It was a great day in the morning studio with Brandon Gibson because one of his dreams was coming true, live, on the air. Trumping celebrity guests, on-air tattooing and almost being the Grand Marshal of the Santa Clarita Valley Fourth of July parade, the Memphis native was delivered Chick-fil-A chicken biscuits and the chain’s trademark sweet tea for breakfast.
Gibson had toyed with the idea of camping out at the soon-to-open location at the Valencia Town Center (24180 Magic Mountain Parkway), but the corporate folks did him one better – they brought the chicken to him.
Joining Gibson in studio was local operator Dustin LaChance (pictured below, in red shirt) and Unit Marketing Director James Kneblik, Jr. They hauled in coolers with the familiar chicken logo and bags of delicious taste treats for Gibson and his co-workers that disappeared quickly.
Along with the chicken biscuits, LaChance and Kneblik brought yogurt parfaits,( a menu item that debuted in January and is a popular selection already), fruit cups, sweet tea and diet lemonade.
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The city’s first standalone Chick-fil-A restaurant will open Thursday and anyone passing by Valencia Town Center can’t help but notice the tent city that’s sprung up, populated by fans of the tasty poultry. There’s also another reason – the first 100 adults in line will receive a one-year supply of free Chick-fil-A meals. The free meal cards will be awarded some time between 6 and 6:10 a.m. Thursday, with the restaurant opening shortly thereafter.
If more than 100 people are present for the giveaway, the 100 spots are determined by a raffle. Click here for details.
The new stand-alone Chick-fil-A in Santa Clarita is one of 78 new locations the chain plans to open this year. Despite the nation’s economic challenges in 2009, Chick-fil-A continued to expand, actually increasing the number of locations initially projected for the year. The chain opened 80 new restaurants and reached $3 billion in sales for the first time.
The Valencia Town Center restaurant is the second of three locations opening in metro L.A. this summer. A Laguna Niguel Chick-fil-A opened June 3 and a U.S.C. in-line restaurant is scheduled to open in August. You can also become a fan of the local Chick-fil-A by visiting their Facebook page at Chick-fil-A Valencia Towne Center.
“Thanks to our family of Operators and restaurant team members who provide freshly prepared food and going-the-extra-mile customer service, Chick-fil-A is fortunate to be able to continue to grow,” said Dan T. Cathy, President and COO, Chick-fil-A, Inc. “We are very fortunate to be blessed with not only committed Operators and team members but also with a tremendous following of loyal customers. They are the reason we do what we do every day.”
Franchisee LaChance has been with Chick-fil-A for six years and is transferring from a location in Florida. Dustin and his wife Sara are looking forward to becoming part of the Santa Clarita community.
“Truett Cathy started Chick-fil-A more than 42 years ago with the aim of providing the best in freshly prepared food and customer service,” said LaChance. “The goal remains the same for my team as we open our new Santa Clarita restaurant.”
For those who have never been to a Chick-fil-A before, it’s a definite Southern hospitality experience, as well as a tasty treat.
The new Chick-fil-A at Valencia Town Center features a 4,596 square-foot interior that seats 138 and has warm colors and wood accents and a convenient, award-winning drive-thru while children will enjoy an indoor play area featuring an interactive section for toddlers.
Chick-fil-A will be open from Monday through Saturday 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., offering a trans fat-free menu that includes breakfast which is served daily until 10:30 a.m. and features Chick-fil-A’s popular chicken biscuit, Chick-n-Minis and Fresh Fruit Cup.
It will also feature the chain’s new Chick-fil-A® Yogurt Parfait (previously given the two-thumbs up by KHTS staff) which debuted in early January and features creamy vanilla yogurt, sliced fresh strawberries and Harvest Nut Granola. Another healthy alternative for Chick-fil-A customers, the 8-ounce Yogurt Parfait can be a breakfast item, quick snack or light dessert with topping choices of granola or Oreo cookie crumble.
On June 7, Chick-fil-A restaurants nationwide rolled out the new Spicy Chicken Sandwich, the chain’s first new sandwich to hit menu boards since its Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich was added in 1989. The new Spicy Chicken Sandwich is hand-breaded, seasoned with a fiery blend of several peppers, pressure-cooked in 100 percent refined peanut oil and served on a toasted buttered bun with dill pickle chips.
The lunch and dinner menu will be served until 10 p.m. and features award-winning items such as the original boneless breast-of-chicken sandwich, made-from-scratch salads and wraps, and a line of hand-spun milkshakes available in chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, cookies & cream and for a limited time, Peach.
Chick-fil-A has eliminated artificial trans fat from its entire menu and was among the first national quick-service restaurant chains to offer a complete menu – from entrées down to condiments – with zero grams of trans fat.
The chain continues to make education a priority and offers one of the industry’s more aggressive scholarship programs with $1.9 million in Leadership Scholarships to be awarded to its restaurant team members this year. Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy reached his $25 million scholarship milestone in August 2009.
Cathy, a restaurateur for more than 62 years, opened the first Chick-fil-A location in 1967 in Atlanta’s Greenbriar Mall. The company has now entered its third generation of family involvement in the business. Chick-fil-A is credited with inventing the boneless breast-of-chicken sandwich and pioneering in-mall fast food. The chain has grown to more than 1,490 locations in 38 states and Washington, D.C.
A visitor to the studio tried to help herself to some chicken, but didn’t get far….