Chick-Fil-A appreciation day brings free food and fun to Provo

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National Cow Appreciation Day brought in herds of customers dressed as cows in order to get a free meal.
Cow Appreciation Day brought in herds of customers dressed as cows in order to get a free meal.

“No cows in drive-thru” is not a sign one would typically expect to see outside of a fast food restaurant, but that exact sign stood next to the drive-thru at Chick-Fil-A in Provo on Tuesday, July 14.

Chick-Fil-A’s annual Cow Appreciation Day is celebrated across the United States, and it brought Provo residents out in herds to the location on Bulldog Boulevard. People dressed with udders, ears and spots crowded in and around Chick-Fil-A to get free food.

“Dressing in full cow attire is a free full meal, and partial cow attire gets you a free entree,” said Johnathan Crosland, manager of Provo’s Chick-Fil-A. Crosland has worked at the restaurant since its opening in January 2014.

The owner didn’t share the specific expected numbers with Crosland, but he does make sure the employees are well prepared for the event. “We always have a leadership meeting the day before,” Crosland said. “We come up with a game plan and then execute it the next day.”

The game plan worked well; employees were quick to serve and help customers, and no one seemed overwhelmed or stressed about the packed restaurant.

Crosland also mentioned that as far as he is aware, the tradition has always been the same for the company: dress like a cow and get free food.

A “No cows in drive-thru” sign was placed at the Chick-Fil-A in Provo to notify customers dressed up as cows to come inside the restaurant in order to receive their free meal.

Chick-Fil-A even offered a printable cow costume, complete with ears, nose and spots, on its website to allow everyone to attend the event.

Derek Speigner, a senior studying chemical engineering, brought his family to the event. “We love Chick-Fil-A, the food and the company. That’s why we’re here,” Speigner said.

Speigner’s wife, Merilee, said it was their first time attending the annual event but that dressing like a cow and waiting in the line that stretched across the parking lot was worth it “if it’s good free food.”

Rather than use the option provided by Chick-Fil-A, the Speigner family made their own costumes. Merilee Speigner added that while she did feel a little ridiculous at first about dressing like a cow, “I felt more ridiculous making my costume.”

Chick-Fil-A celebrates this tradition each July, and cow-customers are welcome for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

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