Chick-fil-A Awards 100 People Free Year's Supply of Chick-fil-A

SEARCY, Ark. (Jan. 20, 2011) – The Chick-fil-A® restaurant chain and its renegade Cows will “ring” in the New Year with the opening of Searcy’s first in-line location on Jan. 20 when the first 100 adults in line that morning will be awarded a free year’s supply of Chick-fil-A.

Started seven 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 at the new Chick-fil-A in Searcy where the chain 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 3683 E. Race Ave. The line officially opens at 6 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 19, with the free meal cards being awarded Thursday, Jan. 20, 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, all 100 spots will be determined by a raffle. See www.chick-fil-a.com/#insidersfirst100 for complete rules.

The new Searcy in-line Chick-fil-A is one of 75 new in-line and stand-alone locations the chain plans to open this year. Despite the nation’s economic challenges, Chick-fil-A continues to expand and grow. The positive trend continued in 2010 with the chain achieving its 43rd year of consecutive sales increases.

“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, swimming pools and other gear to pass the time until the restaurant opens.

Chick-fil-A has given away $13 million in free food at restaurant grand openings since 2003, with nearly $1.8 million of that amount given away in 2010 alone. 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 Icedream® Party where he often serenades them with his trumpet. “From Chick-fil-A 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.”

New Chick-fil-A Operator William Boulware is excited to be opening Searcy’s first in-line Chick-fil-A restaurant. Boulware has proudly served our country for 10 years, as a Marine Corps Officer and Aviator. During this time, he deployed on three tours of duty in Iraq. Boulware will be using his many years of service to his nation, and his 4 years of Chick-fil-A experience, to provide excellent customer service to the Searcy community. He is a graduate of Virginia Military Institute where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business. He and his wife, Kerry, have 2-year-old twin daughters. The Boulwares are happy to be home close to Kerry’s family.

“Truett Cathy started Chick-fil-A more than 43 years ago with the aim of providing the best in freshly prepared food and customer service,” said Boulware. “The goal remains the same for my team as we open the first Searcy in-line 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. Chick-fil-A ranked number one six times out of the 12-year history of QSR magazine’s Drive-Thru Performance Study that follows 20 quick-service restaurant chains over the course of three months.

“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 new Chick-fil-A of Searcy features a 4,000 square-foot interior that seats 84 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 6:00 a.m. to 10 p.m., serving a full breakfast menu until 10:30 a.m. which will feature the newly launched Spicy Chicken Biscuit. The Spicy Chicken Biscuit is being rolled out nationwide Jan. 10 following the chain’s most successful new product launch -- the Spicy Chicken Sandwich in June 2010. Aware of rising health concerns among the population, 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 entrées 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 1,530 locations in 39 states and Washington, D.C. Chick-fil-A, Inc. reached $3 billion in sales for the first time in December 2009 with last year’s sales resulting in the 43rd consecutive year of growth. The chain plans to add 95 locations this year, including 75 stand-alone and retail outlets, and 20 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.