Ashland’s first stand-alone Chick-fil-A restaurant will open May 30 bringing nearly 60 new jobs and the chance for 100 adults to win free Chick-fil-A meals for a year.
Chick-fil-A’s “First 100” event, which began as a way to celebrate the first stand-alone Chick-fil-A in Arizona in 2003, immediately became the cornerstone of every grand opening when the first person arrived more than 18 hours the day before, wondering where to get in line. Others soon followed and by the time the restaurant opened for business the next day, more than 100 were waiting.
Humbled and surprised by the dedication of its fans, Chick-fil-A quickly implemented the “First 100” at every grand opening and in the past 10 years has given away more than $18 million in free food at almost 700 grand openings. An additional $2.5 million is slated to be given away at 102 grand openings this year.
The new Ashland restaurant, located at 815 England St., will be the scene of the latest Chick-fil-A grand opening celebration. The first 100 adults, ages 18 and older with identification, in line when the doors open about 6 a.m. on Thursday, May 30, each will win a one-year supply of free Chick-fil-A meals (52 coupons with each consisting of a chicken sandwich, medium waffle fries and a medium drink) – a total of nearly $30,000 in free food. The line officially opens at 6 a.m., Wednesday, May 29, with the free meal cards being awarded Thursday, May 30, about 6 a.m. The restaurant will open for business immediately thereafter.
The Ashland Chick-fil-A location, which brings the total in the state to 106, becomes the 18th restaurant in metro Richmond in addition to two licensee locations. The first Chick-fil-A in the state opened in October 1974 in Portsmouth’s Tower Mall. Ashland’s first stand-alone Chick-fil-A restaurant features the chain’s latest interior and kitchen design along with dual drive-thru ordering lanes to expand its award-winning drive-thru service.
A franchised Chick-fil-A operator since August 1997 with a stand-alone restaurant at Virginia Center Marketplace, a satellite location at Kings Dominion and a licensee location at Medical College of Virginia, Howe Rice has been selected to operate the new Ashland stand-alone location. He joins a small percentage of operators to be given two stand-alone locations to operate. During his tenure as operator, he has received the chain’s highest honor – the Symbol of Success – three consecutive times and joins a handful of operators to have achieved that level.
The new restaurant features indoor seating for 136 and an additional 12 seats outside. The restaurant will feature free Wi-Fi and is open Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., serving a full breakfast menu until 10:30 a.m.