Chick-fil-A will open its first Ooltewah restaurant on Thursday, hiring upwards of 100 new team members.
Local franchise owner and operator Dawson Halliday is inviting residents to join in the opening festivities at his new restaurant at 8959 Old Lee Hwy. by participating in a community celebration that has been a 14-year Chick-fil-A tradition. Chick-fil-A’s First 100 celebration has given away more than $34 million through year-end 2017.
The family friendly overnight First 100 Campout party includes activities for all ages while enjoying Chick-fil-A meals throughout the countdown to the opening. Registration begins in the restaurant parking lot at 6 a.m.
On Wednesday up to 100 adults will win a digital offer card with a year of free Chick-fil-A meals (52 meals with each consisting of a Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich, medium Waffle Potato Fries and a medium beverage). The community event is open to guests surrounding the restaurant with a list of eligible zip codes and complete rules found at https://thechickenwire.chick-fil-a.com/News/Future-Openings.
The celebration also includes a children’s book drive benefiting a local youth organization, one of several ways Mr. Halliday hopes to positively impact and support the community. Since 2014, Chick-fil-A has donated nearly 70,000 books to 341 local organizations in 45 states and Washington, D.C.
“I am excited to bring Chick-fil-A to Ooltewah and have an opportunity to serve the community outside my restaurant,” said Mr. Halliday. “I am committed to developing my team members as together we provide a remarkable experience to our guests who become part of our family.”
Mr. Halliday is continually seeking team members to work in all areas of the restaurant while being given opportunities for leadership development and continuing education. Visit www.nowhiring.com/cfaooltewah4031 for more details and to apply.
Thousands of team members are being impacted annually by Chick-fil-A’s Remarkable Futures education initiative. This year more than 5,700 team members were awarded with $14.65 million in scholarships, a $5.7 million increase from 2017 and one of the highest unrestricted per-employee scholarship investments in the industry. Team members, who are beginning or continuing their higher education, are awarded scholarships in the amount of $2,500 or $25,000 that can be applied for any area of study at any accredited institution. In addition to $14.65 million in scholarships, all of Chick-fil-A’s 120,000 team members also have access to tuition discounts and other educational benefits at 100 colleges and universities nationwide.
Tennessee native Mr. Halliday has had Chick-fil-A in his blood from a very young age and recalls at the age of four peeling carrots in the kitchen of the Chick-fil-A restaurant of his father, Eddie Halliday. Eddie has been a Chick-fil-A franchise owner in Knoxville for more than 35 years. Mr. Halliday began formally working for his father in high school, but said he treasures all of his restaurant memories and the team member connections he made starting at a young age. One of his favorites was longtime employee, Peggy, who would make his favorite red velvet cake every year for his birthday. As Mr. Halliday grew and became involved in competitive sports, Peggy would often attend his games to cheer him on. Mr. Halliday feels that those early relationships with team members helped shape him into who he is today and looks forward to paying it forward by creating that same positive environment at his restaurant.
Peggy’s cheers were not in vain as Mr. Halliday went on to play football at Yale University in New Haven, Conn. He graduated in 2012 with a degree in economics and went to work for the Pilot Flying J corporation where he oversaw regional operations and training for six years. A desire for a career change brought Mr. Halliday back to his memories at Chick-fil-A and the realization that his entrepreneur goals aligned with everything he experienced and learned first-hand while working alongside his father at his restaurant. He and his wife, Emily and their infant daughter, are excited to bring their passion for serving to the Ooltewah community and become the second Mr. Halliday Chick-fil-A operator in Tennessee. Dawson also becomes the fourth Chick-fil-A Operator in his family that includes his uncle and brother-in-law.
Mr. Halliday’s new 5,000-square-foot restaurant has been designed to enhance all aspects of a guest’s experience from the drive-thru to the counter to in-restaurant dining. Highlights include a:
• dining room that seats 120 with a vintage-inspired interior, including a large gathering table made from reclaimed wood, light fixtures from recycled Coca-Cola bottles and peach baskets, and an interactive two-story, indoor play area.
• Chick-fil-A app mobile ordering parking spot with a designated entrance, cue and inside pickup counter.
• Full-service menu with a variety of healthy and dietary options, including breakfast until 10:30 a.m. Open 6 a.m.-10 p.m., daily except Sundays.
• Two-lane drive-thru merging into a single pick-up point that can handle upwards of 200 cars an hour, along with a climate-controlled covered canopy for face-to-face ordering to further speed up the process and keep customers and team members comfortable.
The new Ooltewah Chick-fil-A is the second of two locations the chain is opening in metro Chattanooga within three months that included the May opening of the Chick-fil-A at East Ridge. The two restaurants bring almost 200 new jobs to the Chattanooga area this year and are part of the 129 being opened across the country in 2018. Chattanooga’s first Chick-fil-A restaurant opened in 1982 in Northgate Mall. Additional information about the Chick-fil-A at Ooltewah can be found by visiting https://www.facebook.com/cfaooltewah/.