Crowds Flock to Chick-fil-A

Crowds Flock to Chick-fil-A

It was a record-shattering day at Chick-fil-A, the largest sales day in the company's 66-year history.

YouTube videos show the astonishing turnout on national Chick-fil-A appreciation day.

The line went out the fire exit of the store in Paramus Park, New Jersey, then down a long corridor, around the corner, down another long corridor, then down another corridor.

Other YouTube videos show the scale of the crowds. Many who turned out said they were there to support free speech. Others were more focused on the gay marriage issue.

HLN's Jennifer Westhoven told INSIDE EDITION, "Chick-fil-A is so strong in the south. They've been in the south for many years; they have a very loyal customer base."

One employee in San Diego told customers, "Our computers are a little bit overloaded with all the volume of the guests that we've received today."

In Fort Wayne, Indiana, the line was also out the door, and the drive-thru window was backed up too. The same thing happened at a Chick-fil-A location in Houston.

The crowd scenes are the latest round in the clash over what some perceive as anti-gay comments by the chain's president, Dan Cathy. Cathy said in an interview, "I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to redefine what marriage is all about."

In a New York Times op-ed piece headlined "Let Chick-fil-A Fly Free," a gay writer said he was "disheartened" by Dan Cathy's comments, but added, "A society that truly believes in individual freedom will respect Mr. Cathy's right to his views."

Not everyone who showed up at Chick-fil-A Wednesday was a supporter. One customer posted a videotape of his encounter at a Chick-fil-A drive-through.

"Chick-fil-A is a hateful corporation," he told the drive-thru employee.

The waitress kept her cool throughout.

Chick-fil-A's opponents are preparing for their own display of force on Friday, with nationwide kiss-ins at Chick-fil-A locations.
It remains to be seen if those protests will top crowds like the ones seen today.