Fast food restaurant chain Chick-Fil-A is famously closed on Sundays, but that didn’t stop them when people stranded at the Atlanta Airport needed help.
Chick-Fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy was a devout Christian, and his restaurants are all closed on Sundays, as well as Thanksgiving and Christmas. Even the company’s website has a different splash page on Sundays, showing a video message about why they are closed.
It all started with a power outage at the Atlanta Airport, not too far from Chick-Fil-A’s corporate headquarters in College Park, Georgia. According to WSB-TV Atlanta, the power outage stranded thousands of passengers in the terminals and left hundreds of flights sitting on the tarmac, taking hours to deplane all the passengers.
— City of Atlanta, GA (@CityofAtlanta) December 17, 2017
After hours of no electricity, and hotel rooms and rental cars scarce, Chick-Fil-A stepped up to help.
The Atlanta city government announced that they were providing shuttle services from the airport to the convention center for anyone who needed shelter, and Chick-Fil-A was providing food.
The City of Atlanta has mobilized the Georgia International Convention Center and will provide shuttle services for anyone who needs a place to stay for the night. @ChickfilA will provide food for passengers.
— City of Atlanta, GA (@CityofAtlanta) December 18, 2017
That’s right…Chick-Fil-A…on a Sunday!
The news was met with much cheering, appreciating Chick-Fil-A’s kind gesture (and those waffle fries).
Thousands stranded in Atlanta on a Sunday evening because of the massive power failure at the airport. @ChickfilA, normally not open on Sunday’s, springs into action to feed them all. That’s incredible. What a company.
— Michael Schlact (@michael_schlact) December 18, 2017
— Kelsey Wingert (@KelsWingert) December 18, 2017
Also shoutout to everyone at the ATL airport who will now be able to say they were served fresh Chick-fil-A on a Sunday.
— Kelly Vaughn 🐞 (@kvlly) December 18, 2017
Chick-Fil-A had faced a threatened boycott several years ago over the company’s support for traditional marriage, despite the fact that company policy was not to discriminate in hiring or serving customers, and those supporting a boycott focused their anger over comments made by the founders and corporate donations, not any actual acts of discrimination. The boycott failed as Chick-Fil-A supporters made a point to go to the restaurants, resulting in long lines at many locations.
In fact, since 2010, Chick-Fil-A has been the top earner among fast food restaurants in average sales per restaurant, earning an average of $4.8 million per restaurant in 2016 (Whataburger was second at $2.7 million). This ranking is even more impressive considering that the majority of their competitors are open seven days a week and Chick-Fil-A is, as mentioned repeatedly above, closed on Sunday.
So kudos to Chick-Fil-A for looking out for their neighbors stranded at the airport. As for the rest of us, we’ll continue craving those waffle fries until our local stores open tomorrow morning.
“I want Chick-Fil-A, but it’s Sunday…I want the fries that are made of waffle, but now I’m feeling awful…”
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.