ATLANTA, June 25 // PRNewswire // -- Holy cow! It's time to break out your cow suit and leave your wallet out to pasture. On Friday, July 11, the Chick-fil-A(R) chain will celebrate its annual Cow Appreciation Day event by offering a free meal to any customer who isn't "too chicken" to visit any of the chain's nearly 1,400 participating restaurants fully dressed as a cow.
Customers fully dressed as a cow will be rewarded with a free Chick-fil-A Meal, which includes an entree of choice, a side item and a Dr Pepper (or another beverage of choice). And for those who are a little timid to wear spots from head to toe, Chick-fil-A will award a complimentary entree to customers partially dressed in cow attire, such as a cow-spotted scarf, purse, hat or other accessory.
The July 11 event marks Chick-fil-A's fourth annual Cow Appreciation Day celebration. Last year's event -- and the resulting turnout -- confirmed that Chick-fil-A has a strong following of customers willing to go to great lengths to show their appreciation for cows. Thousands of customers visited Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country dressed in cow-themed costumes, ranging from simple cow-spotted t-shirts to full cow suits complete with furry ears, cow bells and homemade sandwich boards with personalized renditions of Chick-fil-A's "Eat Mor Chikin(R)" Cow messages.
"Cow Appreciation Day is a great barometer of how passionate our customers are," said Steve Robinson, Chick-fil-A's senior vice president of marketing. "If you're willing to dress up like a cow for a free meal, you're obviously a loyal and even raving Chick-fil-A fan. While the event is a natural tie with our cow-themed marketing campaign, Cow Appreciation Day is intended to be a fun day to reward some of our most loyal customers with free food. We enjoy watching the event grow year after year."
It was "udder insanity" at Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country last year for the Cow Appreciation Day celebration. The Chick-fil-A restaurant in Hendersonville, N.C. hosted a herd of 350 cow-spotted customers from summer camps, daycares and preschools. Another group of ambitious college students -- self dubbed "The Herd" -- set out on a "cattle drive" from Knoxville, Tenn. to Atlanta, Ga. on a mission to visit 30 Chick-fil-A restaurants in one day.
The excitement around Cow Appreciation Day is further proof that the love for Chick-fil-A's beloved bovines is as strong as ever. For the past 13 years, the renegade "Eat Mor Chikin" Cows have entertained consumers with their desperate, self-preserving antics in an effort to convert beef eaters into chicken fans. The Chick-fil-A Cows and the "Eat Mor Chikin" campaign have enjoyed such widespread public success that the chain has turned the theme into a fully integrated marketing program. In addition to clever roadside billboards, the "Eat Mor Chikin" Cows are the focal point of Chick-fil-A's in- store point-of-purchase materials, promotions, radio and TV advertising, and clothing and merchandise sales.
In 2007, the Chick-fil-A "Eat Mor Chikin" Cows were recognized as one of America's most popular advertising icons in a public vote sponsored by Advertising Week and became the newest members of New York's Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame. A permanent banner to recognize this achievement will be unveiled on Madison Avenue in 2008.
The Cows and their witty messages also have contributed to Chick-fil-A's business, as the chain's sales have more than quintupled since the Cows' first full year as unofficial icons for the brand, from $502 million in 1995 to more than $2.64 billion in 2007.
Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A, Inc. is the nation's second-largest quick- service chicken restaurant chain (based on sales), with nearly 1,400 restaurants in 37 states and Washington D.C. In 2007, Chick-fil-A produced record sales of $2.64 billion -- a 16.09 percent overall increase and an 8.47 percent same-store sales gain that helped extend the chain's streak of consecutive sales gains to 40 years. In 2008, BusinessWeek magazine included the chain in its Top 25 list of Customer Service Champs.
Credited with inventing the boneless breast of chicken sandwich over 45 years ago and first introducing the chicken nugget concept, Chick-fil-A serves nutritious and freshly prepared food products in mall locations, stand-alone restaurants, drive-thru-only restaurants, Chick-fil-A Dwarf House(R) and Truett's Grill(R) full-service restaurants, and through licensed outlets in college campuses, hospitals, airports, businesses and industrial sites. More information about Chick-fil-A is available on the chain's websites, located at http://www.chick-fil-a.com , http://www.chick-fil-a.com/pressroom or http://www.truettcathy.com
SOURCE Chick-fil-A, Inc.