Chick-fil-A plucks one-day record from gay marriage blowup
(Reuters) - Adding a bit of controversy to the menu doesn't seem to have hurt Chick-fil-A.
The chain restaurant had a "record-setting day" on Wednesday, according to a spokesman, as customers descended on its roughly 1,600 locations across the United States in support of its president's contentious stance against gay marriage.
The one-day blowout came after Republican ex-Presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum called for supporters to send a message about "traditional values" by eating at the chain, known for its chicken sandwiches and waffle fries and for being closed on Sundays.
Lately, the chain has been making news because of comments from company president Dan Cathy that he supports "the biblical definition of the family unit" and that backers of gay marriage were "arrogant".
"While we don't release exact sales numbers, we can confirm reports that it was a record-setting day," executive vice president of marketing Steve Robinson said in a statement on Thursday.
He added, "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day was not a company promotion; it was initiated by others."
Gay marriage supporters have pushed for a boycott of the chain and are seeking to block new Chick-fil-A outlets from opening. The mayors of Chicago and Boston have spoken out against the company, and same-sex couples around the country plan a kiss-in at Chick-fil-A restaurants on Friday.
Chick-fil-A said it was unconcerned.
"We understand from news reports that Friday may present yet another opportunity for us to serve with genuine hospitality, superior service and great food," Robinson said.
(Reporting By Joseph O'Leary; Editing by Paul Thomasch and Marguerita Choy)
Thousands line up to say goodbye to Nelson Mandela, whose body is lying in state in Pretoria. Slideshow