SANTA CLARITA – The nearest Chick-fil-A is more than 40 miles away, but that didn’t stop local supporters from making the trip to enjoy a meal at the chicken fast-food restaurant Wednesday.
David Darr drove his wife and two other friends from Lancaster to Santa Clarita in a carpool to offer support.
“I’m here because former Governor Mike Huckabee suggested that this would be good day to have a Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” Darr said.
Darr was one of several people who flocked to the Chick-fil-A restaurant closest to the Antelope Valley in honor of Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day on Aug. 1, a movement initiated by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee to counter the backlash Chick-fil-A has received because its leadership opposes same-sex marriage.
The restaurant’s Santa Clarita location experienced good customer traffic from the late breakfast hours to the peak of the lunchtime traffic.
Towards the beginning of the lunchtime period, the line in the store began to flow out towards the front entrance, and by 11:20 a.m., customers had to stand in line outside the restaurant on the asphalt driveway.
“I support their values, beliefs, and how they run their business,” said Kelly Meyer, children in tow on Mom’s morning out. Meyer said she made a particular effort to show up Wednesday because it was Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.
Other customers, who declined to be interviewed, also offered support for the Chick-fil-A chain.
The support comes in the wake of recent comments made by the company’s Chief Operating Officer, Dan Cathy, that sparked a national furor over gays, gay marriage and the restaurant chain.
Listen to Dan Cathy’s remarks here:
Following the remarks, several leaders of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community called for a boycott of the chain.
Still, the restaurant posted record-setting sales on Wednesday for Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, according to Steve Robinson, Chick-fil-A’s executive vice president of marketing.
“We are very grateful and humbled by the incredible turnout of loyal Chick-fil-A customers on August 1 at Chick-fil-A restaurants around the country. Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day was not a company promotion; it was initiated by others,” Robinson said in a press release. “While we don’t release exact sales numbers, it was an unprecedented day.”
Chick-fil-A is a Georgia-based company with more than 1,615 locations in 39 states. It posted $4.1 billion in sales for 2011.
The company is a privately held, family owned business that closes on Sunday, which “make(s) us a stronger company and a Chick-fil-A family,” according to the company’s website.
Chick-fil-A is also listed as one of the businesses residents would like to have in Palmdale, according to the City of Palmdale website.
(David Cox is the publisher of wanderingpilgrimsprogress.blogspot.com.)