Had some fun at the new ChickfilA in Des Peres. It felt like Black Friday but it was White Thursday (because of the snow on the ground). Dozens of people pitched tents in the parking lot and spent all day Wednesday outside waiting for the new restaurant to open.
The food is good, but not THAT good. Is it? Of course it wasn't about getting food, but FREE food. and not just free food, but FREE FOOD FOR A YEAR.
ChickfilA is in the habit of celebrating new store openings by giving packs of 52 free meal coupons to the first 100 people in the door... good for a meal a week for a year.
Normally they have DJs and games outside the restaurant but in the single-digit temperatures they improvised. At 9pm Wednesday they brought the "lucky 100" inside to stay warm and tossed them back out at 4am Thursday to give employees enough time to get the dining room clean and ready for customers.
They opened the doors at 5:45am for the "lucky 100" who also got t-shirts and high-fived the ChickfilA cow.
I grew up on ChickfilA in Texas and enjoyed it during my time working in Knoxville, Tennessee as well. I couldn't believe when I moved to St. Louis how few ChickfilAs there were here. A corporate representative in from Atlanta told me they're building 5 in our region this year.
My only complaint is none are near me. Bring ChickfilA to South St. Louis already!
It's not just about the food but the service. The employees there take pride in their jobs and make the customers feel like they truly care about their dining experience. How many other fast food restaurants do that? At many (not all) you're greeted with indifference... occasionally even rudeness.
But at ChickfilA you're always greeted with a smile, some eye contact and by someone who doesn't mumble at you. It's so easy, but for some reason this is the only fast food chain where the customer is ALWAYS treated right. Let me know if I'm wrong.
Meantime, "Eet Mor Chikn!"
Mark Schnyder is a reporter at KMOV-TV. He can be reached at MSchnyder@kmov.com.