The U.K.’s First Chick-fil-A is Closing in 6 Months Amid Protests

LGBTQ spelled out with scrabble pieces.

LGBTQ spelled out with scrabble pieces.

The United Kingdom’s first Chick-fil-A just opened at The Oracle, the Reading mall which Chick-fil-A leases space from, but less than two weeks after opening Chick-fil-A announced that it will be closing in six months. Due to protests and boycotts in the U.K. led by a local LGBTQ advocacy group against Chick-fil-A’s stance on same-sex marriage, The Oracle has said that it’s “the right thing to do”when it comes to getting rid of Chick-fil-A from their mall.

Grand Opening

On the 10th of October, Chick-fil-A opened its first branch in the U.K. at The Oracle shopping center. Less than two weeks after opening; however, Chick-fil-A was experiencing protests and boycotts led by Reading Pride, a local LGBTQ activist group that opposes the restaurant’s stance on same-sex marriage.

In 2012, Dan T. Cathy, Chick-fil-A’s chairman and chief executive, said that Chick-fil-A believed in “the biblical definition of the family unit.” [1] Over the years, reports have also surfaced of Chick-fil-A donating money to Christian organizations such as Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Paul Anderson Youth Home, and the US Salvation Army.

Although Chick-fil-A says that they never intended to stay in the U.K. very long, they were “pleased” with how business was doing. “We have been very pleased with the lines since opening Oct. 10 and are grateful for customer response to our food and our approach to customer service,” the company said on Saturday. “We mutually agreed to a six-month lease with the Oracle Mall in Reading as part of a longer term strategy for us as we look to expand our international presence.” [2]

6 Months to Leave

On October 18 The Oracle expressed their wishes for Chick-fil-A to close up shop at their mall. “We always look to introduce new concepts for our customers, however, we have decided on this occasion that the right thing to do is to only allow Chick-Fil-A to trade with us for the initial six-month pilot period, and not to extend the lease any further,” The Oracle said. [3]

Reading Pride fully supports The Oracle’s decision, taking to Twitter to state their approval. “We are staunchly opposed to Chick-fil-A setting up shop in the UK and certainly in Reading,” the group tweeted. “The chain’s ethos and moral stance goes completely against our values, and that of the UK as we are a progressive country.”


Notes:

  1. ^“‘Guilty as charged,’ Dan Cathy says of Chick-fil-A’s stand on faith.” Biblical Recorder – News journal for North Carolina Baptists, 21 Oct. 2019, brnow.org/News/July-2012/Guilty-as-charged-Dan-Cathy-says-of-Chick-fil-A. (go back↩)
  2. ^First Chick-fil-A in U.K. to Close in 6 Months Amid Protests.” N. Y. Times, 21 Oct. 2019, www.nytimes.com/2019/10/19/world/europe/chik-fil-a-uk-lgbtg.html. (go back↩)
  3. ^First UK Chick-fil-A to close in LGBT rights row.” BBC News, 21 Oct. 2019, www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-berkshire-50094551?ocid=socialflow_facebook&ns_mchannel=social&ns_campaign=bbcnews&ns_source=facebook. (go back↩)

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