CRYTSAL LAKE – Chick-fil-A opened its doors to the public at 6 a.m. today to a couple of hundred people who were waiting since Wednesday for 52 free meal tickets.
Those people have since gone home to get some much-needed sleep, and a new wave of chicken enthusiasts has been pouring in since 11 a.m.
The comments made by Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy about gay marriage have created a national debate in the weeks leading up to the opening in Crystal Lake, but none of the controversy seemed to be on display there Thursday.
The only issue the restaurant was faced with was how to best serve the hordes of lunch-goers.
Police said they were ready for protests but ended up directing traffic instead, radioing to each other to control the flow.
Ryan Holmes, a consultant for Chick-fil-A, said that the parking lot was troublesome the way it was designed, and it was a full-time job directing cars to either of the two drive-through stalls or to dine-in parking.
But the restaurant was prepared by bringing in workers who are familiar with grand openings from Chick-fil-A sites around the country.
The restaurant chain usually sees this type of business on opening day, and so far everyone is smiling.