With more than 1,911 locations in 41 states, Chick-fil-A is a popular fast food chain across the nation. On Thursday, April 9, the first Chick-fil-A location in Washington opened in Bellevue. Located by the intersection of 116th Ave and NE 8th street, Chick-fil-A sells hand-made chicken sandwiches, soups and salads.
Owned and operated by entrepreneur Valerie Artis, Bellevue’s Chick-fil-A opened with fanfare and events. Like many other Chick-fil-A openings, a “first 100” promotion was held, where the first 100 adults in line were given 52 free meals – a year’s worth of food – on a gift card.
Army Spc. Kwabena Asare from Ft. Lewis was one of the first 100 who waited in line to get the free food.
“For me I like their cool little waffle fries and it provides an alternative from burgers all the time. I enjoy their chicken sandwiches and breakfast biscuits”
Asare was approved to take the time off, but with a condition. “I told one of my officers what I was doing and he thought it was hilarious, but he approved me to camp out and told me I better share some of the meals with him.”
Campers didn’t have to spend the entire wait in line, after the first 100 lined up, they were given buttons and cups to signify their place, and so were not required to camp out for the store opening.
In addition to the first 100 customer promotion, a children’s book drive was held from April 7 to April 11. The books were put into a three-foot-high book house built of reclaimed wood donated by the Chick-fil-A Foundation, which was then given to the The Boys & Girls Club of Bellevue.
A Chick-fil-A employee involved in training and store openings who did not wish to be named gave a statement regarding the opening in Bellevue:
“There’s a lot of excitement building within the company about this opening. And it’s clear the city is excited as well. As I’m speaking, the store is nearing record numbers for first day sales.
“This area of the country is definitely new territory for Chick-fil-A. Most within the brand see it as a huge opportunity to expose tons of people to a remarkable new dining experience. As more restaurants open in that part of the country, the brand will continue to grow and we hope to see even more enthusiasm develop about the Chick-fil-A name.”
After sales numbers came in, the employee confirmed that they broke the first day sales record, with the store doing over $65,000 in sales.
Another diner who gave his name as Reginald stated, “It tastes amazing, and it’s the opposite of healthy. Super buttery chicken. Them waffle fries also, it’s incredible. Also, I’m from the south.”
The Bellevue Chick-fil-A is open Monday through Saturday, 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. with breakfast served until 10:30 a.m. and like all Chick-fil-A restaurants, it is closed on Sunday.