Rehoboth’s first standalone Chick-fil-A to open May 23

First 100 in line to win free year's supply of Chick-fil-A meals
Chick-fil-A along Route 1 near Rehoboth Beach plans its grand opening Thursday, May 23. BY RON MACARTHUR
May 21, 2013

Rehoboth Beach’s first Chick-fil-A restaurant will open Thursday, May 23, bringing more than 75 new jobs and the chance for 100 adults to win free Chick-fil-A meals for a year as the chain reaches the 10th anniversary of its signature grand opening celebration.

Chick-fil-A’s First 100 event, which began as a way to celebrate the first stand-alone Chick-fil-A in Arizona in 2003, immediately became the cornerstone of every Chick-fil-A grand opening, when the first person arrived more than 18 hours early the day before, wondering where to get in line.

Chick-fil-A quickly implemented the First 100 at every grand opening, and in the past 10 years has given away more than $18 million in free food at almost 700 grand openings.

The new Rehoboth Beach restaurant at 19531 Coastal Highway will be the scene of the latest Chick-fil-A grand opening celebration. The first 100 adults, ages 18 and older with identification, in line when the doors open about 6 a.m., Thursday, May 23, will each win a one-year supply of free Chick-fil-A meals - 52 coupons with each consisting of a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich, medium waffle potato fries and a medium drink - a total of nearly $30,000 in free food.

The line officially opens at 6 a.m., Wednesday, May 22, with the free meal cards being awarded Thursday, May 23, about 6 a.m. The restaurant will open for business immediately thereafter. If there are more than 100 people by 6 a.m., May 22, all 100 spots will be determined by raffle held that morning with those selected needing to camp out to secure their spot. For complete rules, see Chick-fil-A First 100 Promotion.

Born and raised in Sussex County, Zach Hayes has been selected as the franchised operator of the new Rehoboth Beach restaurant. He is a graduate of Wilmington University in New Castle.  Prior to joining Chick-fil-A, Hayes served in management roles for UPS and Apple. He is married to Leslie, who will handle the restaurant’s marketing.  They have two small children, Addison and Hudson.

“Our focus on freshly prepared food and personal customer service is as central to our new restaurant as it was the day Truett [Cathy, Chick-fil-A founder] opened his first Chick-fil-A location,” said Hayes. “That commitment continues for me and my team members at our new Coastal Highway location where we can’t wait to welcome and serve our community.”

The new restaurant has seating for 109 with additional outdoor seating, and has warm colors and wood accents and an interactive play area for children. The restaurant is open 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday, serving a full breakfast menu until 10:30 a.m. The menu will feature a new line of premium salads that are handcrafted onsite using top-quality ingredients and include Cobb, Asian and Grilled Market Salads and a Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap.

More information on Chick-fil-A is available at