September 27, 2006 - Posted at 4:30 p.m. CDT
JONESBORO, AR -- The first stand alone Chick-Fil-A is opening in Jonesboro Thursday and already the hype is building. The 'First 100 Fans' promotion launched in 2003....since then Chick-Fil-A has given away more than $3.5 million dollars in free food. All you have to say is free food....and folks will start lining up.
"We are handing out $26,000 worth of food before we even open the doors," said David Kesten, Operator of the new Chick-Fil-A on Stadium Blvd. in Jonesboro, "That's definitely something unique that Chick-Fil-A does."
For the first 100 people in line...their next 52 meals at Chick-Fil-A are on the house. John Pennington spent his afternoon waiting in line. He doesn't think he will get burnt out on eating chicken, "I like chicken, any way you cook it, I like it."
Chick-Fil-A fans could technically start lining up around 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning, but the first group here showed up in Jonesboro at 11:45...on Tuesday evening.
"Basically, it's free food and we're poor college students who like to eat, so it's like $250 worth of food," said Christina Manchester, "So we figured it would be fun to spend the night, two nights in the Chick-Fil-A parking lot."
Manchester and her friends drove 2.5 hours from Jackson, Tennessee to be the first in line and they came prepared.
"We found people that had tents, pillows, food, supplies, toilet paper," laughed Manchester as she studied for a math test to be given tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. As the hours pass, the line will grow...and the truly devoted will cash in on the chicken.
"I want everybody in Region 8 to come out and join us. I think they will have fun," said Freddie Green as he waited.