City Council Votes Against Bringing Fast-Food Chain Chick-fil-A to San Antonio Airport

Mar 24, 2019

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Members of the San Antonio City Council voted against a proposal on Thursday to bring fast-food chain Chick-fil-A to San Antonio International Airport (SAT).

The decision to ban the popular restaurant came just days after ThinkProgress released a report highlighting The Chick-fil-A Foundation’s $1.8 million in contributions to organizations that are said to discriminate against the LGBTQ+ community. However, this isn’t the first time the chain has been in the spotlight for its political beliefs: In 2012, Chick-fil-A CEO Dan T. Cathy went on record opposing same-sex marriage.

The proposed Chick-fil-A was one of 10 new concessions planned for San Antonio International. The agreement between Chick-fil-A and the airport would have been for seven years. But the San Antonio City Council voted 6-4 (with one member abstaining) against the proposed Chick-fil-A, which essentially bans the fast-food chain from operating a restaurant at the airport for the time being.

San Antonio City Council member Roberto C. Treviño told the LGBTQ+ publication Out in SA that, “With this decision, the City Council reaffirmed the work our city has done to become a champion of equality and inclusion. San Antonio is a city full of compassion, and we don’t have room in our public facilities for a business with a legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior.”

A Chick-Fil-A sandwich and waffle fries (Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
A Chick-fil-A sandwich and waffle fries (Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

While this isn’t the first time the fast-food chain received flack because of its support for anti-LGBTQ+ organizations, Chick-fil-A told Out in SA that the restaurant, “would have liked to have had a dialogue with the city council before this decision was made.” The company went on to sat that, “We agree with Councilmember Treviño that everyone is and should feel welcome at Chick-fil-A. We plan to reach out to the city council to gain a better understanding of this decision.”

Chick-fil-A is relatively new to the airport concessions scene. Seven years ago, the restaurant was in just four airports across the United States. Now, the fast-food chain has more than 30 restaurants across 25 airports throughout North America. Because of the Chick-fil-A vacancy at San Antonio Airport, the concessions operator, Paradies, will look to other restaurant chains to fill the space.

TPG has reached out to the San Antonio City Council for additional comment and will update this post with amy response.

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