Chick-fil-A, Inc. is opening the first stand-alone Chick-fil-A restaurant in Cerritos, California, on March 1 when they will give away $26,000 in free Chick-fil-A food to the first 100 adults in line at the new location.

A one-year supply of free Chick-fil-A Combo Meals (52 coupons) will be given away to each of the first 100 adults, age 18 and older with identification, at the new stand-alone restaurant at 18605 Gridley Road. The line can begin forming up to 24 hours prior to the opening, with the prizes being awarded on March 1 between 6 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. The restaurant will open immediately afterward.

“We’ve given away more than $4.2 million in free Chick-fil-A food since we launched the ‘First 100 Fans’ promotion in 2003 to celebrate each grand opening,” says Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy, son of the chain’s founder Truett Cathy. “It’s our way of thanking our raving fans who have supported Chick-fil-A and who continue to show their devotion by camping out in all kinds of weather conditions year-round, all across the country.”

With overnight campers often arriving as early as 24 hours in advance and coming from hours away, the parking lot fills with tents, lawn chairs, and TVs while the crowd enjoys entertainment, games, food, and even a midnight Chick-fil-A Icedream party. “It becomes a big overnight tailgating party,” says Cathy, who has camped out at more than 50 grand openings.

Fernando Ruiz has been selected as the franchisee of the new Chick-fil-A restaurant in Cerritos. Ruiz began working for the company when he was in high school and has worked for Chick-fil-A for 8 years. He and his wife, Heather, have a son, Sebastian, and are looking forward to opening the first stand-alone Chick-fil-A restaurant in Cerritos.

“I look forward to providing my loyal customers with award-winning, freshly prepared food delivered with the ‘my pleasure’ customer service not only for lunch and dinner, but also for breakfast,” Ruiz says.

The restaurant will be open Monday through Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

QSR Magazine recently released its scores for the Best Drive-Thru in America Survey with the Chick-fil-A chain’s overall composite scores placing it in the lead–marking four out of the past five years that the chain has earned top rankings. Consumers indicated that accuracy and speed were some of the most important performance areas.

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