Celebrating the Grand Opening of Chick-fil-A on campus

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After nine years of requesting to be a part of BYU Dining Services, Chick-fil-A made its debut in the Cougareat Sept. 4–5.

The opening proved to be a long time coming. Official plans to bring this Chick-fil-A to the Courgareat, have been in the works for the last three years, said Joe Tiapson, general manager of BYU Retail Dining Services.

“We send out regular surveys to find out what students would like to see in the Courgareat and how we can best serve them,” Tiapson said. “In the past three years, Chick-fil-A has been the number one (restaurant) requested.”

BYU students asked, and Dining Services listened.

A great deal of preparation was required for the special grand opening. Employees had to be trained, food had to be prepared prepared and a place to store and serve the food had to be created, Tiapson said. The preparation paid off because the grand opening was a success.

Customers eagerly enter the line for Chick-fil-A during Thursday's grand opening in the Wilkinson Center. Photo by Sarah Hill
Customers eagerly enter the line for Chick-fil-A during Thursday’s grand opening in the Wilkinson Student Center. Photo by (Sarah Hill)

Red and white consumed the Cougareat, leaving the mark of the infamous Chick-fil-A colors. Balloons were tied throughout the food court and parachuting cows were hung from the ceiling. Cow hoof prints were placed on the ground leading to the entrance of the new Chick-fil-A. Additionally, the Chick-fil-A cow mascot was walking around to greet people.

Along with these decorations, the new store gave away 30 free meals and many toy cows on the first day to encourage students to come to the grand opening.

According to Tiapson, the goal was to create a fun environment that helped inform the students, and others who enjoy the Courgareat, that there is a new restaurant open.

Their goal was accomplished with 358 sales of the popular 8-count chicken nuggets on the first opening day stated by Tiapson. Not only were there a great deal of customers, but also the lines moved quickly.

“I was impressed with how fast I got my food compared to the length of the line,” said Leah Blight, a BYU student majoring in public health, from Virginia.

The lunch hour rush proved that students were pleased with the new addition of Chick-fil-A to BYU Campus.

Hannah Rowley passes Chick-fil-A orders to customers during Thursday's grand opening celebration in the Wilkinson Center. Photo by Sarah Hill
Hannah Rowley passes Chick-fil-A orders to customers during Thursday’s grand opening celebration in the Wilkinson Center. Photo by Sarah Hill

“I eat there often and it’s very convenient because I don’t have to drive to the mall,” said Jerra Kofford, a public relations major from Cedar Hills, UT.

When asked if the students believed that the restaurant would stay popular, there was a resounding “yes.”

“It’s always popular. You can get sick of places like Taco Bell and Subway, but it feels like you can never get sick of Chick-fil-A,” said Jessica Anderson, a junior at BYU majoring in Elementary Education.

Anderson’s thoughts were supported when Kofford expressed her love for the seasonal peppermint shakes that she can’t wait to come out this holiday season.

Customers already looking forward to the holiday season is a good sign that Chick-fil-a will be a year-round success.

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