What lengths will people go to get free food? About 30 people pitched tents in a parking lot one dreary day in the hopes of getting a year’s worth of free meals from Plattsburgh’s newest fast food joint.

Plattsburgh Chick-fil-A opened its doors for the first time Thursday, kicking off its grand opening with its famous First 100 event.

First 100 encourages local customers to join in a family-friendly camp-out in the restaurant’s parking lot featuring activities and offering the first 100 participants a year supply of Chick-fil-A meals, a total of 52 meals consisting of a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich, medium waffle potato fries and a medium beverage, according to the press release.

Dawn Bump and 13-year-old Taylor Provost were among the many who camped out in celebration of the grand opening.

Bump and Provost used the event as an opportunity to go out and meet new people but also to get the promoted deal.

Bump brought seven blankets in preparation for the temperature drop when the night set in.

Mark Lukashiewicz decided to camp out because the last time he went to a Chick-fil-A was in 1982 in Texas, and he is excited to have one locally.

Lukashiewicz typically traveled to Nashua, New Hampshire to fulfill his Chick-fil-A craving.

“I typically don’t do tent camping, but the food is great,” Lukashiewicz said, “and I’ve enjoyed it ever since first trying it.”

The First 100 is a 15-year tradition that gave more than $34 million back to customers, according to the press release.

Despite initial criticisms of the chain coming to the North Country because of past controversies surrounding the LGBT community, Plattsburgh Chick-fil-A hopes to be a positive environment for customers.

House Team member Ana Butchino said creating a welcoming environment is what the staff is conscious of.

“In orientation and training, we were informed about it and told that creating a good environment was part of our brand,” Butchino said.

Ashley Ahrent, Chick-fil-A cook and Plattsburgh State senior, said she doubts the site will be what most people consider the restaurant to be.

“I can understand why people would not want to go to the restaurant, but I feel that’s just because it is a part of a restaurant chain, that is very open about its beliefs,” Ahrent said. “Not every single owner or employee has the same beliefs.”

 

Email Windsor Burkland at cp@cardinalpointsonline.com

 

*Editor Nathanael LePage contributed to this report

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