ATLANTA (AP) — Chick-fil-A set a one-day sales record on Wednesday amid an ongoing controversy over a company executive’s public stance against same-sex marriage, company officials said Thursday.
The Atlanta-based company confirmed in a statement that the sales record was broken Wednesday after it was declared “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister and Fox News talk-show host.
Chick-fil-A vice president Steve Robinson said the company won’t release sales figures for Wednesday. Customers lined up outside restaurants and the Rev. Billy Graham, the 93-year-old evangelist, dined on a Chick-fil-A lunch on the record-setting day.
“We are very grateful and humbled by the incredible turnout of loyal Chick-fil-A customers on August 1 at Chick-fil-A restaurants around the country,” Robinson said in the statement.
Restaurant chain president Dan Cathy told the Baptist Press last month that the company was “guilty as charged” for backing “the biblical definition of a family.” Gay rights activists and others answered with calls for boycotts. They plan a national “Kiss In” at Chick-fil-A restaurants on Friday to protest the owners’ position. They are asking people of the same sex to show up at Chick-fil-A locations and kiss one other.
“We understand from news reports that Friday may present yet another opportunity for us to serve with genuine hospitality, superior service and great food,” Robinson said.
Gay rights activists and other supporters of marriage equality planned a national “Kiss In” at Chick-fil-A restaurants today to protest the fast-food chain owners’ opposition to same-sex unions.
Participants are encouraged to come to the fast-food chains and kiss a fellow demonstrator of the same sex. One organizer, Carly McGehee of Dallas, said she hopes the event helps gay youths “who feel isolated and are victims of bullying.”
“The Chick-fil-A culture and 66-year-old service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender,” the statement said.