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In three months, Wilsonians will have a second Chick-fil-A to frequent for the popular meals served with a smile.
“Man, it is amazing,” owner Christy Proctor said. “I’ve waited so long for this opportunity, so now for it to actually happen is definitely a dream come true.”
Proctor, who has represented the chain in Wilson for 25 years, said the effort to get a second freestanding Chick-fil-A restaurant has been a long time coming. For years, the chain investigated the best location as far as population and traffic, eventually buying land at the corner of U.S. 264 Alternate and Lamm Road and selecting Proctor to be the franchisee in 2018.
On June 12, construction began at the 5106 Raleigh Road Parkway site.
“There were tanks in the ground from a gas station or something of that nature, so we had to get those out and make sure there wasn’t any soil contamination,” Proctor said. “Fortunately there wasn’t, so we were able to move forward pretty quickly.”
The foundation won’t be poured for another two weeks, but crews spent about four days demolishing Lamm’s School.
“Every bit of feedback I’ve heard has been positive,” she said. “I’ve had people say, ‘It just looks so much better over there already.’”
Proctor said she will likely visit the site every three or four days until construction is completed in early October.
“We’ll be feeding the crew during the construction,” she said. “We’ll be taking them some cold sweet tea and lemonade. I just want to look after them as best as we can.”
The opening date is set for Oct. 17 and hiring for management is already underway.
“We’re looking for operational leadership,” she said. “We have a good leadership team here, but we are only going to be able to take a handful of them without disturbing the customer service experience at this restaurant.”
With 129 employees at the Forest Hills Road location and more than 100 people needed for the new restaurant, Proctor is hiring a new recruiter.
“In the past, talent showed up at your door and filled out an application, but now we have to find them,” she said.
Recruitment for customer service employees will ramp up in September, but the chain is always hiring qualified candidates. Those interested are encouraged to apply at www.cfawilson.hrmdirect.com and attend group interviews at 4 p.m. Mondays, 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and at 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
In addition to a playground and other standard features, the new location is set to have two more seats than the Forest Hills Road location.
“There is 110 seats inside and 20 on the outside, which wouldn’t be conducive in this time of year, but in the spring and fall, it will be nice,” she said. “It will work especially well for those traveling with pets, so they can eat outside with their doggies instead of leaving them in the car.”