Nelda Reed probably saved herself an hour or more of wait time by missing Wednesdays Chick-fil-A madhouse on the Boise State campus.
The Caldwell woman went Thursday instead, because she didnt know until then that a Chick-fil-A was located in the Treasure Valley, she said. A few minutes before the restaurant closed, she walked up to the counter and ordered with virtually no wait.
Her purchase will matter just as much as to the fast food chains bottom line as if she had made it a day earlier, when hundreds of customers showed up to observe Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.
Thats me giving my vote by buying their product, Reed said.
In June, Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy sparked a controversy when he said his company supported traditional marriage. Protests ensued, with gay-marriage supporters threatening boycotts.
In response, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum called for traditional-marriage supporters everywhere to buy fried chicken or any meal, for that matter at Chick-fil-A on Wednesday. Their followers toed the line, and the company reaped the benefits.
Wednesdays haul for the restaurant in Boise States Student Union building was seven times what a normal day this time of year would yield, retail manager Derrick Tenney said. He said he kept the restaurant open an extra two hours to cash in on the political movement.
Not everyone is suportive of the fast-food outlet. Matt Weaver, a sophomore at Boise State, said the university shouldnt allow Chick-fil-A to operate on school property because to do so runs counter to Boise States anti-discrimination policy.
We would not allow a sexist or racist business to operate on our campus, so how can BSU continue to support Chick-fil-A? Weaver wrote in an email to university president Bob Kustra.
Daniel Thomas, whos worked at the restaurant for a year, said hes never seen anything like Wednesdays crowd. The line of customers snaked hundreds of feet from the service counter through the Student Unions common area and almost out the front door, he said. Thats a distance of about 200 feet.
Clarisse Tate of Boise, who arrived at 11:40, estimated at least 1,000 customers were waiting and eating while she was there.
Perhaps most surprising was how few confrontations were reported.
Everybody was smiling. Everybody was pleasant. Everybody was polite, Tate said of Wednesdays anti-gay marriage crowd.
Not to be outdone, Chick-fil-A protesters plan to hold a kiss-in Friday at which same-sex couples make out at the restaurant, which is open from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sven Berg: 377-6275