Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Chick-Fil-A First 100: An Experience to Never Forget

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Chick-Fil-A First 100: An Experience to Never Forget

Article excerpt

It was 11:09 p.m. on Wednesday night when I finished up a shift. On a normal night, it would be a simple routine of washing up, cleaning the dishes and going to bed.

However, this was a special occasion to wander out because a free- standing Chick-Fil-A would open for the first time in Topeka.

Chick-Fil-A was offering a chance for the first 100 customers in line to win 52 free Chick-Fil-A sandwich meals for the next year.

While I was aware of the rules and that people had been there as early as 6 a.m., I knew there wasn't much of a chance for me because it was so late. I figured I should check it out anyway for the experience.

Last time I learned about a Chick-Fil-A opening, I was a student at San Jose State University, located in Santa Clara, Calif., near Levi's Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers and Super Bowl 50. There was no way I could have been there the moment it opened, but I was able to see how crowded it was during the lunch hour.

I showed up to the gate Wednesday night at about 11:20 p.m. and saw tents in the closed-off parking lot. An employee informed me that there were already 100 people registered for the grand prize. Despite my being late and unable to win a big prize, the employee was nice enough to say there were alternates who could still win something and be the first in line if someone else was disqualified or not present. I ended up on a stand-by ticket, and received a wristband with No. 101 on it.

The rules were simple: Once you signed the dotted line and entered legal information with proof of residence, you had to stay in the marked sections of the parking lot with only the clothes and belongings on your back. There was a dispenser of water, sweet tea and unsweetened tea available for anyone who stayed and we were given restroom privileges inside the building.

I've camped out for things before and waited much longer. That includes ESPN's College Gameday at Stanford University, waiting for a primetime game on Tightwad Hill at Cal and getting a priority ticket to be in the studio for a The Price is Right taping in Hollywood. …

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