Church’s Chicken, told Loyalty360 listening to customers is “super important. We wouldn’t be here without them, right? Engaging with and learning from our guests is, hands-down, the best recipe for success.”

While Church’s has long been known for an abundance of quality food for a fair price, dealing has become more competitive than ever across the broader quick-service industry, Chasteen noted.

“It’s an intense share battle out there!” she said. “Listening to our guests and more deeply understanding their reasons for visit and return, led to the creation of the $5 Real Big Deal. The $5 Real Big Deal is a unique value proposition built all around guests’ desire for choice and flavor, with literally thousands of ways for customers to create their own complete meal. In fact, there are more than 3,000 different flavor combinations, all served with our scratch-made honey-butter biscuit, plus our signature jalapeño–all for just $5 bucks.”

An essential element of the choice-driven value is Church’s wide selection of side dishes. Guests can select any two of Church’s delicious and unique side dishes, including baked macaroni and cheese, jalapeno bombers, fried okra, and corn-on-the-cob with their meal, making new combinations possible every visit.

Each $5 Real Big Deal box includes guests' choice of either 2-pieces of mixed chicken or 3 Tender Strips in original or spicy as the main course. All boxes are topped off with a scratch-made honey-butter biscuit and the brand's signature Jalapeno pepper to squeeze over chicken - a spicy tradition that guests have been enjoying for 65 years. Regardless of which chicken and side items are chosen, the cost is just $5, which is simple for guests to remember and easy for restaurants to execute. The $5 Real Big Deal was created in direct response to guest feedback to make value more accessible through additional variety at affordable price points. With multiple pieces of chicken, two sides, a biscuit, and a Jalapeno pepper, the deal provides a considerable amount of quality food at an unbeatable $5. Church's executives believe the brand is enjoying unparalleled franchisee support for the new meal because of the value and control it provides guests, which is backed up by the in-market testing conducted over the past few months. Chasteen said that customers are “absolutely” changing and, “as a result, the value equation is an ever-changing dynamic in our space. While our signature hand-battered chicken has been bringing guests into our restaurants for 65 years, the $5 Real Big Deal offers a whole new level of choice and personalization. Not only around the products they know and love but also access to new and different tastes that they

may not have tried before. Coupons and points matter, but brand love is central to the Church’s story. Love of food and love of community. As we celebrate our milestone 65th anniversary, Church’s has increasingly grown consumer engagement across digital and social channels and within our communities in a new way with our mobile app.”

The new meal deal will be supported by a multilayered, integrated approach. Developed by Erich & Kallman, the ad campaign, titled “Game Show,” features a light-hearted, fictional game show called “Just Choose Already!” Each 30-second commercial features a different Church’s customer as the contestant, trying to decide among the countless menu options. Founded in San Antonio, Texas, in 1952 by George W. Church, Church’s Chicken is one of the largest quick service restaurant chicken chains in the world.

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