Chick-Fil-A Supporters Jam O.C. Outlets

Turnout to support the company CEO's opposition to gay marriage is "overwhelming" and "unbelievable," one restaurant owner says. By midday, the wait is 90 minutes in Foothill Ranch.

Typically, businesses hold appreciation days for their customers. On Wednesday, customers flipped the script, showing up in droves at Orange County branches of Chick-fil-A to support the fast-food chain owner's stance against same-sex marriage.

With encouragement from former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who declared Wednesday as Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, customers swarmed the Foothill Ranch restaurant soon after its 6:30 a.m. opening.

Other franchises in Orange County also enjoyed big crowds. The chain recently faced an uproar from gay marriage proponents after company president Dan Cathy publicly expressed his support for the "biblical definition of the family unit."

On Wednesday, the local Chick-Fil-A had "overwhelming support from the community," said Jeremy Simpson, owner of the . "We can't cook chicken fast enough."

Simpson said the restaurant sold three times the amount of breakfast food it usually does. More than 3,000 customers had eaten at the Foothill Ranch restaurant by mid-afternoon, according to Simpson. By the end of the day, the restaurant had sold out of all of its food—about four days worth.

After Huckabee's announcement, Simpson ordered an extra truckload of food for the week. But Wednesday's turnout was so massive that by about 2 p.m., Simpson said the restaurant didn't have the capacity to serve the number of people coming through the doors.

By midday, the wait was about 90 minutes. 

That's how long Rancho Santa Margarita resident Janet Trenda waited for her lunch, she said as she sat under a red umbrella outside the restaurant.

"I think it's sad that there's been this big turn against [Chick-Fil-A] because someone's faith disagreed with someone else's faith," she said. "I just want to support a company that operates in a godly way."

Inside, the restaurant was standing-room-only most of the day, with some customers cheering as they reached the cash register.

"We started running out of menu items by 11:30 a.m.," Simpson said. "We went to a limited menu around noon."

By 2 p.m., he took a break from cooking chicken to announce that the store's milkshake machine was on its last legs.

"The ice cream machine is literally shutting down," he said. "It's really dragging."

That didn't phase Cindy Montefu of Rancho Santa Margarita, who swung by the restaurant with her 13-year-old son, Daniel, on their way to the Orange County Fair.

"We wanted to show our appreciation," she said. "It's not to take away anybody's rights, but -- like anybody else -- you can choose to put your money where you want."

Montefu said she wanted to support the company and its CEO for expressing his belief.

"They have a right to their opinion," she said. "It's the First Amendment, the duty of every American [to uphold]."

She and her son waited about 45 minutes in the line, which spilled out the door and into the parking lot, for their lunches.

Despite the long waits, the crowds were both friendly and orderly, Montefu and other customers said.

One meal wasn't enough for Lake Forest resident Rick Lancaster, who ate breakfast and lunch at the Foothill Ranch Chick-Fil-A.

"I'm going to come back for dinner, but they said might be out of food by then," he said.

He heard about the pro-Chick effort from Huckabee and on the radio, Lancaster said.

His trio of visits was meant to back the company's "support of family values." Lancaster said he hoped the turnout would show Chick-Fil-A that "family matters to America."

Simpson said he was "honored" by the turnout, but noted that the Appreciation Day was a customer-driven initiative and not organized or sponsored by the fast-food chain.

Chick-Fil-A released a statement saying much the same.

"Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day was not created by Chick-fil-A," it said. "We appreciate all of our customers and are glad to serve them at any time."

Customers countywide turned to social media to express their opinion.

Twitter user Vu Le posted a photo of the long line at the Foothill Ranch location and tweeted: "Chik-Fil-A in Foothill Ranch looks like the opposite of a boycott...it's a BUY-cott!"

Another Twitter user wrote: "The local Chick-Fil-A in Foothill Ranch has already doubled their business today and the line is out the door."

This story has been updated.

TruthGunner August 05, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Thanks to those who supported Dan Cathy's right to have his own opinion and not bow to those who would force one in agreeing with others lifestyle. Since when can't a person express their own view and belief. Democrats and liberals seem to want freedom of speech ONLY if it agrees with them !
Dan Avery August 05, 2012 at 05:31 PM
TruthGunner, Please point to the exact sentences where anyone is saying that Dan Cathy doesn't have the right to express his opinions. Go ahead. We'll wait.
met00 August 05, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Heck no. I LOVE it when a bigot tears off their white sheet and hood and says that they are bigoted. It allows us to put a face to the hate.
met00 August 05, 2012 at 05:42 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Total_health_expenditure_per_capita,_US_Dollars_PPP.png Every country on that list except the one to the very right (which spends the most) has universal health care. Romney just praised Israel's health care system... In Israel, the publicly funded medical system is universal and compulsory. In 2005, Israel spent 7.8% of GDP on health care, or US$1,533 per capita. Of that, approximately 66% was government expenditure. TruthGunner, if you can't buy a clue, at least learn to do minimal research and read so you don't come off looking like a total tool. The single WORST form of healthcare, and the most expensive, is the US model. But it does make a small number of people very wealthy at the expense of a very large group (and they are very good at buying the politicians and the media to make sure it stays that way).
Dan Avery August 05, 2012 at 05:43 PM
pssst....met...in the last few days I found out it just ain't cool to call a bigot a bigot. However, it is cool to call a spade a spade. So I guess we should call a bigot a spade now. Screwy old world aint it? Further on down the road, my brother.
S.A.P. August 05, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Guess what, met00? Dan thinks YOU are a bigot too
Dan Avery August 05, 2012 at 06:02 PM
See, met, I think we all are. I think bigotry is part of being human. I think we have to fight against it every day. I think we get blindsided by our own bigotry in stunning ways sometimes. I think bigotry is foul, but no one said people are perfect, eh. Shipwrek apparently has a problem with my views. My guess? She takes a much more superficial view on what it means to be human. That's what causes people to become tools and end up with a Koch problem. But I bet none of this is news to you huh, met?
Frank Mockery August 05, 2012 at 06:17 PM
I think that nobody looks gayer (is that a word ?) than those virgin Mormon missionaries wearing white shirts,black slacks & ties riding ten-speed bicycles spreading the gospel ! Which begs the question - If Jesus was gay would you nail him ? How often would you nail him ? Would you recommend nailing him to your friends ? WWJD ?
S.A.P. August 05, 2012 at 06:26 PM
WHat do you say, met? Are you a bigot, or is Dan wrong?
S.A.P. August 05, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Dan, once again, YOU don't think or feel for other people. While YOU can out your OWN bigotry, you cannot say what other people "have to fight against" or are "blindsided by". You speak for yourself, only, not for others. ...and again, you guess wrong about me. I really don't give a crap about your views, but when you push them off on other people & start making assumptions, I do take offense. BTW, you brought me up, again, in your comment to met00. It's pretty obvious who is continuing this back & forth.
met00 August 05, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Of course I'm bigoted. I am a bigot to intolerance. I can't stand intolerance. It is the anti-mater to my mater. I am intolerant of intolerance. I am a bigot against people who are intolerant. And I'M PROUD OF IT!
met00 August 05, 2012 at 07:26 PM
Frank, go look up the Christian "kiss of brotherhood" (AKA "holy kiss")... WOW! <sarcasm> men kissing men as part of scripture, who would have thought! </sarcasm>
Vince August 05, 2012 at 09:53 PM
Dan says he says: "See, met, I think we all are. I think bigotry is part of being human." Speak for yourself there Buckaroo...I ain't no dang bigot. I hate EVERYONE equal-like, across the board---so therefore I am an Equal Opportunity Hater (EOH), and that is something noble to aspire to in these PC times we live in. I absolutely hate the doggie-doo outta all people, regardless of race, religion, country of origin, or even their sexual affiliation....even bigots get my stamped seal of hatred for no other reason then I gotta stay EQUAL with my Master List----Yet, odd as it may appear, I like everyone jes' fine UNTIL they give me a good reason (during their probationary period) TO hate 'em....See how it works when ya hate with fairness and equality foremost in mind? So far as guy's kissing one another goes, that is icky yuckie, but I don't give a crap about that one way or ta other....just so long as they do it private, same with their nocturnal sword fights---outta sight is outta mind...but see, if they get to swappin' spits, and sword dualin' in a public place I happen to occupy, why then...then they is on my Master List., and that is that.
Dan Avery August 06, 2012 at 03:38 AM
Vince you do realize you could have said all of that in four words? "I am a misanthrope." Those of us who are educated would have understood you. One should strive for conciseness with language.
Dan Avery August 06, 2012 at 03:42 AM
By the way, "So far as guy's kissing one another goes, that is icky yuckie, but I don't give a crap about that one way or ta other" "icky yuckie" is a judgement. Judgements are only passed by folks who give a crap one way or the other. So now that we know you're a liar....see cause if you didn't give a crap and really hated equally, you never would have written that last paragaph. God I love the stupid.
Dan Avery August 06, 2012 at 03:44 AM
met, heads up, they be depreciating <sarcasm></sarcasm> in html6; they just don't know it yet, but they will. :)
Dan Avery August 06, 2012 at 03:45 AM
Frank, I'm pretty sure grammatically it would be "more gay." But hey we live in the 15 items of less (sic) age, so who really knows?
Vince August 06, 2012 at 03:52 AM
"Liar"?..."Stupid"? Dan, I hate to see things get down to a personal attack level on these deals...So how about we keep it cordial....what say you ya darn Gimp you?.
Dan Avery August 06, 2012 at 03:57 AM
Marc, "You couldn't be more wrong in your assessment of my opinion, but that's ok. We are used to it!" Notice the move from "my" to "we" as if her opinion is widely shared? It's either a rhetorical strategy or she's just narracistic. Given the claims that her photo alone got her stalked, I'll leave that for you to decide.
Dan Avery August 06, 2012 at 04:06 AM
Naw, Vince, you be a stupid liar. Skilled liars get my respect. It takes a lot to craft a skilled lie. You gotta make up convincing details and such. Create a scene. Use all five of the senses. You, on the other hand, are lazy. You're like the Small Bush. You might have had potential at one point but it went up your nose one white line at a time. And you be wasting our time now, just like the Small Bush. Naw. You don't deserve cordial. Or respect.
Vince August 06, 2012 at 04:27 AM
Jeez Dan...gloves are off eh wot? Well then....I can't recall lobbyinf for your respect, so I s'pose I won't miss it---And I do recognize fully that you are under the impression that you are intellectually superior to most everyone else who attempts to have input here---Although, fact is my unhappy friend, all I can see is a bitter Gimp---and one that is not using any of that QUESTIONABLE intellectual superiority that you hope to have embraced by the teeming hordes of the inferior, whom you seem to visualize basking in your brilliance...towards much good at all. And drugs? C'mon...THAT is a pathetic atte,pt from one so bright as you....seem to think you are.
bbq August 06, 2012 at 05:05 AM
Vince, I love, love, love you!!! Hysterical! Don't worry about cranky old Dan, he and one or two others on these blogs think they're intellectually superior to the others. They are frustrated, wannabe writers who hide behind words and mimic each other when they think the other has said something clever (i.e., "Go ahead. We'll wait" and other such dismissive phrases). By the way, Dan has expressed his disdain for "ad hominem" attacks. Hypocrite, anyone? Being the empathetic person that I am, though, I guess I might be a little bitter, too, if my swan song was writing blogs for the Patch. Sorry, Patch, no disrespect intended.
Vince August 06, 2012 at 05:06 AM
Gosh, Dan isn't responding....hope it wasn't something I said? But just the same: You tossin' a Roberto Duran, "No mas" at me are ya Bunky? What the heck....But lookey here Dan, I gotta get some sleep anyways...and it has been fun! . And speaking of boxing, I am beginning to understand how Larry Holmes musta felt after slapping around Randall Tex Cobb for those 15 rounds...And since now we are all about respect hereabouts, or lack of it---I'll remind you that Holmes never got any RESPECT at all for pounding on that big gOoFy moron who didn't have sense enough to throw in the towel after his terrible showing in the first few rounds...and so he kept leading with his chin, for lack of any other offense...and with that thought, from this day forth I shall refer to you as "Tex"....or maybe even "Chin"...Although, the "No mas" strategy may be in effect here now, so if that is the case....nevermind, you don't deserve the name Tex as it appears a coupla light jabs sent ya packing, and that shows clearly that you wouldn't make a pimple on Cobb's azz afterall... Nitey-nite.
Vince August 06, 2012 at 05:16 AM
bbq, Well then, I don't feel near as bad now, as well....Larry Holmes did, prolly---Thanks to you! And I don't like people going all personal an' sech---to me, these Patch venues are a good form of entertainment, and education---and I have been on a few---and there is always a bully or two to contend with, seems like....and believe it or not, I don't mind contending with 'em...fact is, if anyone takes anything at all said on one of these deals, TOO seriously, and too personal, then maybe they should do themself a favor and stay away from 'em....yeah huh?
bbq August 06, 2012 at 05:22 AM
True dat, Vince :)
bbq August 06, 2012 at 05:24 AM
Vince, Funny that you used "intellectually superior." Swear to God, I didn't see that post of yours until after my post. In other words, I wasn't copying you :)
Dan Avery August 06, 2012 at 06:03 AM
Wow imagine my dismay at being dissed by a self-confessed Misanthrope. Ouch.
Vince August 06, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Ohhhh Dan...There but for the Grace of God go I----comes readily to mind! Recycling fancy, schmancy words or phrases that missed the mark first time around (See: "Misanthrope") , is NEVER a good sign when engaging in battle on The Net. I gotta tell ya, you are not cut out for this pal...and so the more I whup up on ya, the better the odds that you will be able to add: Facial Tics, Stuttering, and perhaps even Bed Wetting to the list of what ails you. I gotta get gone here though, and so there really is no time to smack ya around some more, as it were----even though, you being such a lightweight, it wouldn't take much. I'll be back later this afternoon, so maybe whilst I am out you can formulate a response with something of substance, and stop embarrassing yourself. Have you a nice day!
Joker Joe August 06, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Yeah!! Post your own name. Anyone naive enough to do that deserves some special attention by the radicals and lessons in security.
Vince August 06, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Oh, and Dan...There is a silver lining to this whole dark cloud hovering over your pointed little head---my former Crash Test Dummy at another Patch finally decided to stop talking to me, so I am in dire need of another'n to work out the kinks in my new material on. The position is your's if you want it....and being as how you are a natural to fill the void, you can just go ahead and be yourself---what a generous guy, huh? Now I do have to scoot...So I's gone!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something