That didn’t take long. Chick-fil-A opened its first location in the U.K. – a pilot shop in the Oracle Mall in Reading, about an hour and a half drive from London on October 10. The shop was granted a six-month lease in the mall. The company has already been told that its lease will not be renewed. Hello and good-bye, Chick-fil-A.
The “shop”, as it is called, opened to rave reviews by customers. The chain was touted as “one of the premier fast-food restaurants in America” in press reports.
Chick-fil-A is one of the premier fast food restaurants in America and it appears to have selected Reading as its testing ground for a possible UK wide expansion.
Staff at the Reading branch said it was the chain’s first restaurant in the UK.
Chick-fil-A, pronounced chik-fil-AY, is a much loved chain in the US for serving nuggets, chicken sandwiches, waffle potato fries and more.
Chick-fil-A opened in a space previously leased by a vegan burger fast-food joint. That lease lasted from January through July but apparently its test run failed. The vegan burgers are now sold in the frozen food section in grocery stores. The problem for Chick-fil-A isn’t a lack of enthusiasm from consumers, it is the social justice warriors. More specifically, it is the LGBTQ community. The super tolerant community that demands everyone accept an anything-goes attitude about sexuality and gender classification is super intolerant of religious freedom. Tolerance is a one-way street.
This all centers around the alleged anti-gay position of the company’s chief operating officer Dan T. Cathy. While it is true that the company is governed by a man of strong Christian beliefs, the company does not force any religious views on its customers or its employees. The chain closes on Sundays so that employees are free to spend the day with their families. There is no company mandate that employees attend church services on Sunday. The radical left is angry that Cathy spends some of his money on contributions to those who oppose gay marriage, for example. It is his right to do so.
Reading Pride organized protests of the opening of the pilot shop. The message is “Get the chick out.” Ironically, the group points to the alleged bigotry of Chick-fil-A as the reason the store must be canceled. Somehow the bigotry against Christians is not acknowledged by the woke masses.
— Newbury Pride (@NewburyPride) October 19, 2019
The mall caved to the pressure of the activists. The lease will not be renewed. Is that enough for the protesters? No, of course not. They plan to continue to protest until the shop is closed.
The Oracle said: “We always look to introduce new concepts for our customers, however, we have decided on this occasion that the right thing to do is to only allow Chick-Fil-A to trade with us for the initial six-month pilot period, and not to extend the lease any further.”
Reading Pride said The Oracle’s decision was “good news”, adding the six-month period was a “reasonable request… to allow for re-settlement and notice for employees that have moved from other jobs”.
But the organisation said it would continue to campaign against the outlet until it left.
That is the problem with caving to the outraged mobs. It is never enough. One indulgence makes way for the next. Mob rule wins. It’s too bad. The people in the area really like the product. The company is pleased with sales. A company spokesman made a point to reassure that everyone is welcome.
A spokesperson from the company said: “We opened a pilot licensed location at The Oracle Centre of Reading on October 10 and we are pleased by customer response.
“Chick-fil-A is a restaurant company focused on serving great food and hospitality.
“We are represented by more than 145,000 people from different backgrounds and beliefs and welcome everyone.”
Chick-fil-A’s first franchised international location in Toronto was met with similiar protests last month.
Protestors caused a commotion as soon as the restaurant opened its doors at 10:30 a.m., chanting “shame” and “cluck you,” CBC News reports.
“Hey hey, ho ho, Homophobia’s got to go,” activists can be heard shouting in video shared to Twitter by BlogTo.
“We won’t allow hateful rhetoric to be here,” Justin Khan of local LGBTQ organization The 519 told CBC. “The fact that Chick-fil-A is opening on the streets of Toronto is something that is quite alarming.”
The problem with the tropes uttered by the triggered mobs is that there is no “hateful rhetoric” in a Chick-fil-A store, only delicious chicken and waffle fries. The staff are known for incredibly polite and accomodating behavior. Everyone receives a smile and a thank you for their patronage. In today’s world, it is a welcome relief.
So, sorry about that, people who shop in The Oracle. It looks like your days of enjoying tasty chicken sandwiches or nuggets are limited. It should be noted that the outlet in Toronto is still open and operating.
Despite the commotion, franchise owner Wilson Yang remains hopeful about Chick-fil-A’s future in the city.
“We respect people’s right to share their opinions and want all Torontonians to know they are welcome at Chick-fil-A Yonge & Bloor,” he said in a statement shared with CBC. “Our focus is on offering a welcoming and respectful environment for our guests and team members, and we encourage people to give us a try.”
The company previously opened a location at the Calgary International Airport that has since closed, but the company says the Toronto location is the first franchised restaurant in Canada. The company says the restaurant will be closed on Sundays, in line with its policy for U.S. restaurants.
Mob mentality wins again.