A famous and infamous chicken restaurant franchise will open its doors in Batavia on Thursday.
The Batavia location for Chick-fil-A is at 185 N. Randall Road, or the southwest corner of Randall Road and McKee Street.
Batavia’s first Chick-fil-A® restaurant will bring more than 65 new jobs and the chance for 100 adults to win free Chick-fil-A meals for a year as the chain reaches the 10th anniversary of its signature grand opening celebration.
The first 100 adults, ages 18 and older with identification, in line when the doors open about 6 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7, each will win a one-year supply of free Chick-fil-A® Meals. The winners will receive 52 coupons for a free meal, which consists of:
- A Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich
- Medium Waffle Potato Fries™
- A medium drink
The total value of the food is more than $29,000, according to Chick-fil-A officials.
The line officially opens at 6 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 6, with the free meal cards being awarded Thursday, Feb. 7, 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, Feb. 6, all 100 spots will be determined by raffle held that morning with those selected needing to camp out to secure their spot. For complete rules, see Chick-fil-A First 100 Promotion.
For 10 years, Chick-fil-A has been hosting the parking lot parties, providing security, entertainment and, of course, plenty of chicken.
The Batavia Chick-fil-A has been a long time coming for residents. Mayor Jeff Schielke first publicly mentioned that Chick-fil-A wanted to come here in June 2011. The Plan Commission voted on the restaurant in fall 2011, but construction didn't start until almost a year later in September 2012.
Chick-fil-A to its dedicated fans who often arrive more than 24 hours in advance prepared with TVs, computers, tents, games and other gear to make their stay more comfortable. In the past decade, the First 100 Celebrations have been the backdrop for family reunions, girls’ nights out, birthday celebrations, college study parties and several marriage proposals as people come from around the corner or across the country to be part of the festivities.
Consumer habits have changed dramatically since 1967 when S. Truett Cathy opened his first Chick-fil-A restaurant inside Atlanta’s Greenbriar Mall. While that tiny location pioneered the mall food court concept, the majority of the chain’s new restaurants today cater not only to customers who want to dine inside but also to those who prefer the convenience of drive-thru service.
Batavia’s first Chick-fil-A restaurant 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 will welcome motorists who will place their orders at 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.
Chick-fil-A opened its first and only Illinois mall restaurant in Southpark Mall in Moline in 1983 with many driving long distances to get their Chick-fil-A fix at the location. The chain opened the state’s first stand-alone in Aurora in September 2010 and now operates 22 restaurants in the state.
This year, Chick-fil-A will open more restaurants than ever before. The new Chick-fil-A on North Randall Road is one of 102 new restaurants the chain plans to open across the country in 2013, creating more than 6,200 new jobs. Chick-fil-A continued to grow in 2012 which included increasing the number of restaurants initially budgeted for the year.
Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy first began serving his boneless breast-of-chicken sandwich, pressured cooked and served on a buttered bun with two crucial pickles, at the Dwarf Grill which opened in Hapeville, Ga., in 1946. It was the signature menu item when the first Chick-fil-A restaurant opened in 1967 and though many other items have joined the menu over the years, it remains the centerpiece of the menu as the chain has grown to 1,691 restaurants in 39 states and Washington D.C.
Franchised Chick-fil-A Operator Murray Collier has been selected to operate the first stand-alone restaurant in Batavia. After a lengthy career with automotive firm, Collier decided to pursue an Operator opportunity with Chick-fil-A and accepted an entry-level position at a local restaurant to begin following his dream. His persistence paid off in 2009 when he became the Operator of the Chick-fil-A in Dayton Mall in Ohio. Collier and his wife, Jamie, along with their two sons are excited to transfer to the Batavia community to open the city’s first stand-alone Chick-fil-A restaurant.
“Our focus on freshly prepared food and personal customer service is as central to our new restaurant as it was the day Truett opened his first Chick-fil-A location,” said Collier. “That commitment continues for me and my team members at our new Batavia location where we can’t wait to welcome and serve our guests and introduce Chick-fil-A to many for the first time.”
The new restaurant has seating for 144 with additional outdoor seating, warm colors and wood accents, and an interactive play area for children. The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., serving a full breakfast menu until 10:30 a.m. The restaurant is closed on Sunday.