Community invited to celebrate Jan. 31 Chick-fil-A Opening in Columbus;

Upwards of 100 guests to earn free year supply of Chick-fil-A meals through participation in First 100 Campout


COLUMBUS, Ga. (Jan. 31, 2018) –  Chick-fil-A’s Jan. 31 restaurant opening of Columbus Park Crossing in Columbus enables the chain to better meet customer needs.

It also expands the chain’s successful business model that includes local franchise ownership, community engagement, hands-on mentoring, leadership development for upwards of 85 new team members, and award-winning customer service and freshly prepared menu with a variety of healthy and dietary options.

Operator Todd Kalish is inviting area residents to help open his second stand-alone restaurant at 5520 Whittlesey Blvd., by participating in a community celebration that has been a 14-year-old tradition.

Chick-fil-A’s First 100 celebration has given away more than $34 million through yearend 2017 and continues to draw dozens of campers the day before the opening, no matter what the weather – be it rain, snow or extreme seasonal temperatures.

Kalish, who also operates the Chick-fil-A restaurant at Bradley Park Drive that opened in 1999 and is located 1.9 miles away from his new location, is also hosting a children’s book drive as part of his continued desire to make a difference in the area from day one of opening.

First 100 Event and Children’s Book Drive

The family friendly overnight First 100 party includes the playing of games, dancing and enjoying meals throughout the countdown to the opening.

It will officially begin in the restaurant parking lot at 6 a.m., Jan. 30. Details include:

  • If more than 100 people are onsite at that time, a drawing will be held to randomly select 100 adults, 18 and older, who will have to camp out to secure their spot in line until around 5:45 a.m. on Jan. 31, grand opening morning.
  • Up to 100 adults will win a digital offer card with a year of free Chick-fil-A meals (52 meals with each consisting of a Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich, medium Waffle Potato Fries and a medium beverage).
  • The event is open to guests surrounding the restaurant with a list of eligible zip codes and complete rules found at

The celebration continues with the children’s book drive benefitting Easterseals, one of the many organizations Kalish is positively impacting and supporting in the community.

Since 2014, Chick-fil-A has donated more than 57,000 books to 325 local organizations in 45 states and Washington, D.C.

“I am excited to continue expanding Chick-fil-A in Columbus as it enables me to be a part of my guests’ lives by not only serving them at our restaurant but also on the other side of our doors as well,” said Kalish.

“It is my passion to also positively impact my 85 new restaurant team members with opportunities for personal growth and leadership development while encouraging them to continue their education.”

Kalish is continuing to look for good candidates to hire and develop at both of his restaurants. Interested candidates can apply online at

Last year the chain launched its Remarkable Futures scholarship program that increased the amount awarded nationwide by nearly 500 percent — from $1.85 million in 2016 to $9 million in 2017, with four of those awarded at Kalish’s Bradley Park Drive restaurant.

During his time as Operator, Kalish has provided upwards of 30 scholarships to team members with 18 of those at his Bradley Park Crossing restaurant.

Chick-fil-A’s award-winning customer service sets the standard in the industry resulting from an amazing group of team members on the front and back lines — loving what they do and providing excellent customer service.

Operators are passionate in helping these team members succeed in whatever endeavor they choose to pursue in life.

Thousands of former employees, representing all career fields from education to legal to medical, have credited working at Chick-fil-A for helping them learn valuable lifelong skills that helped build a foundation for their success. Many team members’ positive work experience led them to become Operators themselves, which is no small feat since Chick-fil-A receives nearly 30,000 applications annually for around 120 franchise opportunities.

Kalish has several team members with more than a decade of Chick-fil-A experience including Linda Warren who has 26 years with the chain.  He continues to mentor team members desiring to have full-time Chick-fil-A careers, whether it is to become an Operator or work at corporate.  With two achieving that goal, other former team members are on the same path.

About Operator Todd Kalish

Growing up in a military family, in 1992 Kalish became a fifth-generation printer with Chick-fil-A as a client. Seizing an opportunity to pursue becoming an Operator, he left that industry in 2002 to open the Chick-fil-A restaurant at Avon in metro Indianapolis. He helped build the brand in a relatively new market.

An opportunity to return to his southern roots moved his family to Columbus, Ga. nearly 10 years ago to acquire the Bradley Park Crossing restaurant. His intentional development of team members into leaders includes executive coaching with The Connexus Group and online leadership training with Wildsparq. His passion for helping and developing people also extends outside his restaurant doors into the community. His efforts include bringing and supporting the chain’s Leader Academy at five local high schools, assisting Goodwill Industries job placement program with job fairs, training and, in some cases, hiring of their people; and serving on Columbus State University communications board for the past seven years.

Restaurant Details

Kalish’s new restaurant has been especially designed to enhance all aspects of a guest’s experience from the drive-thru to the counter to in-restaurant dining. Highlights include a:

  • Heritage design with a dining room that seats 100 and showcases handmade, authentic materials for a vintage-inspired interior, including two large gathering tables made from reclaimed wood and light fixtures from recycled Coca-Cola bottles and peach baskets, and an interactive two-story, indoor play area.
  • Chick-fil-A One mobile ordering parking area with four spots and a designated inside pickup counter to further minimize guest’s wait time.
  • full-service menu with a variety of healthy and dietary options, including breakfast until 10:30 a.m. It will be open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and closed Sunday to provide a day of rest and time with family and friends for team members.
  • high-capacity kitchen showcasing freshly prepared menu items using premium ingredients while surpassing industry standards in food preparation and safety.
  • drive-thru that is award-winning and built around the perimeter to not impede parking and features a dual ordering with single pick-up and payment lane that can handle upwards of 200 cars.

Chick-fil-A Expansion in Columbus

The Chick-fil-A restaurant at Columbus Park Crossing is the fifth in Georgia opening this year within three weeks and the second in Columbus in the past seven months, following the June 2017 Manchester Expressway opening. This August will mark the 45th anniversary of Chick-fil-A entering the Columbus market with the 1973 opening in Columbus Square Mall and has today has grown to 14 locations. Some 140 stand-alone Chick-fil-A restaurants are projected to open across the country in 2018, bringing some 13,000 new jobs. Additional information about the Chick-fil-A at Columbus Park Crossing can be found by visiting

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