Many Montanans seem oddly enthralled by fast-food restaurant chains we don't have in Big Sky Country. In-n-Out Burger is frequently mentioned, while others say they wish we had a Tim Horton's or a Dunkin' or a Whataburger. Perhaps this is a classic example of "FOMO" or the Fear of Missing Out. I mean, fast food is still simply fast food... right?

Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash
"Eat more chicken" Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash

Chick-fil-A will finally open in Billings in 2023.

The Chick-fil-A in Billings rumor has been circulating for years. A location for the new store was finally selected, but then COVID hit and progress seemed to slow down. Fans of the popular chicken sandwich chain will have a special opportunity to try them out this week in Billings, months before the store opens on 24th St West.

Michael Foth, TSM
Chick-fil-A under construction on 24th St W. Michael Foth, TSM

Get a free sandwich on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, October 18 Chick-fil-A will have a special mobile restaurant unit at MetraPark beginning at 11 am. The mobile kitchen will be in the Courtyard at the North entrance to the Expo Building. They have prepared to serve 3,000 free chicken sandwiches, available until 4 pm or while supplies last.

Chick-fil-A Ranks As America's Favorite Restaurant According To One Industry Survey
Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The company is excited about coming to Billings.

I caught up with Billings Chick-fil-A operator Lee Lewis last week. Lewis, with a gracious personality and laid-back southern drawl, said they are thrilled to be entering the Billings market. Currently, there is just one Chick-fil-A in Montana (Kalispell). A Missoula location is opening soon. A recent press release describes the company,

Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A, Inc. is a restaurant company known for the Original Chick-fil-A® Chicken Sandwich and signature hospitality. Represented by more than 170,000 Team Members, Operators and Staff, Chick-fil-A® restaurants serve guests freshly prepared food at more than 2,700 restaurants in 48 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Canada. The family-owned and privately held restaurant company was founded in 1967 by S. Truett Cathy and is committed to serving the local communities in which its franchised restaurants operate.

Fans of Chick-fil-A will surely be lining up early on Tuesday to get their free sandwich at MetraPark.

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