Chick-fil-A has historically been mostly identified with shopping malls, as the majority of its first locations were in malls. However, in recent year.. read mores, most of its growth has been in freestanding units with sit-down and drive-through service; as of October 2007, the chain has over 700 freestanding units. It also has drive-through-only locations and has placed its restaurants in universities, hospitals, and airports through licensing agreements.
The chain grew from the Dwarf Grill (later the Dwarf House, a name still used by the chain), a restaurant opened by S. Truett Cathy, who is still the company's chairman, in the Atlanta suburb of Hapeville in 1946. This restaurant is located near a now defunct Ford plant, where workers once caught meals between shifts. The first Chick-fil-A opened in Atlanta's Greenbriar Mall in 1967. The current slogan, "We Didn't Invent the Chicken, Just the Chicken Sandwich," is based on a true story: at a time when hamburgers dominated fast-food menus since the beginning, Cathy was credited with creating and inventing the chicken sandwich, which went on to be Chick-fil-A's flagship menu item. His big idea for the chicken sandwich stemmed from the idea of creating a quick way to serve food. He discovered that pressure cooking the chicken in peanut oil allowed for a fast serving time. The sandwich also comes with two pickles simply because that was the only condiment he had on hand when the sandwich was created.
Chick-fil-A achieved quite a bit of notability in October 2003, when it was publicly announced in a major ad campaign that a new store, opening in Goodyear, Arizona, on October 16, 2003, would offer, to the first 100 to enter its doors, coupons for a free combo meal every week for a year. Along with this promotion (which was widely featured on the Internet), the company threw a huge opening day carnival, complete with karaoke, free ice cream, klieg lights, and prize raffles. The "First 100" promotion is now held at the opening of every new Chick-fil-A restaurant, with people camping out for up to several days before the opening to guarantee their place in line.
Since 1997, the Atlanta-based company has been the title sponsor of the Peach Bowl, an annual college football bowl game played in Atlanta. Beginning in the 2006 season, the Peach Bowl became the Chick-fil-A Bowl.