Chick-fil-A’s First 100

Well, you’ll never guess what I did in the past 24 hours. I participated in Chick-fil-A’s First 100. What is that, you ask? I’ll tell you. When Chick-fil-A opens a new store, they have this thing called the First 100.  The First 100 get to celebrate the Grand Opening of a new Chick-fil-A by pressing their luck in a raffle that takes everyone who shows up 24 hours before the grand opening, selects 100 participants + 10 alternates, and then they camp out on the lot for 24 hours, get fed 3 meals throughout the 24 hours, and then if you stay on site for the WHOLE 24 hours; in the end you are rewarded with 52 free combo meals!!! Which equals to be one free combo meal a week for a whole year, total contest winnings equal approximately $250!!! Ummmm, heck yeah!

We showed up at around 5:20 am in Five Points, Birmingham, AL to see that there were already 50 people in front of us. What we has assumed is that they take the first 100 that show up… no, no, no. They take everyone that shows up (in our case we were lucky, there were only 124 people), and then line everyone up (see above) and then they give them all a ticket. Then the raffle begins. I was the 3rd person called!!

After they call your name they place a bracelet on you, give you a cup, and put you in a group. They have check-in’s to make sure that you are on site when they feed you and they do that by making sure that you have a bracelet. A lot of random people kept showing up asking where they could get the free food and drink and we would have to let them know that they just weren’t cool enough, sorry. j/k

And then it was time to set up camp and get ready for our 24 hour stay. They set us up based on how many people we would be camping with. Some people had groups as large as 9. They tried to keep us within the parking lines; however, some people just have really big, ridiculous tents.

Yep, that’s a really ridiculous tents. One tent was called the Vacation Home Tent… obviously these people have never been camping in the woods. Tents should not come with a case with wheels. But that’s just my personal opinion.

So I’d be curious about what they feed people if they were to stay on site for a whole day — so I’ll tell you.

  • Morning: Chicken Biscuit
  • Lunch: #1 Combo Meal: Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich, waffle fries, and soft drink
  • Dinner: 8 piece chicken nugget with a side (btw, we tried their chicken salad – DELISH)
  • Desert: IceDream with toppings :)

People brought tons of junk with them. We just brought each other and the bare essentials: small tent, pillows, sleeping bag, book, iPod and iPad. That was it. We didn’t brings food or board games (although, maybe we should have) but we also try to travel light.

Before we knew it, there was a DJ, a hula hoop contest, a dance contest, a Miss Chick-fil-A contest and many other fun games throughout the day. It was a good time to be had by all. And then it was time for bed. Now, something funny about camping out in the middle of downtown Birmingham is that there are a A LOT of bars in the area, so at 12, 1, 2 a.m. … etc. we heard them. There were also fire trucks, police cars, dump trucks… we heard those too. But oddly enough, I slept pretty well. It was probably because I was fed so well.

We had a 5 a.m. wake up call and then it was show time and the Grand Opening began and the ribbon was cut.

And finally, what we worked all night for, the 52 free meals. I can’t thank Chick-fil-A, or CHICKY as we have all come to know it, enough. We had a really good time. And there really is something to be said about good people and good food. And it CAN be found in fast food. Standards can be set and followed when it comes to quality of food and Chicky follows great standards and excellence in customer service.

The First 100 has a bit of a following. One man in The Group; this was his 15th Grand Opening that he has attended! The couple in front of me, this was their 5th. A girl who knew me from high school told me that she had been to one other opening and people there recognized other contestants from past Grand Openings, “Oh, I remember you from the Dayton, Ohio opening” – “Weren’t you at the Louisville opening?” Hilarious. Advice: DO IT. It’s rare that you’ll ever do something silly like this again.

And nothing beats a good sunrise.

Today I am thankful for: being apart of the FISRT 100.

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