Chickfila sign

The Democrat-controlled New York State Assembly is seeking to force Chick-fil-A into violating one of the core tenets of its business model by demanding that it open some of its outlets on Sundays.

The popular fast food chain that is known not only for its delicious chicken sandwiches and distinctive waffle fries but also for its Christian values has traditionally closed its doors on Sundays, making it unique among its competitors but New York lawmakers are looking to bully the Atlanta-based company into changing its longstanding policy.


Bill A08336 which was introduced in Albany last week, seeks to require all businesses along the New York State Thruway Authority to be open every day, specifically singling out Chick-fil-A as the reason for the coercive move.

(Video: YouTube/CBS New York)

“While there is nothing objectionable about a fast food restaurant closing on a particular day of the week, service areas dedicated to travelers is an inappropriate location for such a restaurant,” the bill reads. “Publicly owned service areas should use their space to maximally benefit the public. Allowing for retail space to go unused one seventh of the week or more is a disservice and unnecessary inconvenience to travelers who rely on these service areas.”

The chain currently has seven restaurants at Thruway rest stops with three more scheduled to be built, according to Albany CBS affiliate WRGB.

“The rest stops are operated by Applegreen, an Irish convenience store chain, which does provide other food and beverage options at rest stops aside from the contracted restaurant. Applegreen has a 33 year contract. If approved, this legislation would impact future contracts,” the outlet reported.

“Our founder S. Truett Cathy made the decision to close on Sundays in 1946 when he opened his first restaurant in Hapeville, Georgia. Having worked seven days a week in restaurants open 24 hours, Truett saw the importance of closing on Sundays so that he and his employees could set aside one day to rest or worship if they choose, a practice we uphold today,” Chick-fil-A states on the company’s website.

Democrat Assemblyman Tony Simone who sponsored the the Rest Stop Restaurant Act explained, “It’s Sunday, Christmas Eve…thousands of New Yorkers are traveling to their families to find restaurants at rest areas across the state.”

“You know, we get hungry when we’re traveling. We may not like our brother-in-law or sister-in-law’s cooking and wanna get a snack on Christmas Eve.” Simone told Albany ABC affiliate WTEN. “To find one of the restaurants closed on the thruway is just not in the public good.”

It makes no sense for restaurants at rest stops to be closed on one of the busiest travel days of the week, but Chick-Fil-A has been allowed to limit their service to travelers in their contract with the NYS Thruway Authority. My bill with @MichelleHinchey will change that ⬇️ — Tony Simone (@tonysimone) December 18, 2023

“This legislation will ensure that all future contracts for food concessions at transportation facilities owned by the Thruway Authority, as well as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, will be required to operate seven days a week, with an exclusion to temporary concessions such as farmers markets or local vendors,” the proposed legislation reads.

“I think they’re taking away their right of choice,” one restaurant customer MXC truck driver Daniel Locke told WRGB. “This is a country of free enterprise. Just because they’re closed on Sundays, I don’t think they should ban them.”