Local entrepreneur Truett Cathy opened his first restaurant in the Atlanta suburb of Hapeville in 1946.
The Dwarf Grill, later renamed the Dwarf House, is where he created the chicken sandwich that became the signature menu item for Chick-fil-A. Many of his customers came from the nearby Ford assembly plant and the restaurant was open 24 hours a day, six days a week, to accommodate the different shifts of the Ford employees.
After finding a pressure-fryer that could cook the chicken sandwich in the same time it took to cook a fast-food hamburger, Cathy opened the first Chick-fil-A in 1967 at Greenbriar Mall in southwest Atlanta. The chain expanded throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, opening franchises in the food courts of suburban malls. The first stand-alone Chick-fil-A location opened in 1986. As of 2018, 2,300 restaurants are located in forty-seven states and Washington, D.C.
Headquartered in the Atlanta suburb of College Park, the company’s culture is governed by Cathy’s strong religious beliefs and family values. All Chick-fil-A stores are closed on Sunday to enable employees to attend church and spend time with their families. Since 1996, the chain’s advertisements have featured “renegade” Holstein dairy cows and the slogan, “Eat Mor Chikin.”
The first advertising campaign with the message, “Eat Mor Chikin®,” 1996.
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Willie B. was a western lowland gorilla who delighted visitors to Zoo Atlanta for thirty-nine years from 1961 until his death in 2000.