By Ann Donnelly
Saratoga County’s first Chick-fil-A restaurant opened on July 20 in Clifton Park Center, with long lines going out the door.
Before this, fans could only get the iconic chicken sandwich if they were flying out of Albany Airport or traveling to Massachusetts or other parts of New York state.
Chick-fil-A, Inc. selected Scott Payne as the independent franchised owner/operator of Chick-fil-A Clifton Park Center, 304 Clifton Park Center Road.
“After serving in the Marine Corps for nearly two decades, I was looking to continue serving in a purpose-driven role,” said Payne. “So I pursued the path of becoming a Chick-fil-A operator. From 2015 to 2022, I had the honor of serving as the operator of Chick-fil-A Purcellville in Loudoun County, Va. During this time, I learned the ins-and-outs of the business from a great group of seasoned operators while also discovering the many ways in which Chick-fil-A supports its local community.”
Payne is looking forward to living and doing business in the area.
“The Capital Region holds a special place in my family’s heart, as it is where my wife grew up and attended college. After decades of traveling across the world as a military family, our journey led us to this beautiful and caring region where I can make an impact as an operator and our family can enjoy this incredible next chapter.”
“For many in the Capital Region, it is their first-time experiencing Chick-fil-A, and I’m humbled to introduce our signature hospitality and delicious food to a new market. My team believes that we should leave folks better than we found them, and I think we have a wonderful opportunity to do that here, whether it’s providing enriching growth opportunities for team members or working intentionally with our neighbors and local organizations to help reinforce a strong sense of community in and around Clifton Park.”
With huge demand, particularly during this opening phase, locals are concerned about high traffic levels in the area, particularly when the drive-through lines back up. Payne has published a video with directions to the restaurant to reduce traffic problems.
Team members will greet customers in the drive-thru line in person and will take each guest’s orders on a tablet. As one team member walks the line taking orders, another will come to the customer’s car to take payment, allowing vehicles to move through more quickly than at a traditional speaker box drive-thru. Guests will also have the opportunity to review the menu online before visiting the restaurant.
In celebration of the Chick-fil-A Clifton Park Center and Chick-fil-A North Greenbush openings, Chick-fil-A, Inc. will donate $25,000 on behalf of each new restaurant to support local hunger relief efforts of Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, a certified member of Feeding America.
Payne said they will also help local charities regularly.
“As owner/operator of Chick-fil-A Clifton Park Center and a local resident, it is my goal to give back as much as I can and make a positive impact within and beyond our restaurant,” he said. “That’s why we’re participating in the Chick-fil-A Shared Table program, an initiative that redirects surplus food from the restaurant to local soup kitchens, shelters, food banks, and nonprofits in need. When there is surplus food, Chick-fil-A Clifton Park Center will donate it to CAPTAIN Community Human Services, an organization that supports and empowers youth, individuals and families in their journey to personal growth and self sufficiency.”
In addition, Chick-fil-A Clifton Park Center will recognize 100 local heroes making an impact in the Clifton Park area by providing them with free Chick-fil-A entrées for a year.
Payne feels that his team is the key to the business’s future success. “We are so fortunate to have hired a group of nearly 100 team members from diverse backgrounds, but all with a remarkable heart for service. At Chick-fil-A Clifton Park, our team members have opportunities for flexible work hours and leadership growth, competitive pay and benefits, hands-on training, mentoring, and the chance to apply for scholarships to support their continuing education.”
The Chick-fil-A website is at www.chick-fil-a.com.