University needs Chick-fil-A
Philosophies of a Particular American
Dan Cathy, the president of the restaurant chain Chick-fil-A, made religiously motivated comments critical of homosexuality this summer, and then — as should be expected in a society where information moves fast and things get blown out of proportion — Chick-fil-A became the center of a national controversy. The mayor of Boston said he would block the restaurant’s expansion into his city. A Chicago city alderman expressed similar views. Students at Northeastern University successfully prevented a Chick-fil-A from opening up on their campus, and New York University’s student government actually held a vote about whether they should kick Chick-fil-A off their campus (though they ultimately decided to keep Chick-fil-A). Some people really thought Chick-fil-A was a great enemy of gays in this country that we all needed to stand up against. Others, who either agreed with Cathy or thought that people were discriminating against Christians, stood in support of Chick-fil-A over the summer, attending the restaurant in droves on the informal “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.” I spent most of the summer in Arkansas, where Chick-fil-A’s are very common, and let me tell you that “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” caused horrible traffic during lunch hour.
I personally do not agree with Cathy’s religious beliefs. I believe that Cathy’s version of Christianity incorrectly interprets the New Testament, and I not only have no sympathy for the anti-gay stance he takes, but I also greatly dislike the fact that he has all Chick-fil-A restaurants close on Sunday. As far as I am concerned, the supposed need to rest on the Sabbath is just as silly and unnecessary a rule as the supposed need not to have homosexual relationships. At the same time, though, I very much respect the fact that Chick-fil-A does not force its upper managements’ views on people. Chick-fil-A will happily serve anybody regardless of which sex he or she chooses to date. Sure, the restaurant has donated money to charities that promote traditional marriage as opposed to gay marriage, but Chick-fil-A is just a restaurant. It cannot change the world. The younger generation is so greatly unopposed to homosexuality compared to the older generation that homosexuality is guaranteed to become completely mainstream in the coming decades, regardless of where anybody eats lunch. I would also like to point out that most kosher restaurants are probably run by Orthodox Jews who are as unsympathetic to homosexuality as Cathy is, and the pervasive existence of these eating establishments in New York State has done nothing to stop New York from legalizing gay marriage. In the great Chick-fil-A homosexuality debate from the summer of 2012, I side with those who went to Chick-fil-A on “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” though I personally did not go on that day because of the insane traffic outside all the Chick-fil-A’s near me.
And I do find it especially disturbing that so many college students have gotten on the anti-Chick-fil-A bandwagon, particularly because Chick-fil-A represents the pinnacle of something college students hold dear — fast food.
I can say with complete honesty that Chick-fil-A is the best fast food restaurant I have ever had the privilege of eating at. Its food, particularly the chicken, is scrumptious, juicy and flavorful like you wouldn’t believe, and worlds better than the chicken you would get at most sit-down places that charge more. I have only had boneless fried chicken breast comparable to Chick-fil-A’s at the Cheesecake Factory, and the boneless fried chicken breast at the Cheesecake Factory was part of a dish that cost more than 12 dollars. The research chefs at Chick-fil-A are geniuses who have made it so the common man can have the chicken of kings. A chicken sandwich for $3 or $4 at Chick-fil-A is as good as it will get. You will never want to order a $9 chicken sandwich at a chain diner again. The same goes for their chicken tenders. And for breakfast, once you have chicken breast on a biscuit from Chick-fil-A, you’ll realize you’ve been deprived for your whole breakfast-eating life. The service, at least at the locations in Arkansas, was amazing too, with staff who waited on you better than the staff at some legitimate sit-down places, bringing food to your table, refilling your drinks and clearing your garbage.
I love Chick-fil-A. I wish there was one in walking distance of the University. I am certain it would meaningfully increase the happiness of Rutgers students and other Central Jerseyans. Just imagine a night of partying that goes until the morning and then waltzing into Chick-fil-A to indulge on chicken biscuit sandwiches, or catering for events with a box of succulent and moist chicken tenders accompanied by an array of gourmet dipping sauces. Sure, it might make you feel noble and progressive to boycott Chick-fil-A or try to stifle its expansion or hurt its business, but by doing so, you would be causing more harm than good. Let us as a student body take a stand contrary to our brethren at Northeastern University and, in the wake of the controversy this summer, create an on-campus movement to bring Chick-fil-A to the University. Let us show the world that we are above petty religious squabbles and instead strive for something far more meaningful, great food and service at excellent prices considering the quality.
Ed Reep is a Rutgers Business School junior majoring in supply chain and marketing science with minors in economics and business and technical writing. His column, “Philosophies of a Particular American, runs on alternate Mondays.