It’s America’s favorite fast food restaurant, and it’s hoping Canada will feel the love. Chick-fil-A is making a run for the border, heading north to Toronto to open its first international location in Canada in early 2019.
The goal is to open 15 restaurants in the Greater Toronto area over the next five years. Just as in the U.S., the locations will be closed on Sundays, a nod to its Christian values.
The company has long come under fire from gay rights activists. CEO Dan Cathy’s comments about the biblical definition of a family and how marriage equality would bring God’s wrath on the U.S. spurred kiss-ins and boycotts across the country in 2012. Chick-fil-A’s reception in New York remains chilly. But the chicken hawkers aren’t sweating it: They made $9 billion in revenue last year and are on track to become the third-largest fast food chain in America.
It’s technically not the first time Chick-fil-A will be available in Canada: Travelers through the Calgary airport can order from a limited menu. But Torontonians were excited about Chick-fil-A coming to Canada, for various reasons:
Earlier this week the fast food chain announced its first foray into meal kits. Starting Aug. 27, the kits will be available at 150 of the brand’s Atlanta-area locations and are designed to be made in about a half hour, using the same Chick-fil-A chicken used in-house.