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Crowds flock to Chick-fil-A [PC Push-Back Spin]
Atlanta Journal-Constitution ^ | August 1, 2012 | Leon Stafford

Posted on 08/02/2012 6:29:02 AM PDT by madprof98

If Chick-fil-A needed any proof that metro Atlantans would "eat mor chikin" — even in the face of what arguably can be called a public relations nightmare for the company — it need only check its Wednesday receipts.

Fans from Gwinnett County's Hamilton Mill to Fayetteville inundated the chain's metro stores, with lines snaking onto sidewaks and drive-through traffic backing into roadways.

The turnout came two weeks after Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy's comments supporting biblical marriage touched off a firestorm on same-sex unions. But many said the real issue that drew them Wednesday was freedom of speech.

Daniel Jordan of Atlanta, for example, said that while he doesn't agree with Cathy's marriage view, he came out specifically to support Chick-fil-A because he's equally opposed to shutting down a company because of the views of one of its leaders.

Numbers were not available — the company has declined interviews since Cathy's remarks, and store managers weren't talking to reporters — but the crowds were clearly larger than any on a normal day. Cars lined up for more than a block at some locations. Some diners reported leaving to come back later because the restaurants were running out of supplies due to the heavy demand.

Opponents of Cathy's position are planning a show of unity of their own Friday with a "Kiss-in" at locations across the nation, including CNN Center and the Decatur Chick-fil-A store, which has traditionally been gay-friendly.

"Some people are trying to upset their business because of their opinions," said Jordan, as he munched on a chicken sandwich in crowded CNN Center in downtown Atlanta. "The fact that they don't support gay marriage, what a surprise."

Wednesday's show of support for the privately held company came after former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee dubbed it Chick-fil-A "Appreciation Day" and asked fans to come out in droves. They did, and not just around Atlanta. Stores were jammed in in Houston and Wichita, lines weaved around tables in Alabama, and Florida stores looked more like packed sardine cans than the chicken patrons were waiting to eat. The Rev. Billy Graham, 93, ate a Chick-fil-A lunch at his North Carolina home, according to a spokesman.

Julie Greene of Marietta was one who heeded Huckabee's call Wednesday. She said she and her family , including her children and parents, planned to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at Chick-fil-A in a show of solidarity.

"We love the Cathy family stand on biblical values," Greene said as she waited for breakfast in Powder Springs.

But Greene was quick to say she had no hatred toward anyone. Her support comes down to free speech. "Why can't (Cathy) say what he believes without being persecuted for it," she said. "We have our freedoms. And freedom of speech is one of our greatest."

The company made clear that "Appreciation Day" was not its idea.

"Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day was created by our fans, not Chick-fil-A," Steve Robinson, executive vice president of marketing, said in a statement. "We appreciate all of our customers and are glad to serve them at any time. Our goal is simple: to provide great food, genuine hospitality, and to have a positive influence on all who come in to Chick-fil-A."

The show of support won't resolve the brand's struggles in the long term, said Mark Pettit, an expert on crisis management.

"One day of support is not the answer to their PR problem," said Pettit, president and chief executive officer of Atlanta-based marketing firm Creaxion. "They are now a polarized brand, which in business is not a good thing."

At Kennesaw State University, an online petition seeks to remove the chain from the school.

And Emory University's Division of Campus Life said in a statement: "Recent public statements by Dan Cathy, President of Chick-fil-A, do not reflect Emory's values as an institution. Nevertheless, freedom of expression and an open exchange of ideas are also central tenets of the Emory community. Emory therefore respects the right of people to express their disagreement with Mr. Cathy by not patronizing Chick-fil-A."

Erik Bloom, who tagged along with Jordan for a Chick-fil-A lunch, said Cathy should have kept his views private.

"I just think it's dumb to be that outspoken about it," said Bloom, an Atlanta resident. "I think it's a bad business move. In business, you have to be more politically correct."

For Teresa Williams, of Albany, N.Y., Wednesday was her first Chick-fil-A experience. Williams, who was visiting Atlanta, was talked into eating at Chick-fil-A by friend Megan Myers, a Rochester, N.Y., resident, who sang the praises of the chicken sandwiches. Both were aware of the controversy, but were unmoved by boycott efforts.

"Somebody's stupid comments won't stop me from having a milkshake," said Myers, who said she eats at Chick-fil-A whenever she visits Atlanta.

Edward Mitchell and John Spink contributed to this article.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: chickfila
As the success of the Appreciation Day sunk in, reports in the AJC got increasingly hostile. Here they called on an "expert" to explain why it had been STUPID for Dan Cathy to mention that he believes in real marriage rather than the weirdo variety favored by the demigod Obama and by out-of-state businesses that don't even advertise in the AJC.
1 posted on 08/02/2012 6:29:08 AM PDT by madprof98
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To: madprof98
"They are now a polarized brand, which in business is not a good thing."

It is if your pole is oriented toward 98% of the population.

I do love the one predictable thing about liberals and progressives.

The longer they talk, the dumber they sound.

2 posted on 08/02/2012 6:35:51 AM PDT by MamaTexan (I am a Person as Created by the Laws of Nature, not a person as created by the laws of Man)
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To: madprof98

If this is a ‘public relations nightmare’, send me three. Dan Cathy never knew it at the time, but he hit a grand-slam by simply bearing witness for the Lord he loves. The AJC, the gays, the libs, and the media at large do not have a clue and never will. Sad.


3 posted on 08/02/2012 6:37:06 AM PDT by arrdon (Never underestimate the stupidity of the American voter.)
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To: madprof98
"One day of support is not the answer to their PR problem," said Pettit, president and chief executive officer of Atlanta-based marketing firm Creaxion. "They are now a polarized brand, which in business is not a good thing."

In a nation with 315 million people, who cares how "polarised" they are?

4 posted on 08/02/2012 6:39:23 AM PDT by Yashcheritsiy (not voting for the lesser of two evils)
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To: madprof98
"Crowds flock to Chick-fil-A "

No pun intended

5 posted on 08/02/2012 6:39:33 AM PDT by mazda77 ("Defeating the Totalitarian Lie" By: Hilmar von Campe. Everybody should read it.)
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To: madprof98

Sooo... this guy says chik-fil-a is now a polarized brand...

what about the MSM???

their business model automatically excludes a majority of the population......

the chik-fil-a business model does not...

libs and commies just do not understand business.

They also do not know how to make an honest living...


6 posted on 08/02/2012 6:40:40 AM PDT by joe fonebone (I am the 15%)
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To: madprof98

“Political Correctness”, when it was conceived, was originally called

“Cultural Marxism”.


7 posted on 08/02/2012 6:40:42 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: madprof98
in the face of what arguably can be called a public relations nightmare for the company

How can any sane report make such a statement seeing the resulting public support.

in the face of what arguably can be called a public relations nightmare for the company Gay Agenda Crowd

Fixed it.

8 posted on 08/02/2012 6:41:41 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: madprof98

It is time to hold corporations and celebrities accountable for their support of left wing lowlife Democratic thugs. That includes the AJC.


9 posted on 08/02/2012 6:43:22 AM PDT by allendale
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To: madprof98

Newspapers should know about polarization. They are openly hostile to at least 1/3 of their audience every day. Running Charles Krauthammer once a week doesn’t cut it.


10 posted on 08/02/2012 6:46:05 AM PDT by JacksonCalhoun (CT Yankee in NC Exile)
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To: madprof98
If Chick-fil-A needed any proof that metro Atlantans would "eat mor chikin" — even in the face of what arguably can be called a public relations nightmare for the company —it need only check its Wednesday receipts.

The reporter needs to recheck the definition of the word "arguably", as the proof of Wednesday ended the argument.

11 posted on 08/02/2012 6:46:15 AM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: madprof98

I heard several Chick-fil-a’s in SC had to shut down because they ran out of food. Anybody know if this happened in Georgia? I know if it did the AJC wouldn’t report it.


12 posted on 08/02/2012 6:47:18 AM PDT by MissEdie (America went to the polls on 11-4-08 and all we got was a socialist thug and a dottering old fool.)
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To: madprof98

“One day of support is not the answer to their PR problem...”

***

What PR problem? Judging from the long lines and congested drive thrus at most CFA locations, I’d say this was some of the best publicity the company ever had.


13 posted on 08/02/2012 6:47:51 AM PDT by fatnotlazy
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To: madprof98
so...the ajc; stated in attitude, if not words, "shut-up & submit to our desires...peons!"

14 posted on 08/02/2012 6:47:51 AM PDT by skinkinthegrass (WA DC E$tabli$hment; DNC/RNC/Unionists...Brazilian saying: "$@me Old $hit; different flie$". :^)
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To: madprof98
ooppss.. our establishment desires...

15 posted on 08/02/2012 6:52:27 AM PDT by skinkinthegrass (WA DC E$tabli$hment; DNC/RNC/Unionists...Brazilian saying: "$@me Old $hit; different flie$". :^)
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To: madprof98

“”even in the face of what arguably can be called a public relations nightmare for the company””


The leftist media and the politicians would like to believe Cathy’s statement was a public relations nightmare.

To the contrary Cathy only solidified his base. Most Christians have known the values held by Chick-fil-A for decades. Now the rest of the USA (excluding radical leftists) know those values.


16 posted on 08/02/2012 7:01:52 AM PDT by Presbyterian Reporter
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To: fatnotlazy

The point is that the effort needs to be sustained over time. Everyone knows that yesterday was a blip ( a very good and substantial one ), but if CFA ultimately sees stagnation or decline in it’s sales, rather than a precursor to continued growth, it will show the blip to be an abberation.

Support for, and customer loyalty to, this company needs to be maintained and grown for yesterday to have both meaning and impact.


17 posted on 08/02/2012 7:03:57 AM PDT by tanknetter
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To: madprof98

Mark Pettit, this “PR expert” is a moron. This is his Huff Post article from several days ago: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-pettit/back-to-chicken-biscuits_b_1698113.html?utm_hp_ref=tw


18 posted on 08/02/2012 7:04:55 AM PDT by cdga5for4
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To: MamaTexan

I haven’t heard any leftist talk about how Target and Starbucks should be quiet about gay marriage. After all being polarizing is bad business. . . that is if you are a conservative.


19 posted on 08/02/2012 7:06:41 AM PDT by Clump ( the tree of liberty is withering like a stricken fig tree)
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To: joe fonebone

The Yankees and Red Sox are polarizing brands too.


20 posted on 08/02/2012 7:06:41 AM PDT by cdga5for4
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To: tanknetter

“”Support for, and customer loyalty to, this company needs to be maintained and grown for yesterday to have both meaning and impact.””


I agree. That is why in addition to buying a sandwich yesterday I also bought $100 of Chick-fil-A gift cards to give to charitable Christian organizations.

A person can only eat so much fast food, but you can always give gift cards.


21 posted on 08/02/2012 7:07:03 AM PDT by Presbyterian Reporter
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To: Clump
After all being polarizing is bad business. . . that is if you are a conservative.

Exactly. And the blatant double standard is precisely why everyone has decided to stand up and say "ENOUGH!"

22 posted on 08/02/2012 7:16:50 AM PDT by MamaTexan (I am a Person as Created by the Laws of Nature, not a person as created by the laws of Man)
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To: madprof98

I did a little research on this “publicist” Mark Pettit. Come to find out, Mark produced “Laugh Out”, the world’s first interactive, gay-themed comedy show according to this press release. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/laugh-out-shines-gay-comedy-spotlight-on-hotlanta-56237097.html

Nice job, AJC.


23 posted on 08/02/2012 7:17:57 AM PDT by cdga5for4
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To: MrB
“Political Correctness”, when it was conceived, was originally called “Cultural Marxism”.

LOL! Good point.

Maybe we have progressed :-) beyond calling it political correctness, too.

Let's call it what it is -

Emotional terrorism.

24 posted on 08/02/2012 7:20:14 AM PDT by MamaTexan (I am a Person as Created by the Laws of Nature, not a person as created by the laws of Man)
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To: tanknetter
You're right, and I think the support will continue. People have recognized that their rights are being taken away from them, and they are resisting. They have to. They cannot depend on the president, Congress or the courts to protect those rights.
25 posted on 08/02/2012 7:27:56 AM PDT by fatnotlazy
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To: Yashcheritsiy

Is everyone late to the party or what? I have lived in the Atlanta area all my life and Chik Fil A has always been known as religious (they are closed on Sundays) and (to the gay point of view) not “gay friendly”.


26 posted on 08/02/2012 7:41:11 AM PDT by southern rabblerouser
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To: cdga5for4

Good catch. It’s a kind of hermetic, closed circle, isn’t it?


27 posted on 08/02/2012 7:43:50 AM PDT by squarebarb
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To: madprof98
The show of support won't resolve the brand's struggles in the long term, said Mark Pettit, an expert on crisis management.

"One day of support is not the answer to their PR problem," said Pettit, president and chief executive officer of Atlanta-based marketing firm Creaxion. "They are now a polarized brand, which in business is not a good thing."

Their PR problem? What a hoot!

A "polarized brand"? Poppycock!

28 posted on 08/02/2012 7:49:32 AM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.)
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To: madprof98
"One day of support is not the answer to their PR problem," said Pettit, president and chief executive officer of Atlanta-based marketing firm Creaxion. "They are now a polarized brand, which in business is not a good thing."

For some reason, I think their business will survive longer with free speech being the issue. I know we will be eating there more often now.

29 posted on 08/02/2012 8:00:04 AM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (RINO season is open. No limit. Make them extinct.)
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To: MamaTexan

Defeating the left is easy, really -

just expose them and the origins of their ideology and let people decide.

They know this as well, because they constantly manipulate the language to obfuscate what their agenda is really about.


30 posted on 08/02/2012 8:06:16 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: madprof98

Apparently the owner of Wendy’s has instructed all their stores to put up signs that say “we support Chick-Fil-A. God Bless America”.


31 posted on 08/02/2012 8:17:24 AM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: madprof98
even in the face of what arguably can be called a public relations nightmare for the company

Both the editors and the authors should be fired for grotesque journalistic incompetence. Never mind the stupid editorializing in a supposed "News" story, they are factually incomplete here considering Chic-Fil-A just had it best sales day ever

32 posted on 08/02/2012 8:18:48 AM PDT by MNJohnnie (Giving more money to DC to fix the Debt is like giving free drugs to addicts think it will cure them)
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To: tanknetter

I am thinking that yesterday was only the beginning for CFA. Our local CFA has only been there for about 3 years. I admit that I would forget to include them in my dining options, but not any more. Yesterday, I was one of those customers that was turned away because they ran out of food. Those that were turned away all stated that they would be returning today to keep it going.


33 posted on 08/02/2012 8:20:43 AM PDT by notpoliticallycorewrecked (According to the MSM, I'm a fringe sitting, pajama wearing, Freeper)
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To: notpoliticallycorewrecked

Friday is supposed to be ‘kiss in day’. I can’t go because I live 250+ miles from the nearest CFA. If I could, I would bring 2 friends and signs reading 2.0, 0, 1.5, like Olympic scorers and hold them up when any gay couple kiss. Then flip them over for 10, 10, 10, when a hetro couple kiss. Anyway, I am predicting gay kiss in FAIL Friday.


34 posted on 08/02/2012 8:32:19 AM PDT by sportutegrl
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To: MissEdie

I heard it happened at the one I went to and then later on the local news I heard that 2 others in the Phoenix area had to close early.


35 posted on 08/02/2012 8:32:19 AM PDT by Stayingawayfromthedarkside
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To: tanknetter

Many people who came out to show their support had never heard of or eaten at CFA. There are now many new customers who will continue to patronize CFA. The left’s attack on CFA has backfired. Bigtime.


36 posted on 08/02/2012 8:59:54 AM PDT by ELS (Vivat Benedictus XVI!)
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To: madprof98
"One day of support is not the answer to their PR problem," said Pettit, president and chief executive officer of Atlanta-based marketing firm Creaxion. "They are now a polarized brand, which in business is not a good thing."

And yet Jeff Bezos contributes $2.5 MILLION dollars to campaign in SUPPORT of "gay marriage", and the media response is the old "cricket chorus". I wonder when Amazon will be seen as "a polarized brand".

37 posted on 08/02/2012 10:17:03 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog
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