Chick-fil-A employees distribute samples outside of the downtown Athens restaurant.

Bulldog helps Chick-fil-A bring new menu items to life

Chick-fil-A’s classic chicken sandwiches and waffle fries are beloved by fans around the world—but how does the brand introduce new items to their iconic menu?  

Kaitlin Miller Febles (AB ’13, AB ’13, ABJ ’13) is a menu and packaging category lead in Chick-fil-A’s marketing department and a member of the 2023 class of the UGA Alumni Association’s 40 Under 40. In her role, she provides strategic leadership to menu additions, deletions, or simplifications from their initialization through their launch at restaurants. 

Kaitlin’s specific menu categories are salads, sides and grilled entrees. She’s probably worked on a few of your favorites! 

Kaitlin on the field with a cow mascot at the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.

Kaitlin said that the process of creating a new menu item at Chick-fil-A goes through a few different stages. First, initial research and brainstorming, then development and testing, ending with a final recommendation to leadership and, if a menu item is made official, a chain-wide rollout. 

“In the process, we work with key partners all throughout our business–customer insight analysts, culinary developers, engineers, field operations liaisons, food safety experts, nutritionists, equipment technicians, advertisers, pricing strategists, digital leaders, supply chain sourcers, training producers, public relations spokespeople, and of course, our restaurant operators and team members who provide us with crucial feedback in test and ultimately bring the concepts to life for our guests,” Kaitlin said. 

Kaitlin hands out samples of a new menu item at the downtown Athens Chick-fil-A.

Kaitlin’s team members are usually leading multiple projects at different stages of the development process. Most recently, she worked on the Maple Pepper Bacon Sandwich (which tested this summer in Lexington, Kentucky, and Indianapolis) and a Citrus Berry Salad (which tested this year in Baltimore). 

She and her team have also worked on recent changes to menu items like the Kale Crunch Side, Greek Yogurt Parfait, Mac & Cheese and Waffle Potato Chips—plus a few other projects that she can’t share about publicly just yet!

Kaitlin (far right) and her colleagues—including UGA Foundation trustee Michael Patrick (second from right)—visit a Chick-fil-A waffle potato chip production facility.