After months of uncertainty and a few ruffled feathers, Chick-fil-A announced it plans to open a new location in Redwood City in 2020 after a permit was granted by the city Oct. 23.
The new location will be at 536 Whipple Ave. and will be in addition to about a dozen existing Bay Area Chick-fil-A locations and more than 2,300 locations in 47 states, all of which are closed on Sundays. The next closest Chick-fil-A is in Sunnyvale.
While the Georgia-based chain is popular, it has also been a subject of controversy since 2012 when the company’s president and chief operating officer, Dan Cathy, publicly disagreed with same-sex marriage. The company has also been criticized for donating to groups and causes widely perceived to be anti-LGBTQ.
In a press release issued Monday, however, the chain announced its affiliated foundation will introduce a more focused giving approach, donating to a smaller number of organizations working exclusively in the areas of hunger, homelessness and education. Chick-fil-A announced the foundation committed $9 million in 2020 to Junior Achievement, Covenant House International and to local food banks.
“Our goal is to donate to the most effective organizations in the areas of education, homelessness and hunger. No organization will be excluded from future consideration – faith-based or non-faith-based,” Tim Tassopoulos, president and COO of Chick-fil-A, Inc., said in a prepared statement.
San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa, who initially opposed the location of the chain here because of its stance on social issues including its contributions to organizations that oppose same-sex marriage or support gay conversion therapy, said the new policy was “wonderful news.”
“This is a huge win for the LGBTQ community. Hate does not have a place in San Mateo County and it appears the company has opened its heart a bit by taking this action,” Canepa said in a press release. “Going forward, it would be even better if ownership denounced prior support for these hateful policies, but it is a good sign that they are starting to listen.”