Chick-fil-A broke from tradition and opened on a Sunday in the midst of Hurricane Florence — and there’s an incredible backstory

Employees at the Garner, North Carolina Chick-fil-A that opened on Sunday. ABC 7 News
  • A North Carolina Chick-fil-A broke from tradition and opened on Sunday, as the state was battered by Hurricane Florence.
  • The location’s franchisees and employees worked on Sunday to prepare hundreds of chicken sandwiches and nuggets for people who were forced to evacuate their homes because of the storm.
  • Typically, Chick-fil-A closes all locations on Sunday, but the chain sometimes opens during emergency situations to provide free food to those in need.

A North Carolina Chick-fil-A broke one of the chain’s most famous policies and opened on Sunday this weekend.

Donovan and Nikki Carless, the franchisees of a Chick-fil-A in Garner, North Carolina, broke from tradition by asking employees if they were willing to work on a Sunday this weekend. As Hurricane Florence batters North Carolina,ABC 7 reports that the franchisees decided to come up with a way that they could help.

The Carless’ reached out to employees, who were eager to work on Sunday to prepare food for people impacted by the storm. Typically, all Chick-fil-A locations are closed on Sundays, due to the founder’s religious beliefs.

According to ABC 7, the Chick-fil-A location coordinated with the Red Cross and donated 500 sandwiches and 1,200 nuggets to three different shelters for people who were forced to evacuate their homes.

While Chick-fil-A’s policy to remain closed on Sunday is well-documented, the chain makes rare exceptions in emergencies, providing free food to those in need.

“While Chick-fil-A restaurants are always closed for business on Sunday, some local restaurant teams volunteer to serve their communities in times of crisis,” the chain said in a statement to Business Insider.

Last year, an Atlanta Chick-fil-A provided free meals for the thousands of passengers stranded after a power failure halted activity at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

In 2016, following the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, local Chick-fil-A locations broke tradition to open on a Sunday. Employees worked to prepare food for first responders and people donating blood following the shooting at the gay nightclub, which killed 49 people.

And, in 2015, Chick-fil-A locations in Texas prepared free food for responders and others impacted by tornadoes that ripped through the state, killing 11 people.