Chick-fil-A restaurants are famously closed on Sundays. That’s been true since founder Truett Cathy opened his first restaurant in 1946. (See how Chick-fil-A got its unusual name.) He wanted to guarantee his team members at least one weekend day off—to connect with loved ones, worship if they chose to and strengthen the community.
But even the greatest of traditions can give way to an exception. That is precisely what happened at one Chick-fil-A in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Sunday, September 16.
What was happening on September 16?
Rolling in from the Atlantic the week prior, Hurricane Florence put more than a million people out of their homes because of mandatory evacuations in the Carolinas and Virginia. The “storm of a lifetime” flooded streets and power transformers exploded like fireworks, casting neighborhoods into darkness. (Is your kitchen ready for a power outage?) Even with Florence having been downgraded to “tropical storm” status, parts of North Carolina were left devastated.
That’s when Chick-fil-A stepped in
For Donavon Carless, owner of a Chick-fil-A in Raleigh, that Sunday was a chance for his restaurant to serve those in need—making 500 chicken sandwiches and 1,200 nuggets for coastal evacuees at three local shelters. “We knew the one thing we could do to help was to give evacuees a hot sandwich,” says Carless on The Chicken Wire. The response from his Chick-fil-A employees was “overwhelming,” with everyone lining up to help.
Because Truett Cathy, the Chick-fil-A founder, thought Sundays should be spent strengthening the local community, opening to help during a crisis makes perfect sense!