SOURCE: Chick-fil-A

August 30, 2005 08:00 ET

Free Year's Supply of Chick-fil-A Being Awarded to First 100 People in Line at Sept. 1 Opening of Richmond's Newest Chick-fil-A Restaurant

Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy to Camp Outside With Customers

RICHMOND, VA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 30, 2005 -- Dozens of Richmond residents are expected to camp overnight to become the first to get in line for the Sept. 1 opening of the new free-standing Chick-fil-A restaurant where Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy will help give away $26,000 in free food in 15 minutes.

A one-year supply of free Chick-fil-A combo meals (52 coupons) will be given away to each of the first 100 adults, age 18 and older with identification, in line by 6 a.m. at the new restaurant located at 7125 Forest Hill Ave. People can line up 24 hours prior to the opening, with the year supplies being awarded on Sept. 1 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 $2.5 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 eight or more grand openings. 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.

Tricia Fox, a Chick-fil-A Operator for two years in Ohio, is relocating to Richmond to operate the new free-standing location. A graduate of East Carolina University, Fox became interested in becoming a Chick-fil-A Operator through her uncle who operates a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Marietta, Ga. She and her husband Carl have one daughter.

The new restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 6:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. The breakfast menu includes the popular chicken biscuit along with an expanded lineup which debuted in June featuring the quick-service industry's first premium coffee blends, three custom-roasted Café Blends Coffees, and its new Chick-fil-A Cinnamon Cluster, fresh-baked mini swirls filled with sweet cinnamon served warm with a creamy vanilla icing.

The new items are the second phase of a two-part breakfast menu expansion that has increased breakfast sales in the chain by 30 percent this year. Other items that have been added include the introduction of 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; and the Bagel Sandwich, a breakfast portion of Chick-fil-A's boneless breast of chicken 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 including winning the just announced Consumer Choice in Chains Award in the chicken category by Restaurants & Institutions. 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 11th year out of the past 12, 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 $1.2 million in scholarships to restaurant employees bringing the total amount awarded since 1973 to more than $20 million. Chick-fil-A restaurant employees in Virginia have received more than $925,000.

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 Richmond. For more information, visit www.chick-fil-a.com or www.chick-fil-apressroom.com.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Jerry Johnston
    Chick-fil-A, Inc.
    Email Contact
    404.765.8174

    Julie Bowcutt
    CP Communications Inc.
    Email Contact
    678.867.9185/770.789.8973 (cell)