Home Business Chick-fil-A Cuts Ribbon, Ready To Open To The Public

Chick-fil-A Cuts Ribbon, Ready To Open To The Public

Ribbon cutting at The Lake District Chick-fil-A on Wednesday morning, March 20th.

A small crowd gathered on a beautiful spring morning at The Lake District Chick-fil-A on Wednesday, March 20, 2024, to show they are ready to open. The crowd of about 30 people included the operator of the Lakeland Chick-fil-A, John Francisco, plus his family, other employees as well as Lakeland city officials and members of the Chamber of Commerce.

The Lakeland Chick-fil-A has been highly anticipated and is the largest store in the region, able to service 66 vehicles in the drive-thru lanes. According to company employees, there are about 3,000 Chick-fil-A’s in operation with Lakeland being the newest. Mr. Francisco, his wife Mary Beth, and 4 children also live in Lakeland. Previously at the Union Avenue Chick-fil-A, he told the crowd after living in Lakeland the last 2 years, he hoped the opportunity for a local store would come open and it did. He also stressed how many jobs have already been created and the leadership opportunities those jobs will provide, especially to young people. “We’ve hired 130 people already and look to add a few more.” Yehuda Netanel, the developer of The Lake District, was in California and unable to attend but he told Lakeland Currents he was excited Chick-fil-A was ready to open in the mixed-use development. “Having a Chick-fil-A open in any city is a sign of confidence and we’re happy they chose to open in The Lake District,” he said.

The operator for the Lakeland Chick-fil-A, John Francisco, and his family. The Francisco’s are also residents of Lakeland.

Wil Ashworth, president of the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce, helped welcome the store to Lakeland, saying, “We’re so excited to have you here.” Mr. Ashworth also reinforced that Chick-fil-A does produce leaders, saying one of his employees at his State Farm insurance office worked at Chick-fil-A when she was younger and how she has turned into a wonderful employee for him.

Inside the new Chick-fil-A in The Lake District. The store officially opens at 6am on March 21, 2024.

Major Josh Roman also welcomed Chick-fil-A to Lakeland, saying the sales tax revenue will be a great boost for Lakeland and helps reinforce the overall transformation of Lakeland’s identity. Vice Mayor Wesley Wright agreed the sales tax dollars would be a great help and that he was happy the food giant was now part of the community. Joking, Mr. Wright told the crowd, “Everyone around here loves the Lord’s chicken.”

“It’s been a long time coming, and we’re happy this chicken decided to roost in Lakeland,” Mr. Netanel said.

The Lake District Chick-fil-A will officially open to the public at 6 a.m. on Thursday, March 21, 2024.