SOURCE: Chick-fil-A

May 10, 2005 05:00 ET

Chick-fil-A Expanding Presence in San Antonio With New Free-Standing Restaurant Opening May 12

One-Year Supply of Free Food Being Awarded to First 100 People in Line at New Restaurant

SAN ANTONIO, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 10, 2005 -- Many San Antonio residents are expected to camp overnight to become the first to get in line for the May 12 opening of the area's newest free-standing Chick-fil-A restaurant, where $26,000 in free food will be given away in 15 minutes.

Voted Best Drive-Thru in America for the third consecutive year by Quick Service Restaurant magazine, Chick-fil-A will be giving away a one-year supply of free Chick-fil-A combo meals (52 coupons) to the first 100 adults, age 18 and older, in line by 6 a.m. at the new restaurant located at 6565 Ingram Road. People can line up 24 hours prior to the opening, with the year supplies being awarded on May 12 sometime between 6 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. The restaurant will officially open for business at 6:30 a.m.

"We've given away more than $2 million in free Chick-fil-A food since we started the `First 100 Fans' promotion more than a year ago. This event has attracted Chick-fil-A raving fans from across the country to camp out in all types of weather conditions to be among the first 100 in line," said Chick-fil-A Inc. President Dan Cathy, son of the chain's founder Truett Cathy.

Chick-fil-A launched its First 100 Fans promotion in Oct. 2003 in Phoenix and has continued the event at every free-standing and in-line restaurant grand opening across the country. Even the most extreme weather conditions -- floods, tornado warnings, freezing rain and temperatures, 60 mile-per-hour winds -- haven't kept Chick-fil-A raving fans away. In virtually every region of the country groups of dedicated Chick-fil-A customers have begun to attend multiple openings, with some raving fans camping out at four or more grand openings in 2004 alone. Last year, Dan Cathy attended events at more than 50 grand openings and spent the night outside at more than 25. The event has even attracted campers who had never tried Chick-fil-A.

Rick Pfluke has been selected to operate the new restaurant. With 30 years of restaurant management experience, Pfluke became a Chick-fil-A Operator in 2002 and received Chick-fil-A's Rookie of the Year Award. Pfluke has called San Antonio home for the past 40 years and is a graduate of Jefferson High School. He will be supported in his business by his wife of 31-years, Beverly, who will be his unit marketing director; and by his mother-in-law, who has the important role of providing food samples to customers. A Little League Baseball Coach, Pfluke calls himself an avid baseball fan and has the goal of visiting every major league baseball stadium in the country.

The opening becomes the fifth free-standing Chick-fil-A restaurant in San Antonio out of the 10 Chick-fil-A locations in the market. Pfluke also operates San Antonio's first Chick-fil-A restaurant which opened in March 1979 at Ingram Park Mall. The Ingram Park Mall location will be closed for renovations on May 10 and is expected to re open in mid-June.

The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 6:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. A full breakfast menu includes the popular chicken biscuit and fresh Fruit Cup along with an expanded morning lineup that features Chick-fil-A® Chick-n-Minis™, the chain's popular bite-sized Chick-fil-A® Nuggets nestled in a warm mini yeast roll lightly coated with a honey butter spread; Breakfast Burrito -- a soft flour tortilla filled with chunks of Chick-fil-A chicken or pork sausage, scrambled eggs, fire-roasted onions and peppers, and a blend of Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses; Bagel Sandwich, a breakfast portion of Chick-fil-A's famous boneless breast of Chick-fil-A chicken seasoned to perfection and cooked in peanut oil is served between a slice of American cheese and folded egg on a toasted multi-grain bagel.

From Chick-fil-A's commitment to unparalleled food quality to customer service to employee loyalty, virtually every aspect of the company's operations has received major recognition from national organizations and publications. In the past year alone awards have included:

--  "Best Drive-Thru in America" for the third straight year this month
    following Quick Service Restaurant magazine's annual restaurant study of 25
    chains that surveys order accuracy, menu display, speaker clarity and the
    speed of service to fill orders.
--  Fast Company magazine's inaugural Customers First Awards, singling out
    Dan Cathy's leadership as a key reason the chain continues to thrive and
    grow while maintaining a close connection with its team members and
    customers. Using a panel of experts and a survey of customers, the magazine
    named Cathy and Chick-fil-A as the winner in its Customer-Centered Leader
    category.
--  For the 10th year out of the past 11, the Consumer Choice in Chains
    Award in the chicken category by Restaurants & Institutions, a leading food
    service industry publication which studied consumer experiences with food
    quality, menu variety, value, and service.
--  Topping the quick-service restaurant competition in the South, ranking
    first in J.D. Power and Associates 2004 Restaurant Satisfaction Study,
    which rated restaurants in environment, meal, service and cost. Receiving
    top ratings in two of the four categories - meal and service.
    
Chick-fil-A's closed-on-Sunday policy also stands out as a rarity in the quick-service restaurant industry. The chain has maintained Sunday as a day off to allow employees to spend time with family and worship if they choose since Truett Cathy founded the company.

Chick-fil-A's commitment to its employees includes a Leadership Scholarship program which has been in place for more than 30 years. This year the company expects to award more than $1.1 million in scholarships to restaurant employees which will amount to more than $20 million by year-end. Chick-fil-A restaurant employees in Texas have received more than $2.5 million.

Continuing its unprecedented, 37-year run of consecutive sales gains since the chain started in 1967, Chick-fil-A, Inc. reported 2004 system-wide sales of more than $1.7 billion, a 13.8 percent increase over its 2003 figures and a positive 5.2 percent same-store sales increase over the preceding year.

Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A is the nation's second-largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain with more than 1,205 restaurants in 38 states and Washington D.C. The chain expects to build more than 77 locations this year, including 60 free-standing units such as the one in San Antonio. For more information, visit www.chick-fil-a.com or www.chick-fil-apressroom.com.

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