SOURCE: Chick-fil-A

July 17, 2007 05:00 ET

Port Charlotte's First Stand-Alone Chick-fil-A Restaurant Opening July 19

First 100 Adults in Line at New Chick-fil-A Restaurant in Port Charlotte to Win Free Chick-fil-A for a Year

PORT CHARLOTTE, FL--(Marketwire - July 17, 2007) - Chick-fil-A, celebrating its 40th anniversary this month, will open Port Charlotte's first stand-alone restaurant July 19, giving 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 stand-alone restaurant at 1814 Tamiami Trail. The line can begin forming up to 24 hours prior to the opening, with the prizes being given away on July 19 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 in 2003, we never could have imagined we'd give away nearly $5 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.

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 1,324 locations in 37 states and Washington, D.C.

Transferring from Clearwater's Westfield Countryside Mall Chick-fil-A Restaurant, Edward Leslie has been selected as the franchised Operator of the new stand-alone. Edward started with the restaurant chain 10 years ago as a general manager and within five years was given the opportunity to operate his own restaurant. He is supported in the business by his wife Nancy who assists with operations.

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

Chick-fil-A customers will dine in a 3,921-square-foot interior that seats 104 and features warm colors and wood accents. Believed to be a first in Charlotte County, the restaurant includes an indoor children's play area with 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 recently 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.

$2 Billion In Sales Reached

Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A, Inc. reached $2 billion in sales in 2006 for the first time and ended the year with system-wide sales of $2.274 billion. These figures reflect a 15.16 percent increase over the chain's 2005 performance and a same-store sales increase of 8.52 percent. It is the 39th consecutive year of sales growth for the chain which plans to add more than 90 locations this year, including 70 stand-alone restaurants.

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. Information about Chick-fil-A is available on the chain's websites, located at www.chick-fil-a.com, www.chick-fil-apressroom.com or www.truettcathy.com.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Jerry Johnston
    Chick-fil-A, Inc.
    Email Contact
    404.765.8174 / 770.265.4943 (cell)

    Cindi L.B. Pickett
    CP Communications Inc.
    Email Contact
    678.714.0340 / 404.375.7882 (cell)