One of Chick-fil-A’s First Openings of the Year Becomes a First Stand-Alone for Troy | Restaurants
TROY, Ala. (Jan. 24, 2013) – Forty-five years after the first Chick-fil-A® restaurant opened in an Atlanta mall, pioneering mall food courts and introducing its signature boneless-breast-of-chicken sandwich, the chain will celebrate its Troy opening on
Jan. 24 when a free year’s supply of Chick-fil-A will be given away to the first 100 adults in line grand opening morning at the city’s first stand-alone Chick-fil-A location.
Chick-fil-A’s “First 100 Celebration” quickly became a hallmark of each grand opening when the chain first held the event in Arizona in 2003. More than 18 hours before the restaurant opened, the first person arrived and asked where to get in line. Since then, the chain has given away more than $18.1 million in free food at more than 680 grand openings. The parking lot parties attract Chick-fil-A’s loyal customers who come from around the block and across the country equipped with couches, TVs, computers, tents and other gear. Even extreme weather conditions do not dampen the enthusiasm of the participants who often arrive more than 24 hours in advance.
The latest Chick-fil-A First 100 celebration will occur at 1121 Highway 231 South in Troy where the chain will award a one-year supply of free Chick-fil-A® Meals (52 coupons ) to each of the first 100 adults in line, ages 18 and older with identification – a total of more than $26,000 in free food. The line officially opens at 6 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 23, with the free meal cards being awarded Thursday, Jan. 24, about 6 a.m. The restaurant will open for business immediately thereafter. If there are more than 100 people by
6 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23, all 100 spots will be determined by a raffle held that morning with those selected still having to camp out the 24 hours to secure their spot. See http://www.chick-fil-a.com/Locations/First-100 for complete rules.
Troy’s new Chick-fil-A restaurant brings with it more than 80 new jobs and features the chain’s latest interior and kitchen design along with dual drive-thru ordering lanes to expand its award-winning drive-thru service. Two drive-thru lanes with separate menu boards will welcome motorists who will place their orders at the separate screens and then merge into a single lane to pay for and pick up their food. With a majority of customers at Chick-fil-A stand-alone restaurants choosing drive-thru, the ability for two drivers to simultaneously order should mean quicker service.
The restaurant’s design and capacity illustrates the historic shift in consumer habits from 1967 when S. Truett Cathy opened his first Chick-fil-A restaurant inside Greenbriar Mall in Atlanta, to 2011 when the chain opened its 1,000th stand-alone restaurant with the majority of business now coming from customers on the go.
The new Troy Chick-fil-A is the 68th restaurant the chain has opened in Alabama and the first stand-alone location to open in since November 2011 in Pell City, Ala. The new Chick-fil-A is one of 102 new restaurants the chain will open across the country this year, creating more than 6,200 new jobs. In addition, the chain will demolish and rebuild five existing, older restaurants. Despite the challenging economy, Chick-fil-A continued to grow in 2012 with expectations of reporting its 45th consecutive year of sales growth since the company began in 1967.
“We are thrilled to be opening Troy’s first stand-alone restaurant as we continue to grow in Alabama and across the country,” said Dan T. Cathy, president and COO, Chick-fil-A, Inc. “Our outstanding franchised Operators and their team members provide both the freshly prepared food and excellent service on both sides of the counter that has our customers asking us to bring Chick-fil-A to where they live.”
Founder Truett Cathy perfected his recipe for a boneless breast-of-chicken sandwich while operating the Dwarf Grill which he opened in Hapeville, Ga., in 1946. The sandwich became the signature menu item when he opened the first Chick-fil-A, and it continues to be the hallmark product of the chain as it has grown to more than 1,690 restaurants in 39 states and Washington D.C.
Jeff Koch, selected to operate the new location, is excited to return to Troy where he attended Troy State University and where he met his wife Tracey, who played with the well-known Sound of South Band. With a passion for flying, Koch soloed an aircraft at age 16 and earned his Private Pilot’s License a year later. He was part of Air Force ROTC Detachment 017 at Troy State where he received his commission and served our nation for 23 years. Koch had five different flying assignments including flying combat missions in the A-10 “Warthog” in Iraq. His other assignments involved being an advance agent for Air Force One and running the House Liaison Officer, where he was the military escort to the Speaker of the House.
After retiring in the grade of Colonel in September 2010, Koch served in the position of Legislative Liaison for the Defense Advanced Projects Agency which is known for inventing the Internet, GPS, and the Siri technology. Koch feels becoming a Chick-fil-A Operator will fulfill his goals for the second half of life where he wants to lead an organization, mentor and develop others, and get involved and give back to the Troy community. He and Tracey have two children with his youngest finishing her junior year at Pike Liberal Arts High School in Troy.
“Chick-fil-A has come a long way since Truett opened that first tiny Chick-fil-A restaurant in an Atlanta mall 45 years ago, but one thing has remained constant – our focus on providing top quality food in a friendly neighborhood environment,” said Koch. “My team members and I share that commitment at our new restaurant and can’t wait to welcome past guests as well as introducing Chick-fil-A to any first-timers at our restaurant.”
The new 4,500-square-foot restaurant seats 100 inside and 20 outside and has warm colors and wood accents and convenient, award-winning drive-thru service. The drive-thru features a dual-lane menu ordering system that enables two motorists to order at the same time before merging into a single lane to pay for and pick up their food. The new restaurant will have Wi-Fi and will be open Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. A full breakfast menu is served until 10:30 a.m.
Chick-fil-A continues to win industry accolades including coming out on top of the 2011 Top 10 Excellent Large Fast Food Chains survey by Sandelman & Associates. The food service consumer research firm measured responses from almost 108,000 quick service customers about food quality, customer service and restaurant environment. In addition, Men’s Health “Eat This, Not That” 2012 edition again gave the chain high marks (A-) and named it one of the top two restaurants providing healthier menu options. In 2011, Chick-fil-A also received Consumer Reports Top Chicken Chain for food and service.
Chick-fil-A continues to rank high in QSR Magazine’s annual Drive-Thru Performance Study which in 2011 was narrowed to only measure the six best, consistent brands in the drive thru. The “benchmark” brands, joined by one rotating regional chain, are measured in categories ranging from speed of service and order accuracy to customer service and cleanliness. In the 2012 study, which included more than 2,000 visits to restaurants around the country, Chick-fil-A was number one in order accuracy and had the friendliest service. The study also found Chick-fil-A team members displayed a “pleasant demeanor” 94 percent of the time, a full
14 percentage points above the next highest-rated restaurant chain.
In another study that analyzed 52 restaurants and was recently released by the research firm Technomic, Chick-fil-A was the only chain to rank in the top five of all six key categories in its 2012 Customer Restaurant Brand Metrics study. The firm polled 38,000 consumers in the categories they said mattered most – food, cleanliness, service, value, beverage and atmosphere.
For more information on the Troy Chick-fil-A restaurant visit https://www.facebook.com/ChickFilAAtTroy.
About Chick-fil-A, Inc.
Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A, Inc. this year will add 102 new locations around the country including 78 stand-alone, one drive-thru and four inline and two mall restaurants, along with 17 licensed locations. Credited with inventing the boneless breast-of-chicken sandwich and first introducing the chicken nugget concept, Chick-fil-A serves nutritious and freshly prepared food products in mall locations, stand-alone restaurants, drive-thru-only restaurants, Chick-fil-A Dwarf House® and Truett’s Grill® full-service restaurants, and through licensed outlets in college campuses, hospitals, airports, businesses and industrial sites. Chick-fil-A reached $4 billion in annual sales in 2011 and expects 2012 to become its 45th consecutive year of sales growth since the company began in 1967. More information about Chick-fil-A is available on the chain’s websites, located at www.chick-fil-a.com/pressroom , or through Facebook at www.facebook.com/ChickfilA or Twitter: www.Twitter.com/ChickfilA.
Information Source: Chick-fil-A