PLANT CITY EDC
For years, Plant City has dreamed of having a Chick-fil-A to call their own. With a little muscle and creativity, that could become a reality.
Chick-fil-A seems to be expanding faster than ever as we see new buildings and renovations happening all around us. Many locals speculate that there’s a demographic requirement that Plant City simply fails to meet. Maybe our population is too small or maybe our average household income is too low? Consider this, Chick-fil-A has reportedly selected Zephyrhills, FL for a new freestanding restaurant. Compared to Zephyrhills, Plant City’s median household income is nearly 20% higher and we more than double their population.
So what does the community do? How does Chick-fil-A find themselves in the center of the strawberry capital of the world? Creativity. And out of the box thinking. What started as an introduction has quickly turned into a bold idea.
Gabe Porrata, Owner and Operator at Chick-fil-A Lakeland Square has long heard about the buzz in neighboring Plant City. So much so that he decided to roll up his sleeves and dig in. The young entrepreneur leaned on Plant City-based Graphite Media to make some high-level introductions. His first stop; the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce. While there, he was quickly introduced to the Plant City Economic Development Corporation and ideas began to take shape. With leadership at the city of Plant City on board, wheels began to turn and a plan was formulating.
How can we prove Plant City is the perfect location for the next Chick-fil-A? Let’s make their products locally accessible and show a consistent demand from this market. This is exactly what Gabe and the EDC have decided to do. Starting Monday, January 8, 2018, the Plant City EDC office in downtown Plant City will second as a pop-up Chick-fil-A offering a limited lunch menu Monday – Friday from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm. The food will be prepared at the Lakeland Square location and transported via truck to the Plant City EDC.
“If the turnout is anything like we’re anticipating, people can expect to wait. This is the first phase of the plan,” said Jake Austin, President of the Plant City EDC. “The EDC wanted to help this local owner/operator establish this concept and prove its viability in our historic downtown. Once we complete the test phase, I could see this concept repeated and improved at a more long-term location in hopes that it transforms into the real thing.”
The menu will include both original and spicy chicken sandwiches and chicken nuggets, waffle potato chips, chocolate chunk cookies and lemonade, sweet tea and soft drinks.
“The city, as well as the chamber, the local business owners, and the EDC have come together in a big way to get this done. I am humbled by the overwhelming support and am very excited to help make Chick-fil-A more accessible to Plant City,” said Gabe Porrata, Owner/Operator Lakeland Square Chick-fil-A.
While there is no guarantee that this brings an actual Chick-fil-A to the community, it does guarantee that we get the word out; Plant City is hungry for one.