Maui Discussion

Chick-fil-A Maui Groundbreaking Welcomes Way for its First Restaurant in Hawai’i

By Wendy Osher
July 28, 2021, 3:34 PM HST
* Updated July 30, 6:32 AM
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Chick-fil-A broke ground today on it’s first Hawai’i restaurant, to be located at the Puʻunēnē Shopping Center in Kahului, Maui.

The blessing and groundbreaking event marks a first for the quick service restaurant, which has ambitious plans of opening a total of five locations in Hawaiʻi over the next two years.

Kahu Kalani Wong oversees the blessing for Chick-fil-A Maui, the company’s first Hawai’i restaurant. The Maui blessing was led by Kahu Kalani Wong, with attendance from Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino and state Representative Justin Woodson who serves the district that includes Kahului. PC: Chick-fil-A, Inc.

The Chick-fil-A Maui restaurant is projected to open in early 2022, possibly in the spring, according to company representatives. The free-standing restaurant in Central Maui will offer customers both drive through and dine-in service for breakfast, lunch and dinner, six days a week, Monday through Saturday.

Chick-fil-A is also planning four additional locations in Hawai’i on the island of O’ahu. The first O’ahu locations are slated to include a mall site at Ala Moana in Honolulu and a drive-through location in Makiki on South Beretania Street, which are projected to open in late summer of 2022.

There’s also plans for a Kapolei location, with no firm dates set for that site. The company has also scouted sites in Kāne’ohe, where representatives expressed a desire to build, but there’s no confirmation on the books to make it official.

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Company representatives say they were intentional with choosing Maui as a starting point for Hawai’i operations, noting that recruitment fairs began in 2018-2019. While the pandemic slowed things down a bit, the business was able to persevere and secure the Maui location at the corner of Ho’okele Street and the Maui Veterans (Mokulele) Highway at a center anchored by Target. According to the company, the location offered the opportunity to do a free-standing site, with “the full Chick-fil-A experience.”

(L to R) Kurt Ebner (Chick-fil-A, Inc.), Brent Ryhlick (Chick-fil-A, Inc.), Representative Justin Woodson, Mike Hensley (Chick-fil-A, Inc.), Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino, Danielle Jackson (Chick-fil-A, Inc.), Chuck Rice (Chick-fil-A, Inc.), Matt Gilbertson (MGA Architecture), Jackie Jags (Chick-fil-A, Inc.) and Brad Espedal (Arita Poulson General Contracting). PC: Chick-fil-A, Inc.
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“We are very excited to serve customers in Hawai’i with great food and remarkable service,” said Jackie Jags, spokesperson for Chick-fil-A, Inc. “The culture, people and customs make Hawaiʻi so special, and we look forward to engaging with and supporting each new restaurant community, starting with our first restaurant in Maui.”

The company has not yet announced it selection of a local operator for the Maui site, but notes that the opportunity is attractive because there’s a low-barrier to entry with up-front building and construction costs already covered.

To support the local communities, and in celebration of each new restaurant opening, Chick-fil-A will donate $25,000 to Feeding America, and the funds will be distributed to local partners around the islands. Additionally, through Chick-fil-A’s Shared Table program, the restaurants will donate surplus food to local shelters, soup kitchens and charities. 

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Company representatives say each new restaurant will create approximately 80-120 new jobs, and Chick-fil-A restaurant Team Members will enjoy flexible work hours and leadership growth opportunities, competitive wages and benefits, hands-on training and mentoring, and the chance to apply for scholarships to support their continuing education.

In 2017, pre-pandemic, the Atlanta, GA-based food chain reported more than $9 billion in revenue, which marked 50 consecutive years of sales growth. The family owned and privately held restaurant company was founded in 1967 by S. Truett Cathy.

The company prides itself on fresh, simple ingredients and is known for its original chicken sandwich, which is made with a buttered bun, breaded filet of whole breast meat, and served with two slices of pickles.

“Our chicken, made with no antibiotics ever, is hand-breaded and pressure-cooked in 100% refined peanut oil and served hot. You can taste the crispness of the vegetables in our salads and wraps, which are prepared daily right in restaurant kitchens,” according to the company. “Team members even brew our delicious Iced Tea in the restaurant, and our regular Chick-fil-A Lemonade is made using three simple ingredients–lemon juice, sugar and water.”

Site restaurant rendering. Chick-fil-A hosted a private groundbreaking blessing ceremony for its first Hawai’i restaurant, Chick-fil-A Maui, in Kahului. PC: Chick-fil-A, Inc.

According to the company’s Hawaiʻi announcement back in 2018, Chick-fil-A has more than 2,300 restaurants in 47 states and Washington, D.C. In 2019 the company opened its first international restaurant in Toronto, Canada. Today, the company has more than 2,600 restaurants.

Chick-fil-A became title sponsor of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl in 1996, and garnered the Best Fast Food Customer Service in America award in 2020 from Newsweek.

Site restaurant rendering. Chick-fil-A hosted a private groundbreaking blessing ceremony for its first Hawai’i restaurant, Chick-fil-A Maui, in Kahului. PC: Chick-fil-A, Inc.
Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served more than 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.
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