Chick-fil-A has got to be one of our very favorite places. We love the food, atmosphere, and service. We also are impressed with the company’s commitment to maintaining their values despite backlash from those who disagree. I think it takes courage to stand for something that isn’t always popular and am both inspired and encouraged by the example of Chick-fil-A.
When we heard that there would be new Chick-fil-A’s opening in Colorado, we knew that we wanted to make the Grand Opening Events. CFA holds an event for the first 100 customers at a new store and going to one of these events is something that has been on our Life List (or bucket list) for quite a while. We missed the first opening due to the forest fire, but kept the next one in mind. The night before the event was to start, we were still not sure about making it happen. The husband had lots of school to catch up on and there were many projects around here, but we finally decided that this would be a much needed opportunity to relax and have fun. We threw some things together and went to bed early. We left home in the night and enjoyed a drive to Denver with only a few other cars and stars to break through the dark. We arrived at Chick-fil-A a little after 5am and got in the line that was already forming. We were exhausted and still very sleepy, however, we were running on the excitement flowing through our veins. At 6am the staff began counting the participants and found more than 100 waiting. They then checked our ID’s to confirm that everyone receiving a raffle ticket was over the age of 18. Once all ticket holders were organized in their parking lot, the raffle drawing began. With each number announced came cheers of excitement for the winners as well as anxiousness from those whose numbers had not yet been called. Finally, my husband’s number was called! We were thrilled as he ran up to sign in as an official winner. I continued to wait, hopeful that I may also win, but also content that one of us had made it in. Following the announcement of the first 100 winners, ten more numbers were drawn as alternates (alternates can win the grand prize if any of the first 100 drop-out). Unfortunately, my number was not announced, but I was able to stay on the premises for the remainder of the Grand Opening Event as K’s guest. We were given wristbands, plastic cups for the water and tea that was provided, and waivers to participate in the event. Over the course of the day, we met other participants, ate meals, played games, and just relaxed. It was a great getaway and so, completely our thing! We camped out in the parking lot and when we awoke, the winners lined up and could claim their prizes (a lifetime of chick-fil-a – which equals 52 meal coupons). K went through and received his prize and then we broke down camp and bought a cinnamon role before heading home.
If you are want to have a super fun time and potentially win Chick-fil-A for a year, I would totally recommend going to a first 100 event! If a store opens on a Thursday (which is typical), get to the store no later than 6am on Wednesday and be prepared to spend 24 hours at the store. Leave your tent and other gear in the car until you know if you are a winner or alternate. After winners are selected, they send you out to get your things and then help you set up camp. Once everyone is set up, participants are not allowed to return to their vehicles or leave the premises for any reason during the event. They provide meals while you are there, games in the afternoon, and a DJ for fun and dancing in the evening.
I would suggest bringing snacks (especially healthy options, they give you a couple options for your meals, but they are pretty basic and don’t include the salads and healthier options typically available at the restaurant), games, camping gear, lawn chairs, and weather-appropriate clothing/gear. They allow you inside for the restrooms and for the dinner meal, but otherwise you are in their parking lot all day. In addition to all of the organized fun, we played cards, made new friends, took naps, and walked around the restaurant’s property. The staff will also periodically check that all of the participants are still on their premises. Another thing to be aware of is that children under 5 are typically not allowed to stay at the restaurant, even as a guest and anyone under 18 is not qualified to win the grand prize. We thoroughly enjoyed our experience and are excited about the oportunities we’ll have to use our free meal coupons!