Chick-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:
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:
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.