Chicken City

Yesterday evening, if you had driven about a mile from my apartment, you would have seen the following image.  According to the Fayetteville Observer blog and article in the Observer, every time a Chik Fil-A opens, the fast-food chain gives the first 100 adult customers a year’s worth–52 coupons’ worth–of free combo meals (side note: there’s also a short video).  The result: a small tent city camping out in that newly-paved parking lot, which used to be in the middle of a giant a field just over a year ago (now, after the arrival of a certain big box mart, there are a number of chain restaurants and stores instead).  As the article mentions, many of the people travel hundreds of miles to be present at the opening, and regulars even exchange contact information so that they are aware of a new restaurant opening.

Obviously, the people in the Chicken City are enjoying themselves and seeing the opening as an opportunity to break from their regular routines, but as I drive past this new manifestation of sprawl every day on my way to campus, I still feel like something is being lost as these chains seem to crowd out (or maybe crowd in) the local.

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