EASLEY — Chick-fil-A’s 13th annual Cow Appreciation Day was Tuesday and Pickens County residents turned up in force for a free meal. There was only one catch: You had to be dressed up like a cow.
It was udderly fantastic.
According to the company’s website, hundreds of thousands of people showed up at the nearly 2,100 restaurants nationwide for their meal.
Adults in costume could snag a free entrée whereas kids received a free kid’s meal. Ironically, salads were not included.
Chick-fil-A began celebrating Cow Appreciation Day in 2005 — a decade after the chain launched their bovine chanting “Eat Mor Chikin” campaign — and participation has grown each year. Last year, nearly 1.6 million free entrees were given to cow-dressed customers, according to a company spokesperson.
“Every year we are amazed at the number of customers who participate in Cow Appreciation Day,” said Jon Bridges, Chick-fil-A’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “It’s a great opportunity for guests to celebrate by exploring our menu.”
Acceptable attire ranged from a few spots on a tshirt, to full blown “horn to hoof” costumes. While customers were by no means required to dress up, most seemed happy to participate.
“My dad got my costume for me,” said 8-year-old Harleigh. “It’s a onesie, but it’s still a cow so it’s OK.”
Dad was sans costume.
The staff at the Easley location said Cow Appreciation Day is one of the busiest days of the year and Patrick Dickerson, franchised restaurant operator, said he had extra help sent in from corporate.
“Days like today are why we’re hoping to build a bigger location,” said Dickerson. “We’re running at capacity. New stores are going up all the time but our numbers are insane. We need more room.”
Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A Inc. is a family owned and privately held restaurant company founded in 1967 by S. Truett Cathy. The company currently has restaurants in 46 states and Washington, D.C. and generates nearly $8 billion in sales annually, according to their website.