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New bill would require some Chick-fil-A locations to be open on Sunday

The Rest Stop Restaurant Act would require food and beverage companies at rest areas along the New York State Thruway to be open every day.
Chick-fil-A sign
Posted at 2:38 PM, Dec 20, 2023

New York lawmakers are tired of Chick-fil-A being closed on Sundays.

The state assembly recently introduced a bill, known as the Rest Stop Restaurant Act, that would require food and beverage companies contracted to provide services at rest areas along the New York State Thruway to be open every day of the week so travelers can rely on a meal. 

Chick-fil-A currently has seven locations at service areas along the 570-mile superhighway that runs across the state of New York.

The fast food chain is known for being closed on Sundays for a day of rest, a practice started by its founder Truett Cathy, according to Chick-fil-A’s website. 

"While there is nothing objectionable about a fast food restaurant closing on a particular day of the week, service areas dedicated to travelers is an inappropriate location for such a restaurant," the bill stated. "Publicly owned service areas should use their space to maximally benefit the public. Allowing for retail space to go unused one seventh of the week or more is a disservice and unnecessary inconvenience to travelers who rely on these service areas."

Applegreen, an Irish company that operates over 600 convenience store stations with a portfolio of companies that includes Chick-fil-A, took over the leases of all the service areas along the highway in 2021. 

According to a statement provided to Scripps News Buffalo from a New York State Thruway spokesperson, Applegreen’s 33-year contract requires them to have at least one hot and cold food option available 24 hours per day at all of the service stations. 

“Chick-fil-A’s Sunday closure is a brand requirement which Applegreen factored into their tenant plan,” the spokesperson continued. “Chick-fil-A will operate in less than half of the service areas on the Thruway – all of which have at least one other food concept and a convenience store open seven days a week with up to three additional concepts and a convenience store at the largest and highest volume locations.”

Legislators said they want to ensure all future contracts for food concessions at the state’s transportation facilities, which would also include the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, will be required to operate seven days a week with the exclusion of temporary concessions like farmers markets or local vendors.