UPDATED: 11:19 a.m. Thursday : The Atlanta-based chain hasn’t released sales figures from the supporter-driven appreciation day Wednesday another statement released Thursday morning marketing executive vice president Steve Robinson confirmed record sales had been achieved.
We are very grateful and humbled by the incredible turnout of loyal Chick-fil-A customers on August 1 around the country. .. While we don’t release exact sales numbers, it was an unprecedented day.
Overnight and early Thursday, there were many reports about brisk business and long lines inside and outside restaurants as well as possibly breaking records in sales including megachurch pastor Rick Warren’s tweet sent Wednesday night:
@DanCathy just called me. #ChickFilA has already set a world record today, with 7 more hrs to go in the West. #OutOfChicken
In July, Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy told the Baptist Press his company backed “the biblical definition of the family unit.” His comment sparked criticism among individuals and groups who support gay marriage and prompted some mayors to announce plans to block the Atlanta-based company’s expansion plans in their cities.
Cathy’s comments about the definition of marriage have prompted some consumers to embrace the company (known for its chicken sandwiches and for putting faith before the bottomline by closing on Sundays) more boldy, while others, such as D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray to label the company discriminatory or even “hate chicken.”
Former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee declared today “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” a call to action for fans of the chicken chain and supporters of Cathy’s stance.
The furorhas prompted debate about individual religious and free speech rights, the role of commerce on social issues and whether stances taken by governmental leaders could translate into suppressing the activities of others whose positions they find objectionable.
“Opponents of the company’s stance are planning ‘Kiss Mor Chiks’ for Friday, when they are encouraging people of the same sex to show up at Chick-fil-A restaurants around the country and kiss each other,” the Associated Press reported Wednesday.
According to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, the issue isn’t just about marriage. A fact sheet posted on GLAAD’s Web site Wednesday morning cited past actions attributed to the company. It reads, in part:
Chick-fil-A’s anti-LGBT stance goes well beyond simply opposing marriage equality. They have given millions of dollars to anti-LGBT organizations, including those that have been designated “hate groups” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and those that push so-called “ex-gay” therapy, which has been denounced by the mainstream medical and mental health community. They have supported organizations that are on record saying that being gay should be recriminalized in America. Chick-fil-A also bans gay couples from its “WinShape Retreats” aimed at growing leadership within the company.
Throughout the day, the appreciation day gained momentum, with Chick-fil-A supporters and critics standing in lines to dine or organizing counter protests Wednesday and later in the week.
Your Take: Have you taken a stand on Chick-fil-A’s marriage controversy? Did you take up Mike Huckabee’s case or are you more likely to stay away from the sandwich shop in protest? Is the gay rights cause now a food fight? Will you continue to eat at Chick-fil-A?
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