Category Archives: Fast food

Details on Chick-fil-A camp out, sandwich giveaway

Chick-fil-A west is ready to go.

Wichita’s second free-standing Chick-fil-A will open at 6 a.m. on Thursday at 10515 W. 21st St., and owner/operator Jason Lansdown admits the timing is… interesting.

As Lansdown feverishly prepared to open the restaurant this week, publicity and opinions have been swirling about the company CEO’s announced opposition to gay marriage and a national “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” that  on Wednesday drew crowds of supporters to restaurants across the country, including in Wichita. A counter-protest “kiss-in” is planned for today.

When I talked called him this morning, Lansdown seemed reluctant to talk much about the events of the week and said he was trying to keep from getting distracted by it all, instead focusing on getting the building and staff ready. But he did say it was bizarre to be staring down an opening date with the chain so prominently in the headlines. “There’s definitely some awareness out there, that’s for sure,” he said.

Today, Lansdown’s crew will be distributing free Chick-fil-A sandwiches near the Best Buy and Walmart at New Market Square, 21st and Maize. They’ll start at about 11 a.m. and expect the 2,000 or so sandwiches to go quickly. (They’ve been conducting the giveaways all over town this week.)

Then, on Wednesday, they’ll start the “First 100″ camp out that’s a standard Chick-fil-A practice when restaurants first open. The east-side Chick-fil-A’s camp out drew big crowds and created a parking lot tent city back in March.

Those interested in participating should show up no sooner than 5:30 a.m. and no later than 6 a.m. Employees will distribute bracelets with numbers to everyone who arrives during that time, then at 6 a.m. they’ll randomly draw 100 numbers. Those 100 people must camp on site until 6 a.m. Thursday morning, when they’ll be treated to breakfast and their prize — a coupon book good for a year’s worth of food at the restaurant. Details can be found on the restaurants Facebook page.

Once open, hours will be 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. For more information, call 316-721-2697.

The official official opening date for Chick-fil-A west

It's getting close.

The corporate bigwigs met with the construction bosses, put their calculators together and came up with the magical, official opening date for new new Chick-fil-A under construction at 10515 W. 21st St.

Thursday, Aug. 9.

Until yesterday, they’d be planning on July 25, but the Aug. 9 date was arrived at using more exact Chick-fil-Science, said owner/operator Jason Lansdown. That means that the campout, which promises free Chick-fil-A for a year to the first 100 people through the door, will  commence on Wednesday, Aug. 8.

Lansdown said he’d offer more details as the date grew closer. Here’s hoping that nasty 21st and Maize Road construction is well wrapped up by then.

Ground breaking today for west Chick-fil-A

Just when you thought the local Chick-fil-Hype had subsided … nope.

Owner/operator Jason Lansdown will officially break ground this morning on the west side stand-alone Chick-fil-A, scheduled to open in July at 10515 W. 21st St. (right at the corner of 21st and Maize.) The 10 a.m. VIP ceremony will have city officials, dancing cows and chicken excitement to spare.

The new restaurant will have a 4,275 square-foot interior that seats 144 and a play area for kids. Another camp out will be staged the night before it opens, guaranteeing free Chick-fil-A for a year to the first 100 people though the door.

Start gathering you camping supplies now.

Wichita Chick-fil-A has third biggest opening ever

I know I said I was done posting about Chick-fil-A for a while, but I couldn’t NOT tell you this.

Wichita’s Chick-fil-A, which opened for business at 6 a.m. on Thursday, had the third biggest grand opening day in the chain’s history, said franchise owner Brad Fuller. There are 1,610 Chick-fil-As across the country.

The only other Chick-fil-As to ever have a bigger opening sales day were two in the Chicago area that opened a year and a half ago. The combined sales of two other Chick-fil-As that opened on Thursday, one in Tennessee and one in New Jersey, didn’t match Wichita’s, Fuller said.

I can believe it. I happened to be in the Central and Rock area on Thursday morning, and it was chaos — chaos that required blocked traffic lanes and several police cars.

There. Now I’m done.

Chick-fil-A campout: Tents, wind and pedestrians in the drive-through

A shot of the wind-blown tent city outside Chick-fil-A this afternoon.

Here’s the story I wrote this afternoon after visiting the ca-razy campers spending the night at Chick-fil-A.

The campers included people from Wichita as well as people from out of town, including some who follow Chick-fil-A openings like they were the Dave Matthews Band.

I saw kids playing on scooters, people constructing jigsaw puzzles on card tables inside their tents, and a couple studying for a test in the bright sun.

A couple of guys started a game of four square in the parking lot, and several were on air mattresses in their tents, snoozing the afternoon away.

The best detail I heard: To get their catered breakfast and lunch, campers lined up and walked through the drive through.

Question of the week: Would you camp out?

A Wichita Chick-fil-Camper early this morning.

I suppose if your answer to my question of the week was “yes,” you’d be at Chick-fil-A right now and not answering my question. But I’m asking it anyway.

Would you ever, as 150 Wichitans were prepared to do this morning, camp out to be the first in line at a restaurant you love? Or is there no restaurant you love enough to sleep on a sidewalk?

If the answer is yes, which restaurant would you camp out for? And would you do it just to do it, or would there have to be an incentive, such as the free food for a year Chick-fil-A is offering?

Answer in the comments section below.

Chick-fil-A campout commences

Wichita campers

UPDATE: (6:50 a.m., 3/14)  Stand down, would-be Chick-Fil-A campers. Managers just told me that more than 100 people showed up at 6 a.m. to camp out, so they won’t be taking any more campers. Watch for my story from Chick-fil-A later today.

In just about 40 hours, CHICK-FIL-A WILL OPEN!!

Wichita’s first free-standing Chick-fil-A at Central and Rock, highly anticipated by fans of juicy chicken sandwiches, is scheduled to open at 6 a.m. Thursday morning.

But the Chick-fil-Craziness starts sooner.

The chain famously gives away coupons good for free Chick-fil-A food for a year to those who camp out to be the first in line. Between 5:45 and 6 a.m. on Wednesday morning, those who’ve gathered outside the restaurant all will be given a number. At 6 a.m., managers will draw 100 numbers. Those people will be invited to camp out until 6 a.m. Thursday morning, when they’ll be let in the doors and handed an envelope that contains their prize — the right to one free Chick-fil-A meal a week for a year. Campers have to stay in line for a full 24 hours or they forfeit the prize.

If 100 people haven’t joined the line by 6 a.m., managers will continue to accept participants until they have 100. A corporate spokeswoman said she’d let me know in the morning how long the line is.

Anyone planning to camp tomorrow? I’ll be there around 1:30 p.m. to interview you, so be sure your makeup and hair are looking their best.

Kansas’ oldest McDonald’s gets new look

The oldest McDonald's in Kansas just got a makeover, both inside and out.

McDonald’s restaurants across the United States are being remodeled in an ultra-modern way, and several of Wichita’s have already received the upgrade.

The latest to reveal its new look is the oldest McDonald’s in the state, which is at 1630 S. Hillside (the corner of Harry and Hillside). The restaurant will celebrate with a “grand re-opening” on Wednesday and specials that will run through the end of April.

The Harry and Hillside McDonald’s, said to be Kansas’ first, opened on Feb. 4, 1960. Today, it’s owned by Roy McCalla. Construction started in November, and the restaurant remained open throughout the process, ocassionally operating only its drive-through.

The brand new interior of the McDonald's at Harry and Hillside.

The new look is totally McModern and looks as though it was furnished by Ikea. I stopped in last night, and restaurant looks more like a coffee shop than a fast food burger chain. The red roof is gone, and the interior features tall bar tables and pendant lighting.

McCalla, who also operates the McDonald’s at 1643 S. Webb, is celebrating its remodel on Wednesday, too. Nine McDonald’s in Wichita and the surrounding areas have been or are in the process of being redone so far, and a new McDonald’s in Haysville is being built with the new design.

To mark the occassion, he’s offering through the end of April two Sausage Egg McMuffins for $3 every day, free medium fountain drinks with the purchase of an Angus burger on Saturdays, and $1.99 cheeseburger happy meals from 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturdays. The offers are good only at McCalla’s two McDonald’s.

‘Doritos Loco Taco’ launches at The Bell tonight

I’m endlessly amazed by the people whose job it is to constantly come up with new ways to serve fast food. The Pizza Hut people are particularly impressive. Just when you think there’s no other form in which pizza can be served, they stuff the crust or make it square in a box with all manners of other pizza goodness.

Taco Bell is launching its new stunt food tonight, and if you stay up until midnight, you can be among the first to sample it.

They’re called “Doritos Locos Tacos,” and essentially, they’re tacos served in a crispy shell made from Nacho Cheese Doritos. Sounds…messy. But marvelous.

Wichita Taco Bells, along with Bells across the country, will start serving the tacos from their drive-through windows at 12:01 a.m. tomorrow, which by my calculations is just after midnight tonight.

If anyone goes loco tonight, I’ll expect a full report in the morning.

Chick-fil-A frenzy officially begins today

The official opening date of Wichita’s much-anticipated Chick-fil-A is now 17 days away, and franchisee Brad Fuller is releasing details about how dedicated fans can be among the first people through the doors.

The restaurant, which specializes in super juicy chicken sandwiches and waffle fries that absorb ketchup perfectly, will open at the corner of Central and Rock roads on March 15. The building is nearly complete and ready to go.

Today, Fuller launched a scavenger hunt that will award tickets to a Raving Fans Premiere Night Dinner, scheduled for Tuesday, March 13. Today through Friday and March 5 through 9, fans can search for hidden stuffed Chick-fil-A cows using clues released by the restaurant. There will be 20 cows total (one already was found this morning) and those who find the cows get a ticket to the dinner. Clues are being revealed during the 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. hours on radio stations BOB FM, 97.1, and The Wolf, 100.5-FM, on the stations’ Facebook pages and websites, and on the Chick-fil-A Facebook page.

Fuller also told me how the big fan camp-out will work. It’s become tradition for fanatics to camp out overnight in front of about-to-open Chick-fil-As across the country, partially so they can be the first diners through the doors and partially because the first diners through the doors qualify for free Chick-fil-A for a year.

Here’s how it will work: Between 5:45 and 6 a.m. on Wednesday, March 14, those who’ve gathered outside the restaurant all will be given a number. At 6 a.m., managers will draw 100 numbers. Those people will be invited to camp out until 6 a.m. Thursday morning, when they’ll be let in the doors and handed an envelope that contains their prize — the right to one free Chick-fil-A meal a week for a year. Campers have to stay in line for a full 24 hours or they forfeit the prize.

In other words, Wichita, you have 17 days left to enjoy the intersection of Central and Rock before it becomes completely unusable.

I kid. Kind of.