Inside Chick-fil-A

Here’s what it looks like to camp outside of a Chick-fil-A

Off of Cascade Road in southwest Atlanta, a line of tents began popping up on top of a freshly paved parking lot at 5:30 in the morning on April 26. It was a hot and sunny day, one of those that feels like spring forgot about us and summer settled in far too soon.

Camping chairs circled a restaurant that hadn’t yet officially opened its doors to customers. A group of college students who were studying for finals – and playing video games – hooked up their laptops to a makeshift charging station. A mom and her two kids played a board game in a tent, while music blasted from a speaker in front of another group starting a line dance like the kind you’d see at a wedding.

This is a First 100® . Since 2003, Chick-fil-A franchise Operators have invited folks to camp out overnight in anticipation of their restaurants’ grand opening – and to be the “First 100” to get one year of free Chick-fil-A. Some arrive in groups and others come solo, but 24 hours later, they all walk – and sometimes run or dance— through the newest addition to their neighborhood.

These are a few of the faces and scenes from the Cascade Road First 100. (We hope to see you at the next one.)

Photography by Jeff Roffman
Tarah Collins

Everyone needs someone like Tarah Collins in their life. Her best friend is a huge CFA fan, but had to work during the First 100, so Collins camped out for her. “It’s a surprise, and I’m going to give [the First 100 card] to her tomorrow.”

menu boards
JIn Sol Kim

Jin Sol Kim, a student at nearby Georgia Tech, came with friends and said they wanted to, “hang out and meet people who love Chick-fil-A as much as we do.”

Cascade Road Community Board
Da’Rel Patterson and Omari Mayberry

Da’Rel Patterson (left) and Omari Mayberry (right) have known each other for 10 years, but made some new friends at the campout. Patterson said he had seen one of his neighbors in passing, but never had a conversation until they met up at the Cascade Road First 100.

Georgia Tech Students
John Hudgins

Why did college student John Hudgins camp out? “My finals are about to start, and I needed a break.”

Campers lining up
DaLin Braodwater, pictured with friend Michael Krygier

DaLin Braodwater, pictured with friend Michael Krygier, said this was her third First 100 with her husband (not pictured). “It’s just nice to take a day off and meet a ton of cool people.”

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner
Marquel Gibbons

Marquel Gibbons lives down the road from the new restaurant. His go-to order? An Original Chicken Sandwich with honey mustard sauce and a lemonade.

Erwin Sugiharto

This was Erwin Sugiharto’s second time at a First 100. He said, “It’s not just about the food – you get 24 hours of entertainment.”

Tagged In: F100 First 100 Grand Opening