Chick-Fil-A is a hugely popular fast food restaurant that has made plenty of waves in the past few years. You can see their cow billboards on highways all across the U.S. You might have read about them in the news. Maybe you’ve never been there once, or maybe you’ve eaten there every day since you first discovered their product. But how much do you know about the company and its history? Here are 10 Chick Fil A facts you may not know.
10. They started as The Dwarf Grill.
The restaurant that birthed Chick-Fil-A opened in Hapeville, Ga. in 1946 by S. Truett Cathy. It was called “The Dwarf Grill” and is now called “The Dwarf House.” The Chick-Fil-A name didn’t come along until 1961.
9. They really did invent the chicken sandwich.
“We didn’t invent the chicken, just the chicken sandwich.”
They’re not just whistling Dixie with that slogan. Fast food chicken sandwiches weren’t a thing until S. Truett Cathy realized that a pressure-fryer could cook a chicken breast in the same amount of time it took to grill a hamburger. He put the first one on his menu as the Chick-Fil-A Sandwich at the Dwarf Grill, and opened the first Chick-Fil-A restaurant six years later.
8. They’ve been the official sponsor of the Peach Bowl for 20 years.
Chick-Fil-A is proud of their Georgia roots, and they show it by being the title sponsor of the Peach Bowl. They’ve held this position for 20 years now, starting in 1997.
7. They are almost nationwide.
You can find Chick-Fil-A Restaurants in 45 states. Unfortunately, if you’re in Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, North Dakota or Vermont, you’re out of luck.
6. Chick-Fil-A Employees don’t say “You’re welcome”.
At Chick-Fil-A, employees are taught to say “My pleasure” instead of “you’re welcome.”
5. Sometimes they serve food on Sundays.
Chick-Fil-A is a Christian-owned company, so they are closed every Sunday to allow all their employees to have time to go to church. However, Chick-Fil-A is known for opening their doors to first responders during disasters of all sorts. If something happens on a Sunday, they’ll still come out to serve the community. After the Pulse Nightclub Shooting in June, 2016, some Orlando area Chick-fil-a restaurants served free food to firefighters and police.
4. They give out college scholarships.
If you work at Chick-Fil-A, you can get your college paid for through the Remarkable Futures initiative. In fact, they give out nearly 2,000 scholarships each year, and students can receive as much as $25,000.
3. The cows have been their mascot for over 20 years.
It might seem odd for a chicken restaurant to have a cow as its mascot, but it’s been that way for over two decades now. The first Chick-Fil-A cow billboard was erected in 1995 in Texas. The idea for the ad campaign was thought up by the Richards Group, a Dallas area advertising agency. They might be changing that soon though, since they parted ways with the Richards Group last year. The cows are considered so iconic now that they have been added to the Madison Avenue advertising walk of fame.
2. Like Chick-Fil-A food? Go to a grand opening.
At the grand opening of every Chick-Fil-A restaurant, the first 100 customers in line win a year’s worth of Chick-Fil-A food. In fact, there’s a man named Richard Coley who spends his time traveling around the country to attend Chick-Fil-A openings for just that reason.
1. They buy more Sunkist lemons than anyone else.
According to this infographic, Chick-Fil-A purchased over 250 million Sunkist lemons in 2014 alone. The lemons are used to make their famous fresh-squeezed lemonade.