The other day I asked on Facebook if Dan Cathy’s comments and actions should cause us to completely discount the years of good work the local Chick Fil-A owners have done in the Decatur community. It turned into a lively conversation.
I know that whenever I have asked them for anything for the Decatur Book Festival, they’ve answered “Sure, and what else can we do?”
That means something to me. Honestly, I haven’t answered the question for myself, but I wonder how balkanized we can be as a community and still be good neighbors.
As a result of that post, John and Cristina Crays, the owners, contacted me, and I agreed to post a statement from them here.
It runs below in its entirety.
Our Agenda is Providing Genuine Hospitality & Service to All: Chick-fil-A Downtown Decatur
Since opening in March of 2005, Chick-fil-A Downtown Decatur has been dedicated to serving our guests with honor, dignity and respect. We work our hearts out to make sure every guest receives amazing food and service regardless of belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. Nothing about our agenda has changed.
My wife and I are the owner/Operators of this restaurant, and our commitment to the city goes back many years. My wife has been in the Decatur area since 1990 when she began college at Agnes Scott and then worked for the College for several years after graduating. When we learned of the Chick-fil-A opening in this city we jumped at the chance to open up our business here. We are not a corporation – we are real people and taxpayers as each Chick-fil-A franchise is independently owned and operated.
We are a family and a business dedicated to serving our community. We have consistently been generous donating food, money and coupons to the local Decatur community including DCM, CSD, the DBA, Bulldog Boosters, Decatur City Hall and Economic Development, and local churches. The list goes on and on… This weekend we are feeding the artists and volunteers during the Poverty is for Real benefit at Eddie’s Attic and next month we are donating food for a Volleyball Tournament at Decatur High School (DHS) and feeding the Decatur Book Festival volunteers.
We employ more than 70 people — many of which are DHS students. We have provided more than 20 college scholarships to team members in our restaurant alone with many of those awarded to DHS students. Our passion is building leaders for future generations, regardless of sexual orientation or beliefs.
We know that some of our guests are upset by comments made by Dan Cathy, president of Chick-fil-A Inc. He has made it clear to me those were his personal views, and that his intent was not to speak on behalf of every Chick-fil-A owner. We hope those who are upset will look at their relationship with our restaurant and allow us to continue to serve them. If you have questions or concerns, please come into the restaurant and speak with me personally.
Until then, we will continue to serve our guests in the only way we know how – with great food, exceptional service and a lot of fun.
John and Cristina Crays
Owner/Operator and Director of Customer Service
Chick-fil-A Downtown Decatur