Students looking to get their fried chicken fix filled the new Chick-fil-A restaurant in William and Mary’s Tribe Square when it opened for the first time on Monday, Oct. 1.
William and Mary announced plans to bring Chick-fil-A to campus last January, according to a news release. Jason Aupied, resident district manager for William and Mary dining services, said the new restaurant saw a healthy mix of students, school staff and members of the community during its opening day.
He said Chick-fil-A was consistently among the most-requested fast food chains in student dining surveys.
“There used to be a Chick-fil-A on campus up until 2014, but when the Marketplace (student dining location) underwent a renovation, that location closed,” Aupied said. “We do surveys with the students every year, and from those surveys, there was a recurring theme that students wanted to see Chick-fil-A back on campus.”
The new restaurant occupies a retail space on the first floor of Tribe Square, a mixed retail and residential complex that houses 56 upper-level students on its second and third floors.
“We did a dining survey last year that was a little bit more extensive and looked at things like food preferences and brand preferences, and Chick Fil A definitely stood out,” he said. “It’s also known in the industry for its quality and its customer service, so it was a logical choice for us to bring in here to campus.”
The new Chick-fil-A is the fast food chain’s third location in Greater Williamsburg, joining stores on Mooretown Road and in the Monticello Marketplace shopping center. The restaurant is staffed by 47 employees, 23 of whom are William and Mary students, Aupied said.
“We have some students that will only work a couple of shifts a week based on (their availability), so we plug them into those spots,” he said. “There are some that can only come for a few hours during the day, but that really helps us get through the lunch crunch.”
The Tribe Square Chick-fil-A has 42 seats in its dining room, with plans to add an additional 47 seats outside the restaurant pending approval from the Williamsburg Architectural Review Board. Unlike other on-campus dining options, Aupied said Chick-fil-A will be open year-round, but will follow adjusted hours during academic breaks.
The new Chick-fil-A is at Tribe Square Suite 101, and is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and is closed on Sundays.
Gloucester-based Proximo Marketing Strategies will partner with Nelson’s Heating & Cooling Inc. in Toano for a networking event called “Cool Off With The Nelson’s” on Oct. 6.
The event was originally scheduled to take place in September, but was postponed due to Hurricane Florence. Chris and Dan Nelson, the owners of the local heating and cooling service company, will be at the event along with other service-based businesses in the area to meet and network with attendees, according to Courtney Riley, Proximo’s owner and president.
Other locally based businesses at the event will include: FSI-Foundation Systems Inc., Pyramid Roofing and The Drying Co./ThermalTec. Food and drinks will be provided by the Gloucester-based Good Life Kitchen and The Virginia Beer Company.
Riley estimated about 85 people will attend the business networking event.
“Cool Off With The Nelson’s” will be from noon to 4 p.m.at the HVAC company’s headquarters at 8105 Richmond Road in Toano. The event is invitation-only, but area businesses and residents interested in attending can contact Proximo Social Media Strategist MaKenna R. Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org or Erica Bradley, the marketing company’s vice president, at email@example.com.
Arriaza can be reached at 757-790-9313 or on Twitter @rodrigoarriaza0.