SOURCE: Chick-fil-A

April 19, 2005 05:00 ET

Chick-Fil-A President to Attend Conway's First Restaurant Opening April 21

One-Year Supply of Free Food Being Awarded to First 100 Adults in Line

CONWAY, SC -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 19, 2005 -- Many Conway residents are expected to camp overnight to become the first to get in line for the April 21 opening of the area's first free-standing Chick-fil-A restaurant, where $26,000 in free food will be given away in 15 minutes. Chick-fil-A, Inc. President Dan Cathy will bring his own tent to camp out overnight with those in line for the opening.

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 1613 Church St. The one-year supplies will be given away sometime between 6 a.m. and 6:30 a.m., with the restaurant opening 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 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.

Paul Alverson, who will be transferring from the Inlet Square Mall Chick-fil-A restaurant, will be operating the new free-standing restaurant. He began working for Chick-fil-A while attending the College of Charleston, where he obtained a business administration degree. Alverson earned one of Chick-fil-A's Leadership Scholarships and went on to become a Chick-fil-A Operator in 1999. He is married to Obea.

Along with an indoor, state-of-the-art interactive playground, the new Chick-fil-A restaurant reflects a free-standing restaurant design that reflects a more casual dining look to further separate it from its quick-service competitors. The restaurant's interior features jewel-toned colors, wood accents, and other changes intended to make the restaurant more efficient and the dining experience even more pleasurable.

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.

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 1,202 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 Conway. For more information, visit www.chick-fil-a.com or www.chick-fil-apressroom.com.

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