The Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce welcomed the new owners of Chick-fil-A with a ground breaking ceremony on Monday.
“The Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce is so honored that Lauren and Riley Emter chose Palestine to open their Chick-fil-A,” said Tish Shade, Chamber CEO. “They will be such an asset to our already amazing members of the Chamber and community. When the time comes, we can’t wait to help them celebrate their Grand Opening with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. Everyone in town has been watching the building go up and are so excited for the day that they can turn on the OPEN sign. The Emters are the sweetest couple and are already such a blessing to Palestine. We are so lucky to have them.”
The Emters, accompanied by their three boys, thanked everyone for coming out for the occasion.
“We are very excited to welcome this new business and the family opening this business to our community,” Mayor Steven Presley said. “I believe they both will be a great addition to our community.”
The project is expected to be completed by the fall.
The company plans to hire 80 to 100 part-time employees and 10 to 15 full-time employees. Pay rates for those jobs are not yet known.
Through negotiations with Palestine Economic Development Corporation, the city has agreed to $40,000 in infrastructure support to develop mall pad site No. 2 in the northeast corner of the property.
Anderson County commissioners also approved $40,000 for the project. With PEDC earmarking $70,000 for the project, it adds up to $150,000 in local infrastructure support.
The project required significant ground work, including asphalt removal, sewer and water lines, and a retaining wall.
The owners did not request any tax abatement, reimbursement, or other incentives.
The new restaurant will include a playground, dining patio, and two covered drive-through lanes. Leslie Cloer, City Manager, said she expects the business to start taking job applications in summer, 40 to 60 days before opening.
Chick-fil-A, specializing in chicken sandwiches, is one of the nation's largest food chains. Founded in 1946 with headquarters in College Park, Georgia, the company operates more than 2,300 restaurants in 47 states, with plans for a location in Hawaii. Restaurants serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with catered selections from its menu for special events.
Founded by a devout Southern Baptist, Chick-fil-A restaurants close Sundays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Chick-fil-A retains ownership of each restaurant. The company selects locations and builds the restaurants. “Eat Mor Chikin” has been the chain's long-time slogan.