Wednesday, September 21, 2011


No, it's not a Boy Scout camporee going on in front of the new Chick-fil-A store in Layton tonight. It's some die-hard chicken fans staying on the premises (at 641 W. Antelope Drive) overnight in order to be one of the first 100 customers, who win a year's worth of Chick-fil-A. 

For the past eight years, the company has hosted a First 100 event with every new Chick-fil-A opening. About  240  Chick-fil-A fans from all over Utah lined up before 6 a.m. this morning (Wednesday). By lottery, 100 names were drawn, and those people are camping on the premises until 6 a.m. tomorrow, where they will receive their prize (one CFA meal per week for 52 weeks). 

In the meantime, the campers are being entertained with a DJ onsite, playing music and leading them in games like "Minute To Win It," where campers were seeing who could build the biggest stack of ketchup packs.  The campers were also competing to bring in the most canned food for the Utah Food Bank, with the winner receiving $100 worth of CFA.  The campers were served breakfast, lunch and dinner, and they are able to use the restaurant's restrooms, said Sue Smith, one of the campers.  

Baby Madison Beus with mom, Amy Beus and friend, Jessica Baker.
This campout looked more like a "staycation"  for three generations of the  Beus family of Ogden, who had a huge tent set up with bunk beds, a generator,  laptop computers, a movie screen and other amenities.  "We've done the openings in Ogden, Logan and Fort Union," said Brant Beus. "We come for the memories and the food."
Family members joked that it's just a warm-up for their annual elk hunt.
The youngest camper was four-month-old Madison Beus.  "I was pregnant with her when I went to the last opening," said her mother, Amy Beus. 

Sue Smith of Layton will sleep in her pup tent tonight.
Sue Smith of Layton said she came because, "It sounded like fun, and I love Chick-fil-A.  And it means I only have to cook six meals a week for the next year." 
She won a scavenger hunt during the day, which netted her a CFA T-shirt.  

Craig Saxton, the store's franchise operator, said that a showing of 240 people by 5 a.m.,  is "Uncharacteristically high for an opening. The place was packed with people telling us they love Chick-fil-A.  I really think what happens here will be pretty special." 
Saxton operated the CFA outlet at  the Layton Hills Mall for 14 years, "and we're going from a team of 25 kids to a team of 70-80. We interviewed close to 400 people in order to hire about 75 new employees.  The caliber of kids is really high, these are super-great kids." 

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