Here’s what it looks like to camp outside of a Chick-fil-A
Off of Cascade Road in southwest Atlanta, a line of tents began popping up on top of a freshly paved parking lot at 5:30 in the morning on April 26. It was a hot and sunny day, one of those that feels like spring forgot about us and summer settled in far too soon.
Camping chairs circled a restaurant that hadn’t yet officially opened its doors to customers. A group of college students who were studying for finals – and playing video games – hooked up their laptops to a makeshift charging station. A mom and her two kids played a board game in a tent, while music blasted from a speaker in front of another group starting a line dance like the kind you’d see at a wedding.
This is a First 100®. Since 2003, Chick-fil-A franchise Operators have invited folks to camp out overnight in anticipation of their restaurants’ grand opening – and to be the “First 100” to get one year of free Chick-fil-A. Some arrive in groups and others come solo, but 24 hours later, they all walk – and sometimes run or dance— through the newest addition to their neighborhood.
In October 2003, Chick-fil-A Operator Bruce Ploeser and his team were preparing to open the first free-standing Chick-fil-A in the Phoenix area. The Goodyear, Arizona, grand opening was significant, marking one of the first restaurants in Chick-fil-A’s West Coast expansion. Yet 15 years later, the opening would prove to have far greater significance than his team could have imagined: it was the site of the first-ever Chick-fil-A First 100® Campout.
When a company has been around as long as Chick-fil-A, people tell a lot of stories about it. Some are true – like how Founder Truett Cathy invented the Original Chicken Sandwich – and others are just urban legends.
So, what’s fact and what’s fiction? Here are answers to some of the most popular questions people ask about Chick-fil-A.
If you’ve ever driven by a Chick-fil-A Grand Opening, you may have seen a parking lot filled with tents and campers, waiting 24 hours to be one of the “First 100” people to walk through the doors of the new Chick-fil-A restaurant. But did you know some Chick-fil-A locations open their doors by encouraging customers to open their hearts to their communities?