Today I saw something I never have before, tents in a Chick-fil-A parking lot.
Debbie Pilapil and I attended the media luncheon at Chick-fil-A for Senior News & Times. We noted an array of tents and people in lawn chairs sitting in the parking lot outside of White Oaks Mall. Everyone was there preparing for the grand opening. “We live in Lincoln and got up around 3:30 a.m. this morning,” David Carter said.
Carter along with his family was in place for the Chick-fil-A payoff, 52 free meals. “Some of our family members did this when they opened in Peoria,” Carter said. “They do games and give us breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
Donna Wilson from Springfield, Anne Termle from Pleasant Plains and Therese Talma also from Springfield were set up with a Taj Mahal tent and comfortable chairs. “We have been here since 5:30 a.m., the group said. So far it is fun and the people are so nice.”
The group joked that at another Chick-fil-A open house event that there was a two a.m. bed check to be sure that all the registrants were still present. “There are no ankle bracelets,” the trio quipped, “but you can’t leave. This has been on our bucket list. When they feed us, we just walk around to the drive through!”
Cindy Chapman Vice President of Communications for Chick-fil-A said that this is the 2000th location to open nationwide and marks the return of Chick-fil-A to town after the Springfield locations closed in 1995. Katherine Wade is the new owner of the 2,000th location. “The first 100 eligible adults age 18 and above in line will win free Chick-fil-A for a year,” Cindy Chapman said about those encamped in the Chick-fil-A lot. “We have been doing this for 13 years.”
Katherine and Michael Wade are the new owners of the Chick-fil-A. They have worked for the company opening over 20 locations all over the nation and they liked what they saw in the Midwest, the people and the location. The two are newly married and embarking on a new journey bringing great food, fun and campers in their parking lot to the Land of Lincoln. It wasn’t Black Friday, but a balmy Wednesday outside of White Oaks Mall.
I had great food, great fun, and hope you will read the entire story in the May issue of Senior News & Times