In New York, a recently introduced bill by Democrat Assemblyman Tony Simone has ignited a debate over the operating hours of the Christian-owned restaurant chain Chick-fil-A along the state’s major highway system. Bill A08336 proposes that businesses, specifically targeting Chick-fil-A, must operate seven days a week to maintain or initiate contracts with the New York State Thruway Authority.
Simone, vocal about his concerns regarding Chick-fil-A’s stance on LGBT rights, articulated his stance to the New York Post, asserting the company’s “terrible record” on the issue. He contends that to serve the diverse needs of New Yorkers and travelers, all establishments, including Chick-fil-A, should offer services every day of the week. If unable to comply, Simone suggests they should not be featured in state rest stops, the Daily Wire reported.
The proposed legislation directly challenges Chick-fil-A’s longstanding tradition of closing on Sundays, a practice rooted in the religious beliefs of its founder, Truett Cathy. In his book, “Eat Mor Chikin: Inspire More People,” Cathy attributed the policy to honoring God and expressed a commitment from his children to continue this tradition.
“My children have committed to closing our restaurants on Sundays long after I’m gone,” he wrote. “I believe God honors our decision and sets before us unexpected opportunities to do greater work for Him because of our loyalty.”
The bill would impact seven existing Chick-fil-A outlets on the interstate, with plans for three more. Despite the closure of Chick-fil-A restaurants on Sundays, the Thruway Authority maintains that at least one hot food option remains available every day at rest stops, ensuring travelers and truckers have access to services.
The introduction of this bill is not the first instance of scrutiny for Chick-fil-A in New York. Three years prior, state legislators urged the Thruway Authority’s executive director to reconsider the approval of Chick-fil-A locations along the highway system, referencing the ownership’s public stance against same-sex marriage.