Chick-fil-A at Totem Lake in Kirkland pulled out all the stops for its soft opening Monday.
More than 80 guests entered on a red carpet that led inside to the newly finished chicken restaurant, which is slated to officially open its doors to the public Thursday. A harpist in the corner created the ambience for the family friendly event. Children played continually in the back play structure.
Servers Monday evening dished up classic Chick-fil-A menu items, from warm, buttered biscuits to rich Greek yogurt and the fruity Grilled Market Salad, followed by juicy chicken sandwiches and fresh waffle fries.
Before the food was served, owner Derek Schiefer and his wife Christina, along with the Chick-fil-A cow mascot sporting a “Eat Mor Chikin” sign and Kirkland council member Toby Nixon and Mayor Amy Walen, cut a red ribbon inaugurating the business.
This Chick-fil-A location is the fifth to open for business in the state.
“The City of Kirkland is open for business,” Nixon said. “We wish you much success.”
Leading up to the opening Thursday, the restaurant offers customers the chance to win free Chick-fil-A for a year during its “First 100 Campout,” a tradition that dates back to 2003.
The first 100 customers to campout at the restaurant starting at 6 a.m. Wednesday have the chance to win free Chick-fil-A Thursday morning.
The first 100 customers must reside in one of the 90 zip codes within a 15-mile radius of the restaurant, must have a valid government issued photo ID and must be at least 18 years old.
For full rules of the contest, visit www.chick-fil-a.com/legal.
“The First 100 celebration will transform the restaurant parking lot into a family-friendly campout and will award more than $37,000 in free food to 100 local residents,” according to a press release.
If more than 100 people are on site come Wednesday morning when the campout begins, a drawing will be held to select the 100 winners. Those chosen will be required to stay the 24-hours before the restaurant opens at 6 a.m. Thursday.
Derek Schiefer, who recently moved to Kirkland with his family to run the business, just finished hiring 120 team members for all positions within the restaurant, starting at $13 per hour. The business offers “flexible schedules, college scholarships, leadership development, promotions that lead to management roles, and guaranteed Sundays off,” according to a press release.
Schiefer is also collecting new and gently used books to donate to a local nonprofit.
“Beginning opening day, the community is invited to bring children’s books to the restaurant starting to be placed in a Book House, donated by the Chick-fil-A Foundation,” according to a press release. “The nearly three-foot Book House, created entirely of reclaimed wood, will then be donated to serve local youth.”
The restaurant is located at 12106 N.E. 124th St. and will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Chick-fil-A at Totem Lake joins the other four Washington locations, which includes restaurants in Bellevue, Lynnwood, Tacoma and Vancouver.