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The coronavirus pandemic has canceled a number of events around the country, and this includes Chick-fil-A’s beloved “First 100 Event” – where the first 100 customers get rewarded for their loyalty with free food if they attend a new store’s pre-grand opening celebration.
Since 2003, customers have lined up between 5:30 and 6 a.m. a full day before the opening of Chick-fil-a restaurant for the chance of winning the “Grand Prize” of one Chick-fil-A Sandwich Meal per week for a year. The lucky 100 recipients would be granted a chicken sandwich, medium waffle potato fries and a medium drink for 52 straight weeks.
However, due to the infectious and potentially deadly coronavirus, Chick-fil-A has canceled its First 100 Event for the “the health and well-being of our Guests, restaurant Operators and Team Members,” according to an updated company news release for future openings.
The precautionary measure is being applied to the new Chick-fil-a locations that are opening in the middle of the pandemic, including two that are scheduled to open in North Carolina and three that are scheduled to open in California for the month of April.
It is not clear how long Chick-fil-A’s First 100 will be canceled or if a shift in demand has contributed to the chain’s decision to temporarily end the chance of winning weekly free meals amid economic uncertainty.
FOX Business reached out to Chick-fil-A about the future status of its First 100 Event or if social distancing measures are being developed to address the issue, but representatives at Chick-fil-A did not immediately respond at the time of publication.
Chick-fil-A has two types of Firsts 100 Events, which are the First 100 12 Hour Campout and the First 100 Red Carpet Rollout. Both giveaways require customers to show up to new Chick-fil-A locations in advance for a chance to win weekly meals on a first-come-first-serve basis or a lottery drawing depending on the number of participants.
Each setting would typically put customers in close contact with each other – an action that wouldn’t be ideal with so many people trying to avoid the coronavirus.
The novel coronavirus is at over 940,790 confirmed infections and more than 54,000 deaths in the U.S. according to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard.