SOUTH PLAINFIELD – The much-anticipated opening of Chick-fil-A in South Plainfield is set for late August. Owner William Bridges says the restaurant will hire between 80 and 100 employees.
Ground for construction of the popular eatery was first broken in late November 2019 at 4801 Stelton Road in South Plainfield. The 5,000 square foot restaurant will be open Monday through Saturday from 6:30a.m. to 10p.m., closed on Sundays. The restaurant will have a double drive-through, mobile ordering, catering, WiFi available and breakfast will be served daily.
“Being a part of South Plainfield allows me to serve a community that is really engaging, tightly-knit, vibrant and hard-working,” Bridges said. “Also, as a Rutgers graduate, I get a chance to give back and support the community and the county of Middlesex that has given me so much opportunity.”
Bridges says the restaurant has been designed with Chick-fil-A guests in mind. Two drive-thru lanes will merge into one lane as they approach the pick-up window. There will be a bump-out in the drive-thru where guests who received their orders can exit the line quicker. Dedicated parking spaces will be reserved for curbside pickup. There will also be 120 indoor seats and an outdoor patio area with 20 seats.
“At Chick-fil-A, we want to be the world's most caring company and that really starts with our team members and our community,” said Bridges. “It's not just the slogan here at Chick-fil-A. It's embedded into our culture. It's a way of life. What sets us apart, in my own opinion, is the people and the fact that we really do care.”
“We are so excited to have William become a part of the South Plainfield business community with the opening of Chick-fil-A,” said Councilman Derryck White. “His partnership-based approach is in line with what our town represents, a strong sense of community who cares about one another.”
A multifaceted approach will be taken to attract, recruit and hire talented individuals to be a part of the new restaurant by engaging the South Plainfield community.
“We plan to hire several team members from South Plainfield High School, local civic organizations, and we will also attend community events in South Plainfield and throughout Middlesex County,” Bridges said. “The second approach will be to recruit heavily through social media platforms, Facebook, Instagram, local business affiliations and through multiple online job work platforms.”
There will also be a hiring trailer located next to the restaurant in late July where on-the-spot interviews will be conducted as the grand opening approaches. Bridges says building a team of dedicated, caring individuals is essential.
“In my humble opinion, as a Chick-fil-A owner and having patronized Chick-fil-A over years, I realize that while we’re well known for our chicken sandwich and waffle fries, I truly feel what makes Chick-fil-A special is our outstanding team members who really go the extra mile to be hospitable and show our guests that we care,” Bridges said.
Bridges is a family man first and foremost. He says his wife of 7 years and 3-year-old son are his pride and joy. During his youth, Bridges volunteered for 14 years at his grandmother’s nonprofit.
“My grandmother had a nonprofit where we would serve Thanksgiving Day meals to senior citizens in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area,” Bridges said. “We would prepare the food, seal it up, and deliver it to residents before we would have our own Thanksgiving Day meal. I always told myself that if I had an opportunity to relive that moment or recapture that feeling then, I would explore it. It’s amazing that my life has come full circle.”
No stranger to business, Bridges has had a long, successful career. While still a student at Rutgers Business School, he worked at Lukoil North America and prior to that at Exxon, Mobil and Conoco Phillips in downstream marketing, operations and sales. Bridges then went on to work at IBM in Silicon Valley on different initiatives ranging from robotics, automation and Watson-based technologies.
“Fast forward several years later and this opportunity for Chick-fil-A arises with two of my biggest passions, which are serving others and giving back and also business,” Bridges said. “It’s like the perfect storm of my past merging with my current life to develop and build out my future.”
Bridges says it really feels good to open up a business where the residents and city officials have shown a tremendous amount of enthusiasm for the grand opening.
“I hear all the time when I go to City Hall or when I talk with Councilman Derryck White or when I talk to general contractors that residents are asking about opening date and expressing how they can’t wait and are just really looking forward to supporting the business,” Bridges said. “As a small businessowner, you want to be in a place that embraces your product and service. I can think of no better place than South Plainfield and I really can't wait to serve.”
“Having a Chick-fil-A in South Plainfield has been the talk of the town for some time and I am frequently questioned about the opening,” White said. “Just about everyone is looking forward to it. Aside from great food and service, the employment opportunities will really benefit the community. Alexx, Noah and I will be elated about no longer having to drive to the Woodbridge location.”
The launch of the Chick-fil-A franchise began in 1964 when Truett Cathy created the “perfect chicken sandwich” at the Dwarf Grill in Hapeville, GA. Cathy opened Chick-fil-A, adding the capital A for “Grade A top quality.” Since 1946, Chick-fil-A has closed on Sundays. Being a devout Southern Baptist, Cathy decided to observe Sundays as a day of rest, so he and his employees could set one day aside and worship if they choose.
Although the Chick-fil-A corporation’s conservative values have sometimes caused controversy, Chick-fil-A is extremely popular, and ranks third in the United States among Quick Serve Restaurants with over $10.5 billion in sales per year.
“Future guests are invited to ‘Like’ our Facebook page and check the page periodically for additional developments,” Bridges said. “We expect to open in late August.”
The South Plainfield Chick-fil-A is now on Facebook and can be found at https://www.facebook.com/cfasouthplainfield/ , where all the latest information as well as a countdown to the grand opening, is available.
“I can't wait to get started and be a part of the community,” Bridges said. “I know what it feels like firsthand to be able to unite people and community around a great meal, and I look forward to becoming a part of the South Plainfield community and serve.”