As anticipated as any restaurant in Eufaula in many years, Chick-fil-A opened its doors Thursday morning to a large crowd who adhered to the chain restaurant’s cow mascot plea to “Eat Mor Chikin.”
Franchise owner Bob McFadden of Auburn was among those greeting guests — he calls them fans — of Chick-fil-A.
The new restaurant is located at 900 S. Eufaula Ave. Chick-fil-A is just north of Citi Trends, just south of Jim Whaley Tire, and directly across Highway 431 (South Eufaula Avenue) from Burger King.
Campers actually began arriving Wednesday evening as the first 100 were eligible to receive a year’s supply of Chick-fil-A meals — one per week for 52 weeks.
The restaurant will be open six days per week (closed on Sundays) from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. There is a full breakfast menu each day until 10:30 a.m. There are also dietary options such as a gluten-free bun.
McFadden has awarded more than $65,000 in scholarships to restaurant team members, including about $48,000 in the last three years.
McFadden is from Atlanta, now lives in Auburn, and once operated a Chick-fil-A in Cincinnati, Ohio.
“The question comes up about the workforce, but I think the greatest resource Eufaula has is its people,” McFadden said. “My family and I are excited to have an opportunity to serve the Eufaula community both inside and outside our restaurant. I am committed to developing my team members as together we provide a remarkable experience to our guests who become part of our family.”
More than 80 employees will be at the almost 5,000-square-foot Eufaula Chick-fil-A, including five managers and an operations manager to oversee the managers.
“Eufaula has a lot of beach and transient traffic, but we want to build this restaurant on the local fans,” McFadden said.
McFadden said his Auburn restaurant sells many trays for tailgating parties.
Speaking of Auburn, for Tiger great and NFL running back Ronnie Brown will be at the Eufaula Chick-fil-A on Nov. 29 to sign autographs. That will be the day after Thanksgiving and the day before the Iron Bowl clash between Auburn and Alabama.
McFadden said there are various scholarship programs for employees.
Also, people who download the Chick-fil-A app could win free sandwiches if they act within six days of Alabama or Auburn scoring within the red zone (opponents’ 20 yard line and in) during home games.