Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day backed up traffic down Charlotte Pike in Nashville as people flocked to one of America's most popular chain restaurants on Aug 1, 2012. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee called for a day of support for Chick-fil-A after the restaurant came under harsh attack when CEO Cathy expressed his belief in Biblical family values.
Because I had a Civitan lunch meeting to attend, I met a friend at Chick-fil-A at 1:30, well after the lunch rush should have been over, yet cars were still lined up around the building and parking places were full as I pulled in. Fortunately, someone pulled out and I was able to grab a parking space. A line of people waited outside all the entrances in the 95º weather, and young Chick-fil-A employees offered ice cold water to those waiting to get in.
People of all ages, races and backgrounds were there from smartly dressed business people to those in shorts and Ts. Babies were carried on shoulders and senior citizens came in on walkers. I was there for an hour and never heard one curse word, complaint or raised voice. There were no signs or slogans and everyone was upbeat, and courteous. And although there were lots of children and several babies, I never heard a child shriek or baby cry. It was as nice a crowd as I've ever seen anywhere.
One lady asked why the restaurant was so full and my friend explained it was Chick-fil-A appreciation Day. The lady hadn't heard of it since it has received so little media attention, but she said it was a great restaurant and she was glad people were supporting it. Another lady mentioned a Wendy's was sending people to Chick-fil-A in solidarity.
It looked like people from the district office might be chipping in to help as there was an abundance of professional looking men in blue shirts manning registers and helping clean tables. I ordered an ice cream with my Chick-fil-A sandwich and dropped it as soon as I reached the table. While I cleaned up my mess, another cone appeared magically at my elbow as one of the workers came to finish my clean up job, proving you just can't beat Chick-fil-A for good food and great customer service.
Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day may be the best-kept secret in the media, but in Nashville, the Charlotte Road store was still packed at 2:30 with even more supporters expected tonight for the dinner crowd. One of the funniest photos I have seen of this "secret" event was posted on the internet showing another packed Chick-fil-A location with a caption warning those politicians taking an intolerant stand against the restaurant that this was an indication who would be turning out at polls at the next election.
Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day was certainly a success from the other photos I have seen from across the country. That's the nice thing about the internet. What the national media doesn't cover, the rest of us will.