A politician in New York stopped a new Chick-fil-A from opening at an airport after an agreement had already been established that the restaurant would come.
The Chick-fil-A was part of a planned upgrade in food options at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, and would have opened by fall. The restaurant, known for its chicken sandwiches and waffle fries, was set to replace Checkers, reported WKBW.
But New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan singled out the Chick-fil-A part of the plan and pressured the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) to change its decision.
“I was disappointed to learn of the NFTA’s decision to introduce Chick-fil-A as a restaurant option at the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport. Chick-fil-A has a long history of supporting and funding anti-LGBTQ organizations,” Ryan said in a statement posted to Facebook. “The views of Chick-fil-A do not represent our state or the Western New York community, and businesses that support discrimination have no place operating in taxpayer-funded public facilities.”
The NFTA decided to side with Ryan and reverse their decision on Chick-fil-A’s presence at the airport.
I just received the statement you see in the photo below from the NFTA on the potential Chick-fil-A location at the…
Ryan said he received this statement from NFTA, capitulating in his favor.
“First and foremost, the NFTA is an organization that prides itself on its strong commitment to diversity and inclusion and stand firmly against any form of discrimination[.] We have the utmost respect for Assemblyman Ryan and consider him a great partner and friend to us.”
San Antonio International Airport took the same approach with Chick-fil-A as Assemblyman Ryan. Those involved are now the target of an investigation by the Texas Attorney General’s Office, KLTV reported.
“The City of San Antonio’s decision to exclude a respected vendor based on the religious beliefs associated with that company and its owners is the opposite of tolerance,” Texas Attorney General Paxton said in a press release obtained by KLTV. “The city’s discriminatory decision is not only out of step with Texas values, but inconsistent with the Constitution and Texas law.”
Ryan’s reaction to the restaurant contrasts with the public who flocked to the first Chick-fil-A that opened in the area. A Chick-Fil-A opened on Nov. 29 to long lines of people anticipating the restaurant’s food, The Buffalo News reported.
“I woke up at 3 in the morning, I was going to maybe go exercise, and I figured, you know what, maybe I’ll go down for the opening,” local resident Joe Vacanti told Buffalo News, at the time of the opening. “We’re big fans of Chick-fil-A. Our family loves it, let’s surprise the wife and kids.”
Vacanti was on line at 4:30 a.m. to await the stores 6 a.m. opening. He brought a friend named John Grimaldi.
“Their quality and service,” Grimaldi said, describing his reasons for being a fan of the restaurant, via Buffalo News. “The quality of food and the best service in the world.”
There were even those that lined up a day ahead of time, and lodged in tents for a chance be one of the first 100 customers. They were prepared to wait overnight at the location to win a free meal a week for a year, but Chick-fil-A saw the cold weather and decided to issue the free meal prizes before the store opened, so that people wouldn’t camp out overnight.
Chick-fil-A responded to allegations about its charitable giving earlier. On March 21, Chick-fil-A issued a statement that said media reports about Chick-fil-A’s donation activities were wrong, and said the information was part of “a long trend in what continues to be a misleading report that is driving an inaccurate narrative about our brand.”
“We are here to set the record straight,” the company continued.
Chick-fil-A then gives details about where its $9.9 million in charitable contributions went, in reference to the 2017 tax report that media cites when criticizing the company.
The targets of Chick-fil-A’s money include organizations aimed at providing opportunity in education, leadership, and sports for youth, including the Salvation Army, and Junior Achievement. The company also awards millions of dollars in scholarships to those that work at its restaurants.