Despite the much deserved less than warm welcome to Chick-Fil-A’s first Canadian store in Toronto last September 2019, the US-based franchise is set to open 3 new restaurants in Ontario later this year. The stores will be located in the Scarborough Town Centre’s food court, Toronto’s Queen St West and Kitchener, ON. With the promise to donate $25,000 to a local food bank for every new restaurant opened in Canada, we can’t help but remember the Chick-Fil-A company’s previous history with charitable donations.
Chick-Fil-A and The LGBTQ+ Community
For years these fried chicken behemoths have been donating funds to organizations and groups opposed to the LGBTQ+ community and proponents of conversion therapy. Cities around the world have protested outside of storefronts to oppose the company that actively donates to such charities. Many places have been successful at preventing the company’s arrival, but it seems that Toronto was not.
President and CEO of the company Dan Cathy, who inherited the business from his father, made no attempts to hide his contempt for the LGBTQ+ community back in 2012 when he stated to believe in “the biblical definition of the family unit” and said “those who have the audacity to define what marriage is about” were “inviting God’s judgement to our nation”. The billionaire evangelical Southern Baptist took to twitter a year later when the United States Supreme Court chose to support same-sex marriages. Cathy wrote that the “founding fathers would be ashamed of our generation” and declared it to be a “sad day for our nation”.
Regardless of the protests and negativity surrounding Chick-Fil-A’s entrance to the Canadian market, the company does seem to be doing quite well. Even amidst a pandemic, the lineups rarely ceased at Toronto’s Yonge and Bloor location. The new Ontario locations are expected to produce 200-250 full- and part- time positions for Canadians. “Like our first two locations, each restaurant will be locally owned and operated. The success of our business is built on local owner/operators who truly care about their restaurant and the community they serve” stated Anita Costello, executive vice-president of International at Chick-Fil-A Inc.
Chick-Fil-A does not plan on stopping there. The chain hopes to open 20 more locations across Canada by 2025.