Chick-fil-A’s first UK restaurant will be short-lived

Only eight days after Chick-fil-A opened its first restaurant in the United Kingdom (U.K.), the company was informed that it will close.

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(m01229 | Foter)
(m01229 | Foter)

Only eight days after Chick-fil-A opened its first restaurant in the United Kingdom (U.K.), the company was informed that it will close.

The U.S.-based quick service restaurant chain that specializes in serving chicken opened its first location in the U.K. on October 8 at the Oracle shopping mall in Reading, England, reported Newsweek.

However, Chick-fil-A, whose owners have historically expressed a lack of support for the lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender (LBGT) lifestyle due to their interpretation of Christian scripture, was not welcomed by the LBGT community in Reading, and protests of the new restaurant location was scheduled.

Due to the controversial nature of Chick-fil-A’s presence, the Oracle decided on October 18 – eight days after it opened – that it would not renew the restaurant chain’s lease, which was set to expire in six months.

"We always look to introduce new concepts for our customers, however, we have decided on this occasion that the right thing to do is to only allow Chick-fil-A to trade with us for the initial six-month pilot period, and not to extend the lease any further," an Oracle spokesperson said.

Founded in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1967, Chick-fil-A has since grown to a chain that serves freshly prepared food in more than 2,400 restaurants in 47 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Canada. It’s plans for its first restaurants outside of the United States were revealed in 2016, when the company stated it had chosen Toronto, Ontario, Canada, as the first location.

While the company’s first location in the U.K. will be short-lived, the opening of new Chick-fil-A restaurants in the United States continues at a rapid pace. According to the company’s website, in October alone, new locations have opened in Willson, North Carolina; Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania; Westbury, New York; Fort Worth, Texas; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Champaign, Illinois; Niles, Illinois; Ashburn, Virginia; Salt Lake City, Utah; Grand Prairie, Texas; Clinton, Maryland; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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