Note: I have no idea where that photo was taken, but figure it was not outside the Chick-Fil-A.

One Chick-Fil-A restaurant in California has a traffic problem that they must resolve.

Chick-Fil-A has done plenty of unethical things over the years, and has received some pushback as a result. There was the time in 2016 when The Muppets severed ties with Chick-Fil-A due to the fast food chain’s CEO’s opposition to same-sex marriage. The result was the removal of Muppet toys from Chick-Fil-A’s kid’s meals.

At the time, The Jim Henson Company posted a statement on their Facebook page:

The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over fifty years we have notified Chick-Fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors. Lisa Henson, our CEO is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-Fil-A to GLAAD.

In 2020, Mashed reported that Chick-fil-A had a “corporate purpose” listed on the company’s website which read: “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-Fil-A.”

Mashed also reported that (according to Forbes) Chick-fil-A was sued at least 12 times between 1988 and 2007 on charges of employment discrimination. One former Muslim employee alleges he was fired after refusing to participate in group prayer to Jesus Christ – a suit that was “settled on undisclosed terms.”

According to Mashed, Chick-Fil-A had a lawsuit brought against them for gender discrimination, citing a “pattern of discrimination against female employees.” And a 2016 lawsuit was also about discrimination, this time against disabled applicants. More specifically, an autistic man tried to apply for a job at Chick-Fil-A. The applicant’s job coach was told by the CFA manager that “Chick-Fil-A was not interested in hiring people with disabilities”, and “people with disabilities would not be able to succeed at Chick-Fil-A.”

A new problem for Chick-Fil-A has popped up in Santa Barbara County, California. The problem has been described by the Santa Barbara City Council as “a public nuisance“, and is specific to one particular Chick-Fil-A location.

KSBY reported the following information:

According to the council, in recent years, the queuing from Chick-fil-A’s drive-through onto State Street has created serious traffic congestion, as well as hazardous conditions for pedestrians, cyclists and those with disabilities….

It is a big enough problem that the Santa Barbara County council voted unanimously to direct the city attorney in preparing a draft ordinance with findings to support that the operations at the Chick-Fil-A restaurant are a public nuisance. Council members will continue the public meeting to June 7 when the ordinance will be presented.

Until that happens, city staff will work with Chick-Fil-A to evauate approaches to improve their operations that are being seen as a nuisance. They want Chick-Fil-A representatives to provide a letter (by March 11) that outlines the mitigations they are implementing. Some suggestions appear to be: the use of a traffic control staff person, expedited order processing, and monthly survey reports to city staff.

KEYT reported that Chick-Fil-A did a presentation during the city council meeting. They discussed how they are trying to alleviate the problem. One resident said: “This operation has been a nuisance for 4 years. It now needs to be officially declared one.” KEYT reported that this specific Chick-Fil-A gets at least 2,500 customers a day.

The Chick-Fil-A in Santa Barbara is located at 3707 State Street. I used Google to see an overhead view of the restaurant. At the time the photo was taken, almost all of the parking spaces were full. There is one entryway for vehicles that want to go through the Drive-Thru, which leads around the building to a space where people can go back onto the road.

There is some sidewalk outside the restaurant, and it is very close to the street. The sidewalk is broken up at the Chick-Fil-A entrance to the Drive-Thru, and again at the Drive-Thru’s exit.

If the restaurant typically gets 2,500 customers a day, that can easily become a nuisance for people who need to access the sidewalk. It could be very difficult for a person in a wheelchair, or who uses a cane, to safely navigate the sidewalk without getting hit by a car.

If the traffic in and out of that Chick-Fil-A is frequently that busy, it could make it frustrating for people who live nearby, or who have to drive past it on their way to work and/or back home. Imagine having to navigate through that on a daily basis!

I don’t live in Santa Barbara, California. Whatever decision the council makes regarding Chick-Fil-A’s traffic problem will not affect me in any way. That said, if I were working in a fast-food restaurant that regularly got 2,500 customers a day (many of which were going through the Drive-Thru), I would absolutely notice that it was a problem.

The California city I live in has prohibited restaurants from having a Drive-Thru. If things do not work out between the Santa Barbara City Council, and Chick-Fil-A, perhaps the city will choose to end the Drive-Thru at restaurants that are located on very busy streets.

Chick-Fil-A has a Traffic Problem is a post written by Jen Thorpe on Book of Jen and is not allowed to be copied to other sites.

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