Welcome to the U.K., Chick-fil-A.
The chicken-centric chain has reportedly opened a “pilot” shop in a mall in England, marking the Atlanta-based eatery’s first expansion into the United Kingdom.
On Oct. 10, the restaurant opened shop in The Oracle mall in Reading, which is about an hour and a half drive from London, Berkshire Live reports.
“We can confirm we opened a pilot licensed location in the U.K. on October 10 and we are pleased to have already served several hundred customers in our first day. This location will help us understand more about consumer interest in our brand and signature menu items,” a spokesperson for Chick-fil-A, Inc. told Fox News of the Reading opening.
Some people claiming to be satisfied customers of the latest location have taken to Instagram in recent days, sharing photos of the restaurant’s famous nuggets and waffle fries.
Others, however, aren’t quite so thrilled with the news of the restaurant’s expansion overseas, criticizing the company owner’s alleged views toward the LGBTQ community.
Organizers for LGBT group Reading Pride have called for a boycott of the new Chick-fil-A location in the mall, and plan to hold a “peaceful protest” on Saturday morning, according to a Facebook event.
Ultimately, the group hopes to achieve a larger goal of getting the “abhorrent” restaurant shut down, Martin Cooper, chief executive of Reading Pride, told BerkshireLive.
Organizers for LGBT group Reading Pride have called for a boycott of the new Chick-fil-A location in the mall, and plan to hold a “peaceful protest” on Oct. 19.
“We are a progressive country and certainly a very progressive town,” Cooper said in a Tuesday interview. “What we have here is a restaurant owned by a family that has very backward beliefs that actively promote anti LGBT charities… To have a company with such values in our town is abhorrent to us.”
“We need to educate the community about what’s happened. The feedback and support we have got is overwhelming, so a protest and demonstration seems appropriate” Cooper continued.
In September, Chick-fil-A opened its first international location in Toronto, an event protested by LGBTQ activists. The critics argued that the chicken-centric chain owner’s historically anti-gay policies will clash with the culture of Canada’s largest city.
The grand opening of Chick-fil-A’s first international location in Toronto, Canada was met with a grand protest in September by LGBTQ supporters. (Courtesy of The 519)
Founded in 1967, the biblical basis of Chick-fil-A’s management strategy have been routinely criticized as controversial. And while company chairman and CEO Dan Cathy has voiced his opposition to same-sex marriage, Chick-fil-A has long argued the company has no political or social agenda.
According to a news release, the chain reported over $10 billion in revenue in 2018.