Chick-fil-A opens in Knollwood

Campers receive free meals for one year


Adam Johnson

People from the local community arrived to camp outside prior to Chick-fil-A’s grand opening Feb. 1 in hopes of receiving a coupon loaded with 52 free meals.

Nicole Sanford

Starting as a new employee at the recently opened Chick-fil-A restaurant located in St. Louis Park, sophomore Demareon Caston said he predicts the new location will be a hit.

“It’s actually my first job and I wanted to do something new,” Caston said. “It’s a fun place to work at because you meet new people. I think they will (be successful and) demolish almost every restaurant (in Park).”

According to marketing manager Michael Robinson, Chick-fil-A held a promotional campout event Jan. 31 prior to their grand opening.

“It’s a first 100 campout. We do them all over the country with almost every grand opening. People spend the night in our parking lot (…) to receive free Chick-fil-A for a year,” Robinson said. “What that means is that they get a digital card that has 52 number one combo meals on there (that) they can use anytime that they would like to over the next year.”

Jeremy Brandt, who attended the campout, said he is a regular Chick-fil-A customer and jumped at the opportunity to gain a free year of food by participating in the promotion.

“I just love their food,” Brandt said. “It’s great food, so I eat here all the time (and) I get free food out of (camping). It’s also just a commorodory, it’s a lot of fun.”

According to store owner Caleb Lee, connecting Chick-fil-A to the community remains the primary purpose behind hosting the campout.

“The campout is a fun way to build another little bit of energy and a little bit of fun into the community, and (it’s) kind of a fun way to introduce Chick-fil-A to the community,” Lee said.

Lee said participants of the promotion received a free meal and access to restrooms while waiting for the official opening Feb. 1.

“Since they’re camping out we’re going to give them some stuff — we got hot chocolate and coffee set up for them to have to warm up a little bit,” Lee said. “So for the early birds like these folks, we want to show them some hospitality, make them feel as comfortable as we can, especially since it’s cold outside.”

Robinson said Chick-fil-A aims to exemplify a friendly and welcoming environment for every customer.

“It’s really exciting for the local community because Chick-fil-A, even though it’s a franchise, it’s very much community oriented, community based,” Robinson said. “So when someone says, ‘oh we’re excited that you’re in our community,’ that’s what we live to do because we want to be a part of that.”

According to junior Cecilia Brown, despite past controversy surrounding Chick-fil-A’s stance on same-sex marriage, the quality of their food stands independently from their beliefs.

“The restaurant’s views and their food are two separate things, so I would (still) eat their food,” Brown said.

Sophomore Ryan Delozier said he recently applied for a job at Chick-fil-A and looks forward to seeing the restaurant expand throughout the community.

“(I applied) over winter break because they had an opening and they were hiring and I wanted to work there,” Delozier said. “They usually bring a lot of business in other places and they’ve been opening a lot of stores in Minnesota so (I think they’ll be successful).”

Lee said he hopes to hire quality employees for the new location.

“Any business person is always looking for talent — great people who are hard workers who have great personalities,” Lee said. “You always want to add them to your team, so I’m always looking for that.”

According to Lee, the best way for interested students to apply for a job at Chick-fil-A is through Snagajob, a website that connects people with available job openings.

“If (students) go to Snagajob and search Chick-fil-A Knollwood, they’ll see (a) high school team member posting. Just apply there and then I’ll get it and then that creates a list for me to call in for interviews,” Lee said.

Chick-fil-A is open Monday-Saturday 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and is located on the intersection between Texas and Highway 7 in St. Louis Park. For more information, visit