Coronavirus cancels restaurant grand openings, so Chick-fil-A gives local heroes free meals for a year


Lemons into lemonade.

The coronavirus pandemic has upended every aspect of the foodservice industry, but Chick-fil-A is making the best of a bad situation. As the chicken-centric chain cannot hold traditional grand openings during this time, the company is paying it forward by giving one year of free meals to some lucky local heroes in each area it opens a new restaurant.

On Thursday, Chick-fil-A opened a new branch in West Michigan at Norton Shores, according to a release shared with Fox News. A spokesperson explained that because of COVID-19 concerns, the restaurant is currently operating as drive-thru only and traditional celebrations to toast the new chain are not possible.

Norton Shores grandly debuted with a generous gesture. On Wednesday, franchise owner Matt Lewis visited the local outpost of Mercy Health, surprising health care workers there with 100 vouchers for free Chick-fil-A for a year.

Norton Shores grandly debuted with a generous gesture. On Wednesday, franchise owner Matt Lewis visited the local outpost of Mercy Health, surprising health care workers there with 100 vouchers for free Chick-fil-A for a year.
(Mercy Health Office of Philanthropy Along the Lakeshore)

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Nevertheless, Norton Shores grandly debuted with a generous gesture. On Wednesday, franchise owner Matt Lewis visited the local outpost of Mercy Health, surprising health care workers there with 100 vouchers for free Chick-fil-A for a year, the restaurant rep said.

“Wow!” Mercy Health wrote on Facebook. “All colleagues will have a chance to win one, and winners will be notified soon.”

"We’ve actually been doing this for all new Chick-fil-A restaurant openings since May of last year due to COVID-19. To date, we’ve gifted free Chick-fil-A for a year to roughly 6,000 community heroes throughout the U.S.," the Chick-fil-A rep said.

“We’ve actually been doing this for all new Chick-fil-A restaurant openings since May of last year due to COVID-19. To date, we’ve gifted free Chick-fil-A for a year to roughly 6,000 community heroes throughout the U.S.,” the Chick-fil-A rep said.
(iStock)

A spokesperson for Chick-fil-A said that such tokens of gratitude have been distributed on a national level since the spring.

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“We’ve actually been doing this for all new Chick-fil-A restaurant openings since May of last year due to COVID-19. To date, we’ve gifted free Chick-fil-A for a year to roughly 6,000 community heroes throughout the U.S.,” they said.

In addition, the Chick-fil-A Foundation has also teamed up with Feeding America to donate $25,000 to a local food bank for each new restaurant opening. MLive.com reports that $25,000 was donated to a Muskegon County food bank in honor of the Norton Shores Chick-fil-A.



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