Chick-fil-A Spends About $100,000 On 8 .Restaurant Domain Names

newgtldChick-fil-A, the American fast food restaurant chain, bought 8 new .restaurant domain names costing thousands of dollars each. Waste of money, if you ask me.

.Restaurant, a New gTLD launched by Donuts, is out of the Early Access Program (EAP)* pricing and into the real (regular fee) general availability today the Wednesday the 12th of November.

Sunrise registration period, the period reserved for trademark holders, for .restaurant ended on November 1st and the EAP started on the 5th of November.

Chick-fil-A didn’t use any of its trademarks to buy domain names in the sunrise period. Instead it waited until the very first day of the EAP period where domains are costing more than $12, 500 each to register its .restaurant domain names. This was probably a decision made by Chick-fil-A’s brand protection agency ‘Corporation Service Company’.

Chick-fil-A used the Corporation Service Company, a registered agent service company and ICANN accredited registrar, to register the domain names. Corporation Service Company’s clients include McDonald’s, Hard Rock, Michelin, Microsoft, Starbucks and Arby’s.

Today the regular registration for a .restaurant domain name is $48.99 and the renewal fee $69.99 at Go Daddy registrar.

Chick-fil-A, Inc. registered 7 .Restaurant domain names for more than $12,500 each on the 5th of November, day 1 of the EAP:
truettsluau.restaurant
eatmorechicken.restaurant
chickfila.restaurant
truettspizzacafe.restaurant
truettsgrill.restaurant
dwarfhouse.restaurant
chickfilatruetttsluau.restaurant

Chick-fil-A, Inc. also registered the domain name chick-fil-atruettsluau.restaurant on the 6th of November, 2nd day of the EAP, that costed about $3,200.

So an estimate for the total cost is between $91,000 to $100,000 for the 8 .restaurant domain names.

The exact prices are not known as Corporation Service Company does not have a price list on their website but it is very probable that their are more expensive than Go Daddy, that is already one of the most expensive registrars for New gTLD domain names.

If Chick-fil-A had waited 4 to 7 days it could have saved a lot of money. A total of $1,200 would have been probably what they should paid for these domains. It is not like cybersquatters would have jumped on the domain chick-fil-atruettsluau.restaurant. Even a UDRP would have been cheaper than buying these domains at these prices. Why did this happen? See below…

The domain name Chick-fil-A.restaurant is protected by a Donuts Protected Marks List (DPML) block so no one is allowed to register it except for Chick-fil-A, Inc.

A strange thing is that the domain names chickfilatruetttsluau.com and chick-fil-atruettsluau.com are not registered by anyone and are now available. And so are all the corresponding “restaurant” .com domains such as chickfilarestaurant.com and dwarfhouserestaurant.com

All other .com domains are registered by the restaurant chain:
truettsluau.com
eatmorechicken.com
chickfila.com
truettspizzacafe.com
truettsgrill.com
dwarfhouse.com

Spending $100k to get 8 New gTLD domains while leaving $10 a pop .com domains seems like a bad brand strategy. But I guess there is not a lot of money for the registrar to make on these $10 domains. Corporation Service Company probably made more than $18,000 on these 8 domains. And that is without charging for the consulting part.

*You can register any Donuts domain name using the Donuts EAP that is available in registrars that sell Donuts gTLDs. EAP prices start at about $12,500 on day one and are lowered within the course of the week until they reach the regular registration cost after the 7 day period. For example Go Daddy’s early access prices are at about $12,539.99 for day one, $3,164.99 for day two, $1,239.99 for day three, $689.99 for day four and $189.99 for days five to seven. After day seven the regular registration cost applies.

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About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He works on domain names, websites and software development. Has been online since 1995 & domaining since 2002.

21 comments

  1. Just shows you how little people know about domains, and the industry, bring this up at a shareholders meeting, and see what happens!

  2. I have registered many names related to “Tiny House” since I’m a big fan of minimalism, simple life, and have discussed in detail with my wife about retiring (many years from now) to a tiny house and travelling the country.

    I wanted to register “hobbit.house” (the house design on Lord of the Rings looks very nice to me visually) but it was taken.

    This post made me think to search for “dwarf.house” and it was available for registration… so I just registered it for $23.

    Chick-fil-A has a trademark for “Dwarf House” in relation to restaurants.

    Word Mark DWARF HOUSE
    Goods and Services IC 042. US 100. G & S: Restaurant Services. FIRST USE: 19460700. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19460700

    But that isn’t a problem because my intended use is not to sell the domain and I will definitely not use it for restaurant services or related industries.

    “Dwarf.House” is an awesome domain and don’t know why CSC didn’t recommend Chick-fil-A register it. Is CSC only recommending expensive domains so they can get a larger fee?

    • You are right, that was a total waste of money, but it is about feeding the food chain, and keeping the lawyers, and other parties within the mechanism well fed.

      In the same scenario you can have the same party come for a generic domain, and nickel, and dime you the whole way, just because you are not feeding their specific eco system. Some of my better researched inquiries are often the hardest to get decent figures out of.

      Oregon has a huge Tiny Homes, Tiny Cabins type build out going on. Really a good business as well on the construction side to build out, and transport, I could never live in one though

  3. The extension itself is to long, most people cannot even spell it. I would rather go with .eat if forced to.

  4. I have an account with CSC and have most of my in-use domains with them as a.) they are very secure and b.) they make it easy to registry-lock domains that support the feature.

    Looks like .restaurant domains are $xxx per year.

  5. That’s a huge waste of money … and I think their consultants heavily profited from the situation, leveraging on the company management (allegedly) poor knowledge of the domain industry in order to maximize their fees …
    What a lack of professionalism and business ethics by CSC …
    We also offer that kind of advisory, but we always try to offer our clients cost-effective and targeted solutions.
    IMHO, ripping off your clients is definitely not a long-term wise choice, besides being highly unethical.

  6. One of the two available domains already registered yesterday.

  7. As is the case of gtlds in general, this was a .SWOM

    .Stupid

    .Waste

    .Of

    .Money

  8. Can’t believe it… this is unreal.

    But still, better protect yourself against the hoardes of evil squatters…

  9. Good luck to them. I dont know many people who can spell “Restaurant” properly. I had to copy/paste it because I always mess that up. What a waste. If they wanted brand protection then all they had to do was UDRP when someone registered “eat more chicken” or whatever their trademarks are. Stupid. Waste.

  10. @Jen

    Not sure where you live, but i can’t remember in a decade of some one spelling restaurant wrong. I have no domains in .restaurant for the record.

  11. Seriously? That is just ridiculous. I can’t even imagine spending 1k on any restaurant TLD. Okay maybe single word generic domains like Pizza or Italian but wow!… This made my day. THANK YOU Chick-Fla

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