Phil and Patty Marraccini get into the spirit of Cow Appreciation Day to support Chick-fil-A.

Phil and Patty Marraccini get into the spirit of Cow Appreciation Day to support Chick-fil-A.

Phil Marraccini

Phil Marraccini

In case you didn’t know, you just missed the 15th Annual Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-A. It is the one day of the year when it’s okay to dress udderly crazy in exchange for free food. Here's how it works:

Make or buy your cow costume (or any sort of cow apparel, really). Wear your cow costume to your favorite Chick-fil-A and receive a free entree.

In support of this organization that stands firm on its Christian beliefs, honoring Sunday as a day of worship and rest, Patty and I garnished our “cow and chicken” apparel to join the fun of getting a “Free Meal.”

We made our way to their closest outlet, Dadeland Mall. After mulling over the situation, we left the safety of our car to get in line for the best chicken on anyone’s menu. At first people looked at us as if we were nuts, but suddenly families and employees from the Food Court joined us for pictures.

Chick-fil-A started in 1946 as the Dwarf Grill (now the Dwarf House) restaurant, opened by S. Truett Cathy, the chain's former chairman and CEO. Truett Cathy experimented for years and finally arrived at the perfect recipe in 1964. On that day, the Chick-fil-A® Chicken Sandwich was born. That

capital A is on purpose – “it means "grade A top quality.” The first Chick-fil-A store opened in 1967, in the food court of the Greenbriar Mall, in a

suburb of Atlanta.”

The Chick-fil-A mission statement is: "Be America's best quick-service

restaurant plus to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.” All their stores stay closed on Sundays because of its

company values, even with the fast-food chain having locations inside stadiums and shopping centers. For that reason, Chick-fil-A will not be open during the Super Bowl.

As noted on their website, "Corporate founder, S. Truett Cathy was a devout Southern Baptist; his religious beliefs had a major impact on the

company.” It is estimated that this restaurant giant loses $1.9 billion in sales each year by being closed on Sundays. Dan Cathy, son of the founder,

continues the corporate message stating, "It's not about being closed, it's about how we use the time.” There was one exception to the Sunday rule when a major power outage canceled flights for tens of thousands of

passengers in Atlanta.

Chick-fil-A ended up distributing over 2,000 sandwiches and bottled waters to help those stranded.

Chick-fil-A stands firm on its Christian beliefs in spite of some public pressure with anti-Christian campaigns.

Yet today, the company generates more revenue per restaurant than any other fast-food chain. They are located in 47 states missing only Hawaii, Alaska and Vermont. It’s has been reported that the company will likely become the third-largest fast-food chain within the next two years.

With that in mind, mark your calendar for the value of the 16th Annual Give Away from the company that stands tall to uphold its values.

Fun fact: Every Chick-fil-A restaurant is responsible for making its own

pickles, a process that takes three days.

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