With quick meals opening at Rock Row, it's time to rely your chickens – Mainebiz

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People lined up for so long as two hours Thursday on the Rock Row improvement in Westbrook, however not due to the morning’s information {that a} $75 million convention center is coming to the site.

No, they waited for rooster sandwiches, rooster nuggets, rooster biscuits and even rooster noodle soup. All are on the menu on the new Chick-fil-A restaurant that opened for drive-thru service at 6:30 a.m., and is barely the second Maine franchise among the many 2,600-restaurant chain.

The first opened in Bangor 5 years in the past, in accordance with the Chick-fil-A Inc. publicity portal, the Chicken Wire.

Chick-fil-A expects the 5,200-square-foot Westbrook restaurant, with 98 seats, to make use of about 100 full- and part-timers when fully staffed up.

The non-public firm, based mostly in Atlanta, dates to 1967 and right now remains to be run by the household of the late founder, S. Truett Cathy. Revenues in 2020 reached $12.8 billion. That determine ranks Chick-fil-A behind solely McDonald’s and Starbucks among the many largest U.S. fast-food firms, in accordance with commerce journal QSR.

Chick-fil-A has added roughly 600 of its eating places since 2016, and 107 of them in 2020 alone. The chain covers each state however Alaska, Hawaii and Vermont.

Brad Terrell, the Rock Row franchise proprietor/operator, stated the corporate noticed some upside in southern Maine.

“Our Chick-fil-A real estate team is constantly evaluating potential new locations for expansion and southern Maine represents a tremendous opportunity for us,” he informed Mainebiz by e mail.

Chick-fil-A isn’t alone in flocking to Maine. In July, plans have been introduced to add four Jersey Mike’s Subs shops in Brunswick, Saco, Topsham and Windham. Previously, there was just one, in Scarborough.

But the expansion of these fast-food joints comes as different eateries are closing. Even earlier than the pandemic shut down many eating places, Aroostook County’s solely three Burger King franchises closed permanently in February 2020. By the tip of final 12 months, 4 extra had adopted.

And not solely are Chick-fil-A’s nonetheless a uncommon chook. Many different chains within the QSR prime 50 aren’t species discovered anyplace in Maine.

Photo / William Hall

Earlier this week, the Chick-fil-A eatery at Rock Row in Westbrook was virtually able to open.

In truth, fewer than half of the QSR prime 50 fast-food firms have branches within the state, in accordance with Mainebiz analysis. The branches complete 568, or roughly 4 per 10,000 individuals. In 2018, the state ranked ninth for the fewest variety of fast-food eating places within the nation.

Dunkin’, which relies in Massachusetts and has lengthy operated many franchises within the Northeast, counts 163 in Maine. Subway sandwich retailers rank because the second-most quite a few chain within the state, with 114, adopted by McDonald’s, with 62.

Several different nationwide chains function solely two dozen or so eateries apiece: Burger King, Domino’s, Dairy Queen.

And in case you’re searching for a Sonic milkshake, a Jack within the Box burger or a Jimmy John sandwich, you’re out of luck. Those chains, rating Nos. 10, 15 and 29 on QSR’s income checklist respectively, function all through a lot of the U.S. But not in Maine.

Back at Chick-fil-A, Georgia native Terrell was additionally from away, till a number of years in the past.

“I used to be launched to New England whereas serving to to open Chick-fil-A Seekonk [New Hampshire] in 2017. Right away, I knew New England is the place I wished to name dwelling,” he said. “My husband and I visited the long run web site of Chick-fil-A Rock Row that very same season and set our sights on touchdown in Maine long-term.

“I was thrilled to be selected to operate Chick-fil-A Northshore Mall in 2018 and hoped it would be a stepping stone to bringing Chick-fil-A to southern Maine, and have been a proud New Englander ever since.”


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