Chick-fil-A Restaurants May be Forced to Open on Sundays by New York Bill

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A new bill proposed by a New York state legislator would require certain Chick-fil-A restaurants — those located at rest areas along the New York State Thruway road — to be open on Sundays. 

Chick-fil-A restaurants, since the company’s founding in 1946, have been closed on Sundays so employees can “rest or worship if they choose,” according to the company’s website.

But that stance could face a dilemma in the future if a new bill, A08336/S07794, passes and is signed into law. The bill would require “any contracts entered into by the New York State Thruway Authority” for food services also require that those “services be provided every day of the week.”

The New York State Thruway Authority “is currently rebuilding the 27 service areas along the Thruway through a public-private partnership,” the bill’s summary says.

“The traveling public and commercial trucking industry relies on these service areas to rest, refuel, and purchase food and beverages,” it says.

In 2021, the Thruway Authority partnered with “Applegreen, an Irish convenience store chain, to take over the leases of all service areas,” the bill’s summary says.

“Applegreen’s portfolio of companies include Chick-fil-A, which by company policy is closed on Sundays, and which has already opened at seven service areas,” the summary says. “While there is nothing objectionable about a fast food restaurant closing on a particular day of the week, service areas dedicated to travelers are an inappropriate location for such a restaurant. Publicly owned service areas should use their space to maximally benefit the public. Allowing for retail space to go unused one-seventh of the week or more is a disservice and unnecessary inconvenience to travelers who rely on these service areas.”

Democratic Assemblymember Tony Simone said there are other reasons he opposes Chick-fil-A.

“Not only does Chick-fil-A have a long, shameful history of opposing LGBTQ rights, it simply makes no sense for them to be a provider of food services in busy travel plazas,” Simone said, according to Spectrum News.

In June, Chick-fil-A was ranked America’s favorite restaurant in a major consumer survey for the ninth straight year. That survey, the American Customer Satisfaction Index, gauges the attitudes of Americans on major restaurants. Chick-fil-A ranked ahead of such restaurants as Jimmy John’s, KFC, Papa John’s, Domino’s, Five Guys, Pizza Hut, and Starbucks.

Its corporate purpose is to “glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A,” its website says. 

Related: Chick-fil-A Is America’s Favorite Restaurant Again, Even Though It’s Closed on Sundays

Photo Courtesy: ©Getty Images/Scott Olson/Staff

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

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