YORBA LINDA, Calif., Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Chick-fil-A® restaurant chain and its renegade Cows, who this year mark 15 years of encouraging people to "Eat Mor Chikin," will celebrate the opening of Yorba Linda's first stand-alone Chick-fil-A restaurant on Jan. 14 by awarding a free year's supply of Chick-fil-A to the first 100 adults in line that morning.
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.
A similar scene is expected in Yorba Linda where Chick-fil-A will award 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 restaurant located at 22450 Old Canal Rd. The line officially opens 24 hours before the grand opening with the free meal cards being awarded Thursday, Jan. 14, sometime between 6 a.m. and 6:15 a.m. The restaurant will open for business immediately thereafter.
If there are more than 100 people by 6 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 13, all 100 spots will be determined by a raffle. See www.chick-fil-a.com/#insidersfirst100 for complete rules.
The new stand-alone Chick-fil-A in Yorba Linda is one of 78 new locations the chain plans to open this year, creating nearly 4,500 new jobs. Despite the nation's economic challenges in 2009, Chick-fil-A continued to expand, actually 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 drive hundreds of miles away to participate. Extreme weather conditions or distant locations do not dampen the enthusiasm of those who bring tents, electronics, swimming pools and other gear to pass the time until the restaurant opens.
Chick-fil-A has awarded nearly $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.
"I doubt anyone has as much fun with their customers as I do at these First 100 campouts," said Cathy, who enjoys hosting campers for a late night Ice Dream Party where he serenades them with his trumpet. "From nugget parties and dance contests to basketball games and karaoke, we turn them into all-night parties. For me, there is no better way to get close to our customers and find out their needs than spending the night outside a Chick-fil-A restaurant."
David Salinas has been selected to operate the new location. Salinas and his wife Angela met while working together at a Chick-fil-A in Rogers, Ark. He says Angela was responsible for hiring him. They look forward to serving the Yorba Linda community.
"Truett Cathy started Chick-fil-A more than 42 years ago with the aim of providing the best in freshly prepared food and customer service," said Salinas. "The goal remains the same for my team as we open our new Yorba Linda restaurant."
Chick-fil-A's award-winning drive-thru service is a convenient way for Chick-fil-A customers on the go to get their favorite Chick-fil-A menu items. For the sixth time in 12 years, Chick-fil-A topped QSR magazine's Best Drive-Thru in America study in 2009. A three-month industry study of 20 quick-service restaurant chains again found Chick-fil-A the overall winner in the annual survey which measures order accuracy, speed of service, menu board appearance and speaker clarity.
"There are several reasons why Chick-fil-A has consistently finished on top," said Brian Baker, president of Insula Research which conducted the survey on behalf of QSR magazine. "Ultimately it comes down to the fact that Chick-fil-A is an exceptionally well-run organization at all levels of management."
The chain was number one in order accuracy, a category consumers indicate is a key concern, with an accuracy rate topping 96 percent. In addition, the study found the chain had the best speaker clarity and friendliest service with Chick-fil-A team members identified as the happiest while serving customers.
The new Chick-fil-A in Yorba Linda features a 4,818 square-foot interior that seats 122 and has warm colors and wood accents and a convenient, award-winning drive-thru while children will enjoy an indoor play area featuring an interactive section for toddlers. 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.
Aware of rising health concerns among the population and especially for children, Chick-fil-A has eliminated artificial trans fat from its entire menu and was among the first national quick-service restaurant chains to offer a complete menu – from entrees to condiments – with zero grams of trans fat.
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 more than 1,480 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. More information about Chick-fil-A is available on the chain's websites, located at www.chick-fil-a.com, www.facebook.com/chick-fil-a, www.chick-fil-a.com/pressroom or www.truettcathy.com.
SOURCE Chick-fil-A, Inc.