A Chick-Fil-A Once Stayed Open On Sunday. Here's Why

While Chick-fil-A is well known for their "never open on a Sunday" policy, the reason behind it is a really rather benevolent one. Even though CFA founder Truett Cathy was famous for his devout Christianity (even to the extent of expressing some controversial views that have made his restaurant unpopular in certain quarters), the Sunday closings weren't some diabolical plot to force employees' or customers' fannies into church pews. Even the original, more religion-centric explanation spoke of giving employees Sunday off "as a day for family, worship, fellowship or rest," the operative word (missing Oxford comma notwithstanding) being "or." That means employees were being given this (unpaid) day off to attend church services if they so choose, or, if they preferred, to hang out with family or even just to sleep in. These days, Chick-fil-A merely expresses the hope that "you [customers and employees] can be with your family and friends," without even a hint of what it is you ought to be doing.

Even though they've adhered to this Sunday closings policy through thick and thin and millions of dollars' worth of lost revenue (think how many people would order Chick-fil-A on Super Bowl Sunday alone!), there have been a few times when they've opened up on the sabbath, but it was always for a good cause. The Chicken Wire notes that Chick-fil-A managers will sometimes make exceptions "when their communities are in need."

Chick-fil-A bails out stranded travelers

Chick-fil-A's website notes several Sunday-opening incidents. In 2015, severe tornadoes in Texas prompted several Dallas-area restaurants to stay open to feed both evacuees and first responders. In 2016, after the tragic shooting at the Pulse nightclub, one Orlando store had its employees step up to feed both first responders and blood donors in an act that may have gone a small way towards erasing some of the company's image as a bastion of corporate homophobia. (The Pulse, as you may recall, being an LGBTQ+ club.)

Yet another exception to the Sunday closing rule occurred on December 17, 2017, at the Atlanta airport. A massive power outage at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International left thousands of passengers waiting for flights delayed until who-knew-when. Business Insider reports that after several hours of uncertainty, Atlanta's mayor got on the phone to ask Chick-fil-A for their help, and they were on it right away.

As the airport tweeted, even the chain's CEO Dan Cathy was out there handing out sandwiches. The way they described (or hashtagged) it, this incident was truly a "#ChristmasMiracle." Perhaps it's one we should commemorate every December 17 (as long as it falls on a Monday-through-Saturday, that is): Order Chick-fil-A and eat it with the lights turned off. After all, they do deserve props for all the community service they do, not to mention the fact that any excuse to eat their delicious chicken is a good one.