SOURCE: Chick-fil-A

August 14, 2007 07:00 ET

Metro Phoenix's Newest Stand-Alone Chick-fil-A Restaurant Opening Aug. 16

Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy to Help Award Free Chick-fil-A for a Year to the First 100 Adults in Line

AVONDALE, AZ--(Marketwire - August 14, 2007) - Chick-fil-A, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, will open its newest stand-alone restaurant in Avondale on Aug. 16, when Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy will help give away $26,000 in free Chick-fil-A food to the first 100 adults in line that morning.

A one-year supply of free Chick-fil-A® Combo Meals (52 coupons) will be awarded to each of the first 100 adults, age 18 and older with identification, at the new restaurant at 10180 W. McDowell Rd. in Avondale. The line can begin forming up to 24 hours prior to the opening, with the prizes being given away on Aug. 16 between 6 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. The restaurant will open immediately afterward.

"Chick-fil-A's raving fans have turned our grand openings into overnight tailgate parties, often arriving 24 hours in advance with tents, TVs, sleeping bags, games, computers and other gear to spend the night," said Chick-fil-A Inc. President Dan Cathy, son of chain founder Truett Cathy.

"When we started the First 100 Fans promotion almost four years ago, we never could have imagined we'd give away more than $6 million in free food to raving fans who have camped out in all kinds of weather conditions to win free Chick-fil-A for a year,'' said Cathy, who regularly attends and camps out overnight in the parking lots.

The promotion originated in Goodyear with the opening of the first stand-alone Chick-fil-A in the state in October 2003. Cathy, who was there to help with the festivities, was so overwhelmed and honored when Chick-fil-A raving fans showed up 18 hours before the opening, prepared to camp out, that he immediately decided to implement the event at every Chick-fil-A location across the country.

Raving fans who camp out at a grand opening are after the original Chick-fil-A boneless breast of chicken sandwich, which Truett Cathy invented in his 24-hour Dwarf Grill® diner near Atlanta in the early 1960s. The sandwich, with its signature pickle slices, became so popular that Cathy opened his first Chick-fil-A restaurant in Atlanta's Greenbriar Mall in 1967.

The opening launched Chick-fil-A, today the second-largest chicken restaurant chain in the country with more than 1,330 locations in 37 states and Washington, D.C.

Bruce Ploesser, the franchised Operator in Goodyear, has been selected to operate the new location in Avondale, making him the first Operator in the state awarded two stand-alone locations by Chick-fil-A. Ploesser, who has awarded $34,000 in scholarship money to Chick-fil-A team members in Goodyear, is married to Kerry and together they have three children.

"For 40 years, the Chick-fil-A legacy has grown to mean award-winning freshly prepared food and 'my pleasure' customer service," said Ploesser. "My team looks forward to continuing that tradition at our new location in Avondale."

The Chick-fil-A in Avondale is the third of five new Chick-fil-A restaurants slated to open in metro Phoenix this year. The chain's Paradise Valley and Mesa locations opened earlier this year. New stand-alone Chick-fil-A restaurants are planned for San Tan Village in Gilbert and Agua Fria.

Avondale Chick-fil-A customers will dine in an interior that features warm colors and wood accents and seating for approximately 130 as well as an inside play area for children, which includes a toddler interactive section. The award-winning drive-thru service offers a convenient way for Chick-fil-A customers to get their freshly prepared food on the go. 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.

Consumers who participated in Zagat's first fast food survey scored Chick-fil-A the highest in the chicken restaurant category and also in the service category. QSR magazine released its 2006 scores for the Best Drive-Thru in America Survey with the Chick-fil-A chain's overall composite scores placing it in the lead -- making it four out of the past five years that the chain has earned top rankings. Consumers indicated that accuracy and speed were some of the most important performance areas. Chick-fil-A was number one in the accuracy category with a 98 percent score; and despite Chick-fil-A adding four flavors of handspun milkshakes to its menu in May 2006, the chain continued to show strong individual speeds in the drive-thru with an average time of 44 seconds.

Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy marked several milestones in 2006, including the 60th anniversary of the opening of his first restaurant, the Dwarf Grill in Hapeville, Ga. Also, the third generation entered the Chick-fil-A business with two Cathy grandsons becoming restaurant Operators.

About Chick-fil-A, Inc.

Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A, Inc. is the nation's second-largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain (based on sales). In 2006, Chick-fil-A produced record sales of $2.275 billion -- a 15.16 percent overall increase and an 8.52 percent same-store sales gain that helped extend the chain's streak of consecutive sales gains to 39 years.

Credited with inventing the boneless breast of chicken sandwich and first introducing the chicken nugget concept, Chick-fil-A serves nutritious and freshly prepared food products in mall locations, stand-alone restaurants, drive-thru-only restaurants, Chick-fil-A Dwarf House® and Truett's Grill® full-service restaurants, and through licensed outlets in college campuses, hospitals, airports, businesses and industrial sites. More information about Chick-fil-A is available on the chain's websites, located at, or

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Jerry Johnston
    Chick-fil-A, Inc.
    Email Contact
    770-265-4943 (cell)

    Cindy Chapman
    CP Communications Inc.
    Email Contact
    678-858-1325 (cell)