Tony Cruz jokes around in the spacious kitchen area of the Chick-fil-A Wednesday morning in New Holland. The restaurant will open on July 27 in the bustling business corridor that includes Kroger, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Arby’s and Huddle House.
Bobby Shoemaker saw a need for more restaurants on the east side of Gainesville. Now he’s adding to a growing number of food options in the New Holland area
The Chick-fil-A owner/operator will open the doors on a second Gainesville Chick-fil-A at 6 a.m. July 27 at the New Holland Market shopping center anchored by Kroger.
Shoemaker expects to hire 85 employees for the new restaurant, adding to the 85-90 employees at his current Chick-fil-A at 805 Dawsonville Highway. He said his goal is to eventually provide more than 200 jobs between the two restaurants.
Applications are still being accepted at pleaseapplyonline.com/cfagainesville or in-person at the restaurant.
Shoemaker said he has been planning toward this day for three years, including choosing to relocate his other restaurant from Pearl Nix Parkway to Dawsonville Highway in 2015. Shoemaker wanted to make sure there was some distance between the two restaurants and that the needs of Gainesville Chick-fil-A patrons were well-served.
As is tradition for Chick-fil-A openings, 100 adults ages 18 and older who camp out the day before the opening will receive free Chick-fil-A for a year in the form of 52 Chick-fil-A sandwich combos with medium fries and a medium drink loaded on a digital offer card.
That “First 100” promotion will be part of the preopening festivities that start at 6 a.m. Wednesday. If more than 100 adults are outside the Chick-fil-A at that time, a raffle will be held to determine which people get the free chicken for a year.
The restaurant is asking those at the campout to help with assembling 10,000 meals (not Chick-fil-A food) it has already purchased to donate to the Georgia Mountain Food Bank to support Feeding Children Everywhere.
Additionally, Chick-fil-A is encouraging book donations that will be placed in a 3-foot book house built from reclaimed wood, which will serve as a free library exchange for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lanier.
The new 4,700-square-foot Chick-fil-A will have seating for 104 people inside and 16 outside, which is slightly smaller than the Dawsonville Highway location. The double drive-thru is a little bigger than the one at the Dawsonville Highway store, Shoemaker said.
While the new Chick-fil-A has a unique exterior design and a different shape to the dining room, customers of the Dawsonville Highway will notice similar décor.
Shoemaker said the new restaurant isn’t a part of any testing of new menu items.