Chick-fil-A First 100 Aren't Crazy; They're Actually Kind of Nice

Categories: Chain Reactions

chikfilatentcity.jpg
Ryan Cady
Not a homeless encampment, a Chick-fil-A line
By Ryan Cady

When they started building the Chick-fil-A in the Shops At Rossmoor in Seal Beach, it was like Willy Wonka was opening a factory. People would slow in the far left lane on Seal Beach Boulevard, craning their necks at the rapidly growing red and white stucco monolith, pleased to note the two lane drive thru and the doublewide dining area. Last week, I was making my usual pass on the way home, and I had to stop. Something was different. The Oompa Loompas had arrived -- there was a goddamned tent city in the parking lot.

Colored pennant-line roped off a majority of the parking lot, tents and sleeping bags were strewn KOA-style on the asphalt, and some people were even being let in and out of the building--it looked like the Quidditch World Cup had decided to stop off in Seal Beach for the day.

Why were they all there? They were waiting for the Chick-fil-A to open the following morning at 6:30 a.m., when they would all be given a year's supply of free chicken.

And what's more, they weren't crazy: Chick-fil-A totally encourages their behavior. There's a whole list of rules and regulations on their website, when new stores are opening, and just how to finagle those 52 Combo #1 Golden Tickets. On their website, Chick-fil-a refers to the family-friendly Occupy gatherings as "First 100" and have the grand openings down to a science.

24 hours before the opening of a restaurant, people can start to line up. The restaurant does a drawing, and 100 of those who lined up (and 10 alternates) get a ticket. Everybody else goes home while the lucky 100 unloads tents, awnings, air mattresses and urban camping gear from their trucks and spend the next 24 hours in the parking lot. The next morning they'll be processed and given 52 coupons--each one good for one Original Chicken Sandwich, Waffle Fries, and a drink--to be used at any Chick-fil-A, no restrictions.

It sucks about Dan Cathy's politics, and it really sucks that the place is never open on Sundays, but damn, that chicken is delicious, and free for a year? The wealth of kings, right there.

The night of was a little insane. There was a DJ and disco-lights, employees were organizing games and children were running around with reckless abandon. Friends and family members of ticket winners stood outside the cordoned off area, chatting amiably. Everyone was smiling, in a great mood -- it turns out the restaurant had been opened for breakfast, lunch and dinner to those chosen few free of charge, to let the staff get some practice. They even let everyone in to use the bathrooms inside the restaurant. Nobody looks hungry or tired, or even a little uncomfortable.

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45 comments
Reginald Durant
Reginald Durant

And Ryan is the epitome of Chick Fila Hate marketing success..uggh

Reginald Durant
Reginald Durant

How soon we all forget the hate mongering and divisiveness this company paid for in the millions to keep people who love each other apart...and used race for marketing insults

Niko Babic
Niko Babic

I'm still pissed we lost a Popeye's into a Chic-fil-A. At least Popeyes was OPEN on Sundays!

Cookie Mobers
Cookie Mobers

Once in awhile they come to Barnes & Noble to give us free sandwiches, which are bland and boring. Their fries are ok, but I don't see what the big deal is. Hell, Burger King has better chicken sandwiches than Chic-whatever.

Dorian Jones
Dorian Jones

What? The food is rather bland. What the hell's wrong with people? I mean I get the whole solidarity thing a while back... but that was a statement... otherwise their food is just bland and their sauces have High Fructose Corn Syrup in it... which ruins flavor.

qdpsteve
qdpsteve

Not to minimize Dan Cathy's foolishness, and of course people have the right to refuse to eat there, BUT:

- In-N-Out is owned, and has been since it was founded, by the Snyder family, and it's been an open secret for years that they're quite Christian and conservative. Check the bottom of their cups-- bible verses are listed. They're simply quite reclusive and don't publicize where or who they send their money to.

- Same re Carl Karcher, the legendary founder of Carl's Jr and its parent company, CKE Enterprises. In fact Karcher had such conservative Catholic views, he'd probably make Dan Cathy look like Al Gore. Hopefully Gustavo will back me up on this one... ;-)

- Dan Cathy by himself is NOT Chik-Fil-A, no matter how much he or others might like to believe so. CFA is made up of a LOT of people, most of whom I'd bet (or at least hope) are more enlightened. I just don't get why they should be punished because they work for a foolish patriarch. Also, and for all we know, their donations as a group to gay rights organizations outnumber Cathy's donations by several multiples. Let's hope so at least.

Don't hate, educate! ;-)

Andy Mobers
Andy Mobers

Agreed Bill Gurney will never eat there

Bill Gurney
Bill Gurney

Anyone else tired of companies telling you how to run your life?

Micah Young
Micah Young

The people of Seal are loving like the people of Hawaii......I have great friends that reside there.....I hope they know that this company discriminates against equal rights. Boycott them....look they had to give away food to get attention....I won't lie...I'd stand in line for free food.....try to get a cent of my hard earned money....NOPE....sending good vibes from Hawaii to my friends and family in Seal....

Josh Dutch Schultz Gaitan
Josh Dutch Schultz Gaitan

They are super close to long beach I can stop there after drinking in DTLB and before hamburger mary's.

Micah Young
Micah Young

pretty good dick....I mean Steve....they havent entered Hawaii's market....

Steve SanFilipo
Steve SanFilipo

How'd the big boycott work out for you folks last time? Hahahahahaha

Bill Gurney
Bill Gurney

Will never know if it's good or not. Will never give them my $.

Julie Prouty
Julie Prouty

It's Fucking processed chicken people. Really?

Gordon Miller
Gordon Miller

If someone flew across the country for a fast food joint opening, they are crazy

Anthony 'Ace' Leon
Anthony 'Ace' Leon

I don't chik fil even they don't believe same sex marriage too or they hate gay people and heard own by Mormon's too.

Micah Young
Micah Young

SCREW this company....they are HOMOPHOBIC.....can't and will not ever support this business...!!

Brittany Clarabell Rangel
Brittany Clarabell Rangel

They are the best. They provided food for me and my family after my 4 year old sons funeral for free. Bless them

Ken Webb
Ken Webb

A chick fil a opening. Now that's sum highly important religious news you got there. Nice to know there are still so many who love and support anti-gay corporate businesses. I agree. Eat it up. Nothing's better than helping out a good Christain figure head at corp. Funny,...they could have driven south and enjoyed one at the ones in the south OC.

Ky Begley
Ky Begley

Chick-fil-A isn't even that good though...

Amber Iwamoto
Amber Iwamoto

woo! im right next door..love the pickles! :)

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

"It sucks about Dan Cathy's politics..."

That's still the deal-breaker for me. The First 100s might be caring, decent people but they must know about Chik-Fil-A's reputation as anti-gay...but then I think we've all been guilty of selling our souls for a tasty treat at one time or another. ("Homer, don't pick at it...")

meowqueen
meowqueen

Um, I don't think 52 coupons for one combination equals a year's worth of free chicken.

bholland714
bholland714

@FishWithoutBicycle Everyone has the rights to their own opinions, I'm not anti-gay but Chik-Fil-A is a wonderful Christian company  

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

@bholland714 @FishWithoutBicycle  

It is certainly a very generous company. But why does this Christian generosity suddenly stop at accepting gay people? If it's because they are supposedly "sinners" (nonsense) why does Cathy not practice forgiveness? Jesus was pretty emphatic about that...

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