Chick-fil-A Broke Its Biggest Rule to Help Travelers stranded in Atlanta

December 18, 2017, 1:58 PM UTC

Chick-fil-A broke its biggest rule over the weekend.

The Georgia-based chain famously doesn’t open on Sundays, a practice that was started by founder Truett Cathy in 1946. But when a fire at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport over the weekend caused a 11-hour blackout, the restaurant scrambled to staff up, eventually handing out 2,000 meals to stranded travelers.

This isn’t the first time Chick-fil-A has opened on a Sunday. The restaurant opened its doors in 2016 after a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando. Years earlier Dan Cathy, Truett Cathy’s son and the current owner of Chick-fil-A, sparked a scandal when he publicly stated that he and the business were opposed to gay marriage. His statements led to a years-long publicity nightmare for the business, though revenues remained strong throughout.

Read: Atlanta’s Airport Blackout Will Cause Nationwide Travel Woes for Days

The company emphasizes that the policy of closing on Sundays allows employees and customers to spend time with friends and family. In a statement Dan Cathy said the restaurants occasionally open on Sundays “to serve communities in need.”

The Atlanta airport is the world’s busiest and the power outage left travelers stranded on one of the busiest travel weeks of the year. Delta Airlines (DAL) cancelled 900 flights on Sunday and an additional 300 on Monday. American Airlines (AAL) and Southwest Airlines (LUV) also cancelled flights, and all flights bound for Atlanta were grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration.