Chick-fil-A still wants a permanent UK restaurant despite immense backlash and two branches already closing

A Chick-fil-A logo is seen on a take out bag at one of its restaurants on July 28, 2012 in Bethesda, Maryland.

Despite immense backlash over its funding of anti-LGBT+ organisations, Chick-fil-A has insisted that it will push forward with opening a “permanent” UK location.

The statement comes on the same day that the UK’s only remaining Chick-fil-A shut its doors after facing a fierce public boycott. A second location in a shopping centre in Reading was also forced to close after sustained pressure from LGBT+ activists.

The chicken chain said the closure of the restaurant inside the Macdonald Aviemore Resort in the Scottish Highlands was not related to the backlash, despite a petition to the hotel chain attracting 1,200 signatures and support from Scottish parliamentarians.

The petition’s creator Scott Cuthbertson, manager of LGBTI Scotland, celebrated the closure and told PinkNews: “Chick-fil-A is a company with a terrible record of supporting anti-LGBT+ causes.

“Many LGBT people in the Highlands and beyond expressed alarm at the opening of a restaurant with such a record… I want to thank everyone who signed the petition to tell Chick-fil-A to cluck off.”

But, it seems the fast food chain is not gone for good.

A spokesperson for Chick-Fil-A told the The Herald Scotland: “The Chick-fil-A at Macdonald Aviemore Resort officially closed its doors on January 18, 2020 in line with our plan for a temporary pilot licensed location.

“It has been our pleasure to serve guests at this pilot restaurant for the past several months, and we are grateful to Macdonald Hotels for allowing us the opportunity to learn from each and every customer.

“These insights will help us immensely as we look to having a permanent location in the UK in the future.”

Chick-fil-A has a long history of opposing LGBT+ rights. The Baptist-owned company has given millions of dollars to anti-gay groups, leading to protests, boycotts, and several new US branches being banned from opening.

In 2013, it was reported that the chain’s anti-LGBT+ donations had almost doubled. The Chick-fil-A Foundation donated almost $3 million to an anti-marriage equality organisation in 2011.

In 2012, Chick-fil-A boss Dan Cathy confirmed that the chain is against same-sex marriage. He later said he regretted getting the company entangled in controversy surrounding LGBT+ rights, but said his views had not changed.