Chick-fil-A is open for business! On October 26, 2017, the new restaurant at 75 Parkway Plaza opened its doors to the public at 6:30 a.m. 107 campers woke up to receive their year supply of Chick-fil-A and became the restaurant's first customers. The Chick-fil-A cow led them in a conga line across the red carpet to the banging of pots and pans as Operator Tom Fitzpatrick presented them with a card containing the free food credits.
The Lexington Chamber of Commerce then hosted a ribbon cutting at 9:00 a.m. in the front of the store. Mayor Newell Clark spoke and a ceremonial first bite was held.
For the past 14 years, Chick-fil-A has been running a promotion at all of its new stores. It gives free Chick-fil-A for a year to the first 100 people lined up. That equals 52 number one combos or one meal a week each. If there is more than 100 people lined up, there will be a drawing to whittle down the number. The Lexington campers were fed while they camped out and they played games and held a lip sync contest. Temperatures did dip into the 30s at night, but they continued to stick around, since they could not leave the parking lot if they wanted to win the free food. Chick-fil-A also assembled meals to give to charity on Wednesday. You can learn more about that here.
Lexington City Manager Alan Carson and staff worked very hard courting Chick-fil-A for the last three years. Chick-fil-A had looked at Lexington several years ago, but was unable to work out a store location due to several factors. With a new City Council, administration and a new business direction, Carson felt that the timing was right to take another “shot” at landing a Chick-fil- A. Thanks to the City's partnership with both ElectriCities and the owners of Plaza Parkway, the City was able to make contact with a developer and eventually was able to make it a reality. "Chick-fil-A had several requirements that needed to be met before considering a store location in Lexington. Visibility from the highway, entrance improvements, site location and sign location were just a few. City staff went to work on all of the items and over time along with the help of the property owners, city forces, NCDOT and others satisfied all of the requirements as well as handling a few other items for Chick-fil-A that they didn’t ask for. It's a great thing that the community was able to pull together to make this happen. It took a dedicated team effort to land this store and not everyone knew why they were working on items or who it was for, they just trusted me and did an outstanding job. It says a lot that Chick-fil-A thinks enough of our community to put a store here, this is a real check mark for our community!. This also brings the ability for us to possibly bring other businesses that the citizens want to the area", stated Carson.
Chick-fil-A franchisee Tom Fitzpatrick says he is incredibly excited about having the opportunity to represent Chick-fil-A in the City of Lexington. "I have been with Chick-fil-A for five years. I am from Weaton, IL originally. I went to college at The Citadel, military college in Charleston, SC, on a basketball scholarship. In graduate school I met my wife Kelli. We recently moved to the Triad area with our one month old daughter, Peyton Elizabeth. We are very excited to settle our family in Lexington and are looking forward to being a part of the community."
The community has shown tremendous support of Chick-fil-A. Fitzpatrick says he had approximately 400 people apply for team member positions at the restaurant. He ended up hiring a little over 100 team members to open the restaurant. "We hired a great staff. I have been blown away with the amount of interest we have received and the caliber of the applicants. I am thankful we have been able to bring a lot of quality jobs to the area. We are always looking to add great talent to our Chick-fil-A family, so we never stop hiring."
You are encouraged to follow Chick-fil-A on Facebook. You can also learn more about the restaurant here.
Chick-fil-A's hours of operation are Monday - Saturday from 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m. The restaurant is closed on Sundays.