Chick-fil-A on Sunday broke with tradition by having its employees work during a day it is usually closed.
The fast food chain made the unusual move to help feed passengers stranded during a massive power outage at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
“The mayor called about 10 p.m. and asked for assistance,” Chick-fil-A spokesperson Jackie Jags told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Sunday, referencing Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (D).
“We immediately mobilized staff and team members who live and work near the airport, and they are making sandwiches and delivering them to the EOC (emergency operations center),” she added.
“It has been a very difficult day for thousands of travelers, and while Chick-fil-A is always closed on Sunday, our restaurants open occasionally to serve communities in need.”
Fox 5 Atlanta on Sunday reported that Chick-fil-A has typically closed on Sundays since its inception in 1964.
Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy wanted his employees to have a single day each week to rest and worship if they desired.
Dan Cathy, who is Truett Cathy’s son and Chick-fil-A’s current president and CEO, made an exception Sunday, working to pass out meals to thousands of hungry passengers.
The city of Atlanta on Sunday said that utility workers had restored power to all terminals at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, nearly 11 hours after a huge power outage there.
The outage disrupted air travel at the world’s busiest airport, forcing the cancellation of more than 1,500 arriving or departing flights.
Hartsfield-Jackson is the world’s busiest airport for passenger traffic, according to Airports Council International (ACI).
ACI said the airport served more than 104 million passengers in 2016, and officials there estimated that Sunday’s power outage impacted at least 30,000 people.
Flightaware, a flight data website, on Sunday said the 1,150 cancelled flights into or out of Atlanta accounted for more than 90 percent of cancellations in the U.S. early that night.