While chickens are running for the hills and competitors are turning green with envy, Chick-fil-A accountants have to be giddy over Wednesday’s packed restaurants as patrons bought chicken sandwiches in droves to show support for company President and COO Dan Cathy.
The question now is whether there will be a repeat of the crowds Friday when gays and lesbians are expected to turn out for a “National Same-Sex Kiss Day” to protest Cathy’s recent warnings that the nation is “inviting God’s judgment” because it is trying to “redefine” marriage as anything but being a union between and man and woman.
The Atlanta-based privately held company said it had a record sales day Wednesday, though it didn’t provide specifics Thursday in comments to the AJC. “While we don’t release exact sales numbers, it was an unprecedented day.”
As for the fallout over Cathy’s recent comments, the company earlier said, “Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”
Thousands of people in metro Atlanta and across the nation packed restaurants for Wednesday’s “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” led by former presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee. The former Arkansas governor told Fox News the day’s success went beyond “anything I could have imagined.”
Huckabee also said he doesn’t oppose Friday’s protest, “As long as they’re orderly. As long as they don’t disrupt the flow of customers and traffic,” he told Fox.
Friday’s “Kiss Day” is being sponsored by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, which has called for a boycott of Chick-fil-A not only for Cathy’s comments but also for the millions of dollars GLAAD says Chick-fil-A, through its WinShape philanthropic wing, has donated to groups that lobby against legalization of same-sex marriage. In its “Skip the Sandwich” campaign, GLAAD wants patrons to take the $6.50 they would pay approximately for a meal and donate the money to gay and lesbian rights groups, and post “Kiss Day” pictures on the Internet.
Even some of Chick-fil-A’s competitors appear to be trying to catch some of the attention. According to CNN, some Wendy’s franchises in the Carolinas erected signs outside their restaurants that said, “We Stand With Chick-fil-A.”