Chick-fil-A in Dawsonville, as well as those across the nation, tallied record breaking sales Aug. 1 as customers rallied in support of the eatery following statements by the restaurant's president and chief operating officer, Dan Cathy. The CEO said the company is supportive of "the biblical definition of the family unit."
Raymond Gross and his grandchildren were among the packed crowd having lunch at the Dawsonville location.
"We're here to support Mr. Cathy's belief in upholding the biblical principles of marriage," he said.
Launched by past Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, the mass turnouts were fueled by social media posts encouraging communities to stand up for free speech and traditional marriage by taking part in Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.
In response to the nationwide uproar to boycott the chain by same sex marriage couples and advocates, Gross painted the windows on his minivan with "1-man plus 1-woman = marriage."
Tony Keller, who owns the Dawsonville and Dahlonega franchises, said he was amazed at the turnout.
"It started at breakfast and hasn't stopped," he said around noon. "What a blessing this entire day has been. Thank you to everyone that was involved."
Mimi Siebel was among hundreds at the Dawsonville eatery for lunch.
"This is about supporting the business," she said.
Dawson County resident Peter Hill agreed.
"They do so much for this community and I wanted to support them," he said.