Vancouver’s second Chick-fil-A restaurant debuted Thursday morning, greeted by an initial line of several dozen customers hungry for the chain’s signature chicken sandwiches.
The new location is in a satellite building at the Vancouver Mall and is a franchise location owned by John Dombroski, who also opened Vancouver’s first Chick-fil-A at 164th Avenue and Mill Plain Boulevard to great fanfare in 2016.
That event drew a crowd of overnight campers leading up to the opening hour, in part due to the chain’s traditional grand opening promotion in which the first 100 customers are treated to free meals for a year. Things were a little more low-key this time around, which Dombroski said was deliberate due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chick-fil-A opted to forgo the usual promotion for the opening of the mall location and will instead be doing an event to support first responders. The restaurant is initially operating solely as a drive-thru, he said, and only from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the time being. Walk-ups, delivery orders and expanded hours will be added in the coming months as more staff are brought on board and operations stabilize.
The slow burn approach allowed Dombrowski to hire fewer staff at the outset and rotate them all through for training at his other Chick-fil-A location. But despite the relatively lower hype, Dombrowski said he still prepared for a crowd of Chick-fil-A enthusiasts on Thursday.