SOURCE: Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A

August 04, 2009 08:15 ET

Chick-fil-A Continues Expansion With Middle River's First Stand-Alone Chick-fil-A Restaurant Opening Aug. 6; Creating Approximately 60 New Jobs

Chick-fil-A Will Give Away Free Year's Supply to First 100 in Line

MIDDLE RIVER, MD--(Marketwire - August 4, 2009) - The Chick-fil-A® restaurant chain and its Eat Mor Chikin® Cows will do their part to "boooost" and support the local economy with the opening of Middle River's first stand-alone Chick-fil-A restaurant on Aug. 6, with the celebration to include the giving away of more than $26,000 in free food and creating around 60 new jobs.

Chick-fil-A will award a one-year supply of free Chick-fil-A Meals (52 certificates) to each of the first 100 adults in line, age 18 and older with identification, at the restaurant located at 1202 Martin Road. The line officially begins forming up to 24 hours before the grand opening with the prizes being awarded Thursday, Aug. 6, sometime between 6 a.m. and 6:10 a.m. The restaurant will open for business immediately thereafter.

Despite the country facing challenging economic times, Chick-fil-A continues to grow. The company announced in early July its plans to add an additional five new stand-alone Chick-fil-A restaurants this year, an increase from 64 to 69. Along with the opening of a new mall location and 10 licensed outlets this year, more than 4,500 new jobs will be created with Chick-fil-A's expansion also providing a positive business impact in local communities.

"Chick-fil-A is grateful that we are in a position to continue our restaurant expansion," said Chick-fil-A Inc. President and COO Dan Cathy, son of the chain's founder Truett Cathy. "Our dedicated franchised Operators across the chain continue to provide freshly prepared Chick-fil-A menu items and exemplary service that keep our raving fans dining with us. We don't take that for granted."

One way Chick-fil-A thanks its most loyal customers is by giving away more than $26,000 in free food as part of its "First 100" promotion at each grand opening. Chick-fil-A's raving fans often come from hours away, bringing tents, computers, furniture, games and even swimming pools to participate in the event which was launched nearly six years ago to celebrate the opening of the chain's first stand-alone restaurant in Arizona.

"Since that first person pulled up in our parking lot in 2003 and asked where to get in line, we've given away more than $9.1 million in free Chick-fil-A food at our stand-alone grand openings," said Cathy, who has camped out at more than 90 of the events across the country.

Baltimore native Doug Honbarrier has been selected to operate the new Martin Plaza Chick-fil-A restaurant. He is a graduate of Auburn University in Auburn, Ala. Prior to becoming a Chick-fil-A franchisee, Honbarrier was the vice president of sales for Erickson Retirement Communities. He and his wife Amy have five children and one on the way.

"Since its first chain restaurant opened more than 41 years ago, Chick-fil-A has set a high standard for its customers by providing freshly prepared food and personalized customer service," said Honbarrier. "My team and I look forward to extending that legacy at Middle River's first Chick-fil-A restaurant."

The Martin Plaza Chick-fil-A features a 4,227-square-foot interior that seats 134 and has warm colors and wood accents as well as an indoor play area for children that includes an interactive section for toddlers and a convenient, award-winning drive-thru.

The new restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., serving a full breakfast menu until 10:30 a.m.

Aware of rising health concerns among the population and especially for children, Chick-fil-A has eliminated artificial trans fat from its entire menu and was among the first national quick-service restaurant chains to offer a complete menu -- from entrées to condiments -- with zero grams of trans fat.

A convenient way for Chick-fil-A customers to get their favorite Chick-fil-A menu items on the go at the new restaurant is the award-winning drive-thru. In 2008, Chick-fil-A was named Best Drive-Thru in America by QSR magazine for the fifth time. After a three-month industry study of 25 quick-service restaurants, Chick-fil-A topped the annual industry survey which measures order accuracy, speed of service, menu board appearance and speaker clarity.

About Chick-fil-A, Inc.

Truett Cathy developed the original Chick-fil-A boneless breast of chicken sandwich in his 24-hour Dwarf House® diner near Atlanta in the early 1960s, and he opened his first Chick-fil-A® restaurant in Atlanta's Greenbriar Mall in 1967. Since then, the chain has grown to include nearly 1,460 locations in 38 states and Washington, D.C. In 2008 Chick-fil-A, Inc. reached more than $2.96 billion in sales, representing a 12.17 percent increase over the chain's 2007 overall sales performance, as well as a 4.59 percent same-store sales increase. It is the 41st consecutive year of sales growth for the chain, which plans to add 80 locations this year, including 69 stand-alone restaurants, one mall retail outlet, and 10 licensed outlets in non-traditional locations such as college campuses. This year, the chain also will spend millions of reinvestment dollars in existing business markets to remodel and re-design 65 stand-alone and shopping mall outlets across the country.

More information about Chick-fil-A is available on the chain's websites, located at www.chick-fil-a.com, www.facebook.com/chick-fil-a, www.chick-fil-a.com/pressroom or www.truettcathy.com.

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