Chick-fil-A: Not So Fast Food

The mood on campus with Chick-fil-A still not open. Ethan Smith.

Ethan Smith and The Inkwell Staff

Chick-fil-A is regarded among many as the best fast food chain around, especially in the southern part of the United States.

The Armstrong Campus was slated to have a Chick-fil-A open to students in the Memorial College Center (MCC) food court at the beginning of the 2019 spring semester. Obviously, that has not happened yet, as Chick- fil-A is still behind bars like some prisoner waiting for his trial.

“Unfortunately, we will not be able to open the Chick-fil-A tomorrow [Tuesday, Feb. 19],” said Eddie Mills, Associate Vice President of Auxiliary Services. “However, we do finally have a firm opening date of Wednesday, Feb. 27. The delay is related to staffing and training for certain shifts of employees. Trainers will stay with us for a week to ensure a smooth transition,” he continued.

Mills announced yet another delay for Chick-fil-A, and for someone such as myself who has worked at Chick-fil-A, it took them a week or two to fully train me on the store’s functions. Training for two days will likely cause issues, but training could have been done at the Abercorn location throughout this waiting period.

This past Monday, this was how the restaurant looked, with a very sleek and clean design, but the space made available seems to be cluttered, especially with the amount of students expected to flood the University Court when it opens.

Screen Shot 2019-02-22 at 8.23.49 PM
Chick-fil-A in its full, closed glory. Ethan Smith

To note, the menu prices at this Chick-fil-A will be higher than they are at the Chick-fil-A down the street or any other corporate location. The price difference is not very drastic, but there is a difference nevertheless. Chick-fil-A is an amazing establishment to bring to the Armstrong campus, but the problems that have come with its pending opening have directly impacted students, especially those with a meal plan.

For students with a meal plan, the food options on campus are very limited. Food fare includes the only recently operating food truck, The Galley and Sushi with Gusto. which offers a limited variety of food options for students. Gus Mart is also available as well, but the lack of variety and price inflation is an issue for students as well.

“Terribly planned.” said one student regarding the establishment taking this long to open.

“It is a let down to students who enjoy a nice crispy sandwich touching their starving lips,” said Matthew Dollar.

A few students stated their frustration with the coupon they received through their student emails a few weeks ago.

“Why give us a coupon for a place that doesn’t even have a scheduled opening date? That’s just annoying” said Cecilia Reynoso.

“We received a coupon from the school to use at Chick- fil-A in February,” said Blake Green, who is graduating at the end of this semester. “March is right around the corner with no other option to get an actual meal on campus other than The Galley or the food truck.”

Disappointment has become a common thought among the student body regarding situations like this.

“This is another example of how the logistics of this merger have failed highlighting yet again it’s shortcomings,” said Alfredo Small. “Disappointment is now the status quo when it comes to things happening on the Armstrong campus,” he added.

“With the loss of majors and restructuring of classes, it’s nothing more than another slap in the face to student morale,” said Tyler Craft.

“How do you think I feel? Betrayed, bewildered,” said Edgardo Melendez, who quoted Nathan Lane from “Birdcage.”

“I feel disappointed that they’ve been delaying the opening date for what seems like months now,” said Regan Gayadeen.

“I am a bit frustrated,” said Kayla Goodhart. “The fact that it’s not open yet hurts because it would be nice to have somewhere that provides hot and ready food other than The Galley. The limitation to the Gus Mart, The Galley, the food truck and off-campus food is straining.” Graduating students have dealt with much confusion regarding consolidation including The Galley and Gus Mart’s limited hours. Ongoing students face uncertainty over which campus they may have to attend next semester. The entire process and its ramifications have just piled up to the point where it feels that a cow is sitting on our chest and just won’t let up.

The consolidation brought growth to the university by adding a plethora of resources that Armstrong State University did not have. The decision has been fraught with constant issues and mistakes that have directly impacted the student body, faculty and staff members. To put it plainly, this consolidation has been nothing short of a mess.

Chick-fil-A is yet another flawed mechanism in the consolidation machine that has yet to be fixed. Students have been hungry for new additions to our campus, but these new additions are still just a figment of their imagination. For some, especially graduates, they might barely experience these new additions before they are long gone from the Armstrong campus. Even if Chick-fil-A opened Tuesday, it will be bittersweet for students as they had to wait an extended amount of time yet again to get what they finally wanted.