The first Chick-fil-A restaurant in the U.K. is about to close. The Oracle shopping mall won’t be renewing the restaurant’s lease beyond its six-month pilot period after being pressured by LGBTQ activists through public protests, complaints and others raising their concerns through social media.
This announcement was given just a week after the location opened.
In a statement given by the Oracle spokesperson, the mall in Reading said that “We always have to look to introduce new concepts for our customers, however, we have decided on this occasion that the right thing to do is to only allow Chick-fil-A to trade with us for the initial six-month pilot period, and not to extend the lease any further.”
The protest “Get the chick out” was created and organized by the Reading Pride UK who tweeted “Say NO to bigotry and hatred on your high street” towards Chick-fil-A. For Reading Pride, they find the six months pilot period a “reasonable request” that gives notice for employees to find other jobs. They commended the Oracle Mall for taking their concerns in account.
The Reading Pride and other organizations had done these protests towards the food corporation due to the chain's controversial stand towards the LGBTQ community. Also, in 2012, their chairman Dan Cathy stated that she is against same-sex marriage. Since then, Chick-fil-A was being boycotted and now, pressured to close.
This marks the first failure for Chick-fil-A in their European expansion, which they’ve recently announced to the world.