By James Groh Syracuse, N.Y. (NCC News) – The highly anticipated opening of Chick-Fil-A is less than a day away. The fried chicken specialist opens its doors In Cicero tomorrow morning at 6:30.
Earlier today though, over 150 fans of its chicken showed up for a chance to receive a free chicken sandwich once a week for an entire year. While that may seem like a lot, its nothing new for a Chick-Fil-A. Tomorrow is going to be even bigger, so catering director, Kelsy Natoli, said they are bringing in local law enforcement to ensure everything goes smoothly.
“We’ve got cicero police officers who will be here managing traffic flow,” said Natoli.
The extra police officers may be good for another reason.
In the past though, Chick-Fil-A has been subject to criticism by L-G-B-T groups. On several occasions it was reported that the fast food restaurant donated upwards of a million dollars to organizations that were anti same sex marriage including one company that offered sexual orientation conversion therapy.
However, the company has been transparent with its Christian views building its religious values into the framework of the company. It is closed on Sundays and does a majority of its charity work at or with churches.
In fact, earlier today the lucky recipients of the 100 free sandwich for a year all went to Samaritan Center and the Francis House to volunteer. People were also bussed to Barnes & Noble to buy books to be donated at a local school.
Despite the controversy that may surround the company, local fanfare is strong. Social media has been active in the past few days, and all the tweets were very positive.
“We’re expecting big crowds. We’re expecting it’s going to be busy,” said Natoli.
She also said that its preparing its workers for the most important part of tomorrow: cooking and serving the food.
“(We are) making sure everyone gets the orders right and gets the food out on time.”
So regardless of any controversial stances Chick-Fil-A supports, politics hasn’t spoiled its Central New York debut.