Fast food pioneer Chick-fil-A is set to close the first store it opened this week after more than 50 years in business.
Founded in 1967 by Truett Cathy, the Chick-fil-A location situated inside Atlanta’s Greenbriar Mall – the first of its kind in the company’s history – is set to permanently close this week.
Though the restaurant did not explain the closure, local media reports it did post a sign on the location: “It has been Our Pleasure to serve you.”
A plaque apparently adorns the location that will close its doors forever on Saturday, informing visitors that the store “pioneered in-mall dining” when it opened.
Neither Fox5 Atlanta nor Fox Business was able to secure a quote from Chick-fil-A, which has bucked national trends and seen unprecedented growth as other fast-food dining options decline.
Instead, Fox5 reports the owners “asked customers to support the other nearby locations” of the popular restaurant.
A sad day for Southwest Atlanta.
Greenbriar Mall opened for business in 1966.
It was here that @ChickfilA opened their first mall store in 1967.
Sadly, the last day to enjoy CFA in our beloved food court will be Saturday, May 20. 🥲 pic.twitter.com/huNaqVNTh0
— 𝕀𝕞𝕞𝕒𝕟𝕦𝕖𝕝 𝔸𝕝𝕞𝕚𝕘𝕙𝕥𝕪 (@Flyying2Success) May 12, 2023
Earlier this year it was reported by an industry publication that Chick-fil-A was nearing $19 billion in total sales, with its drive-thru locations averaging $8.5 million per store.
QSR Magazine wrote that Chick-fil-A “was one of the industry’s top performs” before the pandemic and benefited “as drive-thrus became the lifeline of quick service”:
Along this path, Chick-fil-A has posted steady growth. It expanded by a net of 100 stores in 2022, climbing from 2,311 franchised and company-run units to 2,411. In the past three years, the chain has added 100, 102, and 98 units, each calendar, respectively. Last year, Chick-fil-A trimmed its company-owned restaurant count by eight stores from 81 to 73, but grew its franchised footprint 108 venues from 2,230 to 2,338.
In total, as of December 31, 2022, there were 2,806 domestic Chick-fil-A Restaurants open and operating, including roughly 2,411 domestic company-operated and franchised operator Chick-fil-As and 395 domestic Chick-fil-A licensed units.
Chick-fil-A generated $16.674 billion in sales in sales in 2021, $13.7 billion in 2020, and $12.2 billion in 2019.
Recently the company controversially joined the growing trend of plant-based food. Rather than fake, plant-based meat, however, the chicken giant is offering a cauliflower sandwich.