SOURCE: Chick-fil-A

June 22, 2005 05:00 ET

Metro New Orleans' First Free-Standing Chick-fil-A Set to Open June 23; One-Year Supply of Free Food Being Awarded to First 100 in Line

NEW ORLEANS, LA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 22, 2005 -- Dozens of New Orleans-area residents are expected to camp overnight to become the first to get in line for the June 23 grand opening of the metro area's first free-standing Chick-fil-A restaurant in Covington, 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 give away a one-year supply of free Chick-fil-A combo meals (52 coupons) to each of the first 100 adults, age 18 and older with identification, in line by 6 a.m., June 23, at the new restaurant located at 912 N. Hwy 190 in Covington. The restaurant will open for business at 6:30 a.m., June 23.

"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. "We are thrilled to find these Chick-fil-A fans all over the country and I know our customers in Covington will be equally as enthusiastic about this grand opening and will love the freshly prepared food and the 'my pleasure' customer service."

Chick-fil-A launched its First 100 Fans promotion in October 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's raving fans away. Last year, Dan Cathy attended events at more than 75 grand openings and spent the night outside at more than 25.

Chick-fil-A already operates more than 17 locations in Louisiana, including two free-standing Chick-fil-A restaurants in Shreveport and Baton Rouge and a drive-thru only restaurant in West Monroe. The chain plans to open two more free-standing restaurants in Louisiana in Houma in September and in Mandeville in early 2006.

Rick Gonzalez, a graduate of the University of New Orleans, has been selected to operate the new free-standing Chick-fil-A restaurant in Covington. A Chick-fil-A Operator for 16 years, Gonzalez is relocating from the Chick-fil-A restaurant at Oakwood Center in Gretna. He and his wife Stacy have five children, two of whom are currently Chick-fil-A team members.

The new 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 and the Bagel Sandwich, a breakfast portion of Chick-fil-A's famous boneless breast of 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 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, highlighting
    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 $1.74 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 second-largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain with 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. 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

    Cindy Chapman
    CP Communications Inc.
    Email Contact
    678.546.0494
    678.858.1325 (cell)