The chain will celebrate the new Silver Spring July 29 opening by awarding a one-year supply of free Chick-fil-A Meals (52 certificates) to each of the first 100 adults in line, age 18 and older with identification at the new location. Started more than six years ago as an idea for an Arizona restaurant opening, Chick-fil-A’s First 100 celebration has become the signature event of each grand opening around the country. The chain’s loyal customers often arrive 24 hours in advance of the opening -- no matter the location or weather conditions.
The line at the new Chick-fil-A restaurant at Tech Road in Silver Spring will officially open at 6 a.m., Wednesday, July 28, with the free meal cards being awarded Thursday, July 29, sometime between 6 a.m. and 6:10 a.m. The restaurant will open for business immediately thereafter. If there are more than 100 people by 6 a.m. on Wednesday, July 28, all 100 spots will be determined by a raffle. www.chick-fil-a.com for complete rules.
The new in-line Chick-fil-A in Silver Spring is one of 78 new locations the chain plans to open this year and includes the new Crystal City streetscape in-line restaurant in Arlington. The company opened its first in-line concept in August 2004 in Silver Spring, with the Crystal City location bringing the total to 11 for the chain. The Crystal City location is projected to open in November and will be operated by Chick-fil-A franchise Operator/Owner Natalie Yang, who is moving to the area from Georgia. The openings of the two locations in metro Washington, D.C. will bring upwards of 130 new jobs to the area.
Despite the nation’s economic challenges in 2009, Chick-fil-A continued to expand, increasing the number of locations initially projected for the year. The chain opened 80 new restaurants and reached $3 billion in sales for the first time.
“Thanks to our family of Operators and restaurant team members who provide freshly prepared food and going-the-extra-mile customer service, Chick-fil-A is fortunate to be able to continue to grow,” said Dan T. Cathy, President and COO, Chick-fil-A, Inc. “We are very fortunate to be blessed with not only committed Operators and team members but also with a tremendous following of loyal customers. They are the reason we do what we do every day.”
The First 100 event at each restaurant opening is one way Chick-fil-A both thanks and celebrates its customers, many of whom travel hundreds of miles to participate. Extreme weather conditions or distant locations do not dampen the enthusiasm of those who bring tents, electronics, and other gear to pass the time until the restaurant opens. Chick-fil-A has awarded more than $11.2 million in free food at restaurant grand openings, with nearly another $1.8 million to be given away in 2010. Once Cathy saw customers willing to camp out in Chick-fil-A parking lots, he decided to join in the fun with his own tent and sleeping bag. December 2009 marked Cathy’s 100th overnight campout with customers at Chick-fil-A grand openings.
About Chick-fil-A, Inc.
Truett Cathy developed the original Chick-fil-A boneless breast of chicken sandwich in his 24-hour Dwarf House® diner near Atlanta in the early 1960s, and he opened his first Chick-fil-A® restaurant in Atlanta’s Greenbriar Mall in 1967. Since then, the chain has grown to include nearly 1,500 locations in 38 states and Washington, D.C. In December 2009, Chick-fil-A, Inc. reached $3 billion in sales for the first time – marking its 42nd consecutive year of sales growth. The chain plans to add 78 locations this year, including 66 stand-alone restaurants, two mall/retail outlets, and 10 licensed outlets in non-traditional locations such as college campuses. This year, the chain also will spend millions in reinvestment dollars on existing business markets to remodel and re-design 171 stand-alone and shopping mall outlets across the country. More information about Chick-fil-A is available on the chain’s websites, located at www.chick-fil-a.com