What would you do for free Chick-fil-A for an entire year? Would you brave the elements in a tent? Would you wade through a hungry crowd?
For many people, the answer to both of those questions is a resounding “yes,” and it’s this dedication to Chick-fil-A that gave rise to one of the chicken chain’s most beloved traditions: The First 100.
Since 2003, Chick-fil-A franchisees have invited diners to camp out overnight in anticipation of their restaurants’ grand opening. In return for their dedication, the “First 100” customers are gifted one year of free Chick-fil-A in the form of 52 coupons, each valid for one Chick-fil-A sandwich. Basically, solid gold.
And it’s not as crazy as it sounds. “First 100” campouts are actually a miniature party, many of which come complete with live entertainment and games. Some even provide the tents!
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But that’s not to say there aren’t rules involved. To keep things local and prevent professional campers from having a leg up, participation in the First 100 at new Chick-fil-As is limited to those who live in specific zip codes, meaning individual’s drivers’ licenses are checked. You can check the Chick-fil-A website for new store openings and find eligible zip codes for each location.
"The First 100 celebration is our franchise owner-operator's introduction to the local community," a Chick-fil-A spokesperson told Southern Living. "We want to ensure those neighbors, whom they will be serving at that location in the future, have a seat at the table in welcoming and getting to know their neighborhood Chick-fil-A."
See you out there!