There was a huge colon-clogging, gizzard glutting eat-in at Chick-fil-A on Sunset and Highland Wednesday for the Mike Huckabee-called, frothy Rick Santorum-embraced, Sarah Palin-endorsed, Rush Limbuagh-hyped “National
Chick-fil-A Chick-fil-hAte Appreciation Day.” Two lines of cars snaked into the drive through ordering stations, backing up traffic onto Sunset Boulevard, and the parking lot was full. I wish I had been able to take a snapshot of the woman in a nose job bandage eating a frozen dessert cone as she drove out. Very L.A.
The parking lot was full, and there were more people in line and on the patio than I had seen cumulatively in all the years I had driven by the deep-fried food scented corner. Groups holding a rainbow flag and pro-LGBTQ signs stood on the corner with two (female) LAPD officers who were very nice. The protestors were out-numbered by the gluttons easily 1:10.
I had listened to rush Limbaugh this morning and he was reading reports that Chick-fil-hAtes all over the country were full of customers. But in LA? Yes, people do eat fast food here, and this is one of two Chick-fil-hAtes in the area; the only other one in Los Angeles proper is near USC.
I think many people were driven to sample Chick-fil-A by the mistaken belief that this is a “free speech/freedom of religion” issue, not a matter of a for-profit corporation funneling money into a non-profit corporation which in turn donates to organizations like Focus on the Family and Family Research Council–groups which themselves have called for religious-based boycotts of Kraft, Proctor & Gamble, the Super Bowl, and Girl Scout cookies. The Chick-fil-A corporately funded foundation, WinShape also donates to Exodus, which until this year focused on “praying the gay away” as an ex-gay ministry, and has since publicly claimed they will no longer do so.
It remains to been seen if today was just a one day curiosity glitch driven by media, or if Chick-fil-hAte just tastes so darn good people can’t resist it. (It smells yucky to me).
Chick-Fil-A’s perception with fast food eaters nationwide has taken a significant hit in most regions of the US, including the South where most of its restaurants are located, since president and COO Dan Cathy’s perceived anti-gay remarks on July 16th…
As the controversy has snowballed, the company’s overall consumer brand health with fast food eaters has dropped to its lowest levels since at least mid-August 2010…
On July 16th, the day the Baptist Press published its Dan Cathy interview, Chick-Fil-A’s Index score was 65, a very substantial 19 points above the Top National QSR Sector average score that day of 46.
Four days later, Chick-Fil-A had fallen to 47 score, three points below the Top National QSR Sector average score of 50. This past Wednesday, Chick-Fil-A had a 39 score compared to the Top National QSR Sector average score of 43.
YouGov BrandIndex respondents in the South took Chick-Fil-A from an Index score of 80 on July 16th to its current 44. Chick-Fil-A’s biggest drop took place in the Northeast, where it went from 76 to 35, a difference of 41 points.
Friday, August 3 is National Same-Sex Kiss-In at Chick-fil-hAte. Grab a same-sex pal, your same-sex lover, or whomever and show that you support equal rights by kissing at your local Chick-fil-hAte. To quote Gore Vidal:
We must declare ourselves, become known; allow the world to discover this subterranean life of ours which connects kings and farm boys, artists and clerks. Let them see that the important thing is not the object of love, but the emotion itself.
It’s time for allies to step up, too. Straight people have LGBTQ family, co-workers, friends so we too
must declare ourselves.
The time is now.
[more pics on the other side.]