Chick-fil-A on a Sunday? Local operator lends a hand, supports crews working in recovery effort

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Mar. 28—Since opening his first restaurant in 1946, Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy's establishments have been famously closed on Sundays.

So why was the smell of fresh chicken sandwiches emanating from the North Columbia Street location in the wake of Sunday morning's severe weather?

It's because restaurant operator Curt Flournoy saw a need and wanted to give back. He and six of his employees reported for duty around 2:30 p.m. Sunday to crank out 125 sandwiches for first responders, utility company workers, and others who were working the emergency situation after severe weather roared through town.

"The Georgia Power guys, all of law enforcement and first responders, they're always supporting the restaurant," Flournoy told The Union-Recorder Monday. "I was thinking about them and how they had been working all day. We wanted to give them one less thing to think about while they were out there dealing with all the issues from [Sunday]."

Getting to eat a fresh Chick-fil-A sandwich on a Sunday is rare. The Chick-fil-A corporation is so dedicated to being closed on Sundays that the franchise location inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home to the Atlanta Falcons, remains shut down when the Falcons play a Sunday home game. While Sunday operations are rare at Chick-fil-A, the phenomenon is not unheard of. Look online and you'll find stories of Chick-fil-As across the country stepping in when emergencies strike on what would normally be a day off.

"Chick-fil-A has given us a little guidance and leeway on that," Flournoy said. "We obviously don't sell on Sunday. That's something Truett put in a very long time ago. Chick-fil-A has said that in situations where something like this has happened and you're not selling anything, you're doing it as a pure donation, that they're OK with it."

The donation was very well-received.

"They left their families on a day when a lot of people still had no power to come in and give back to their community," Baldwin County Sheriff's Office Maj. Scott Deason said. "It's a testament to who Curt is and what their company stands for."

Deason along with BCSO Lt. Nick Goddard and Georgia State Patrol Sgt. First Class Kevin Pope, commander of the Milledgeville GSP post, picked the sandwiches up around 4 p.m. Sunday and helped distribute them to the many people who found themselves working unexpectedly.

"It's great when the community comes together to support first responders, service workers from the electrical company, and the city and county workers who helped out with road closures," Pope said. "Curt's always been a big supporter of the community, and it's always great to have business owners to sacrifice their time to give back. It just goes to show what kind of character that Curt has as well."

Flournoy fittingly said it was his pleasure to serve, echoing the often-used phrase uttered by Chick-fil-A employees after they are finished taking a customer's order.

Chick-fil-A wasn't the only business to volunteer its services Sunday. Dairylane of Sandersville also sent over hamburgers, and Pope said local businesses Pamlico Pools and Old Capitol Wrecker Service lent heavy equipment that aided in the clean-up efforts around town after trees and other debris made several roads impassable.