Chick-fil-A management responds

WICHITA — No one with Chick-fil-A could be reached for comment Monday regarding what’s likely to be the chain’s first freestanding restaurant in Wichita.

Today, though, Don Perry, vice president of corporate public relations for the Atlanta chain, elaborated a bit on the company’s plans.

“The good news is that our intent is to come,” Perry says.

He won’t confirm that there’s an almost-done deal at Central and Rock.

“It is among a couple, but . . . we try not to get ahead of the process (or) start talking about locations that are under negotiation because it gets all kinds of crazy,” Perry says. “Any day now we’re going to be able to give a confirmation.”

In normal years, the company adds about 75 new restaurant sites. That’s down to about 65 in the current economy.

“What happens (is) that doesn’t allow us to do a lot in a single market,” Perry says.

It may take a few years, but he says Wichita could have three or four Chick-fil-A sites in addition to the one at Wichita State University.

The chain is still just entering some major markets like Chicago, where there was an Internet campaign to woo the chain similar to the Facebook campaign here.

Perry says, “We feel like we’re right there with — what’s her name?”

Betty White?

“Can we claim that?”

She might have just a few more Facebook fans, but Perry is thrilled with the Chick-fil-A response here.

“We’re just excited that there’s this much excitement in Wichita.”