MIDTOWN, Manhattan — If you’ve walked by the area of 37th and 6th and wondered who will be coming moving into the empty real estate, we have an answer for you.
Oscar Fittipaldi, an immigrant and Argentian-American, is the new franchise operator who will soon be running a Chick-fil-A out of Herald Square beginning in October.
Some chicken lovers are rejoicing out there, but others are perhaps feeling a bit torn on this one — particularly members of the gay and lesbian community. That’s because Chick-fil-A’s President and CEO said he’s against same-sex marriage and he didn’t only voice his opinions once, but numerous times.
But will New Yorkers tweeting and bashing the company’s stance truly stand by their calls to boycott one of America’s favorite fast food chains? Or give in to their love of the food instead? We took that question to Dustin Longstreth, branding strategist with CBX in New York City.
“I think New York City respects authenticity and the commitment of conviction above all, but at the end of the day the thing that unites New Yorkers is not a liberal agenda or a political opinion, but rather the love of good food,” said Longstreth.
Longstreth believes there’s no question Chick-fil-A knew exactly what they were doing when they rolled out with this new ad spot to create a new and different tone from perhaps previous preconceptions surrounding the company and its CEO.
The company turned the tables and made the story more about Fittipaldi’s background. That, according to Longstreth was a smart move, but will it work?
“New York is a city that thrives off of tension. Chick-fil-A will bring that tension and New York City also thrives off of great food, so they better bring some good chicken,” said Longstreth.
In a statement to PIX11, Chick-fil-A said:
“Chick-fil-A believes that success in a community is tied directly to the caliber of the individual franchised Operator who runs the local Chick-fil-A restaurant. Oscar has not only an incredible background in leadership and hospitality, but he also has an entrepreneurial spirit. He has been running the Chick-fil-A restaurant at Aramingo in Philadelphia since it opened more than five years ago, bringing together a diverse community in an urban location. His experience in Philadelphia – combined with his energetic personality – makes him the right person to open the first restaurant in New York City.
PIX11 also asked Chick-fil-A if they are concerned about a potential boycott in New York City or even protesters, to which the company said it “is not concerned and hopes to sincerely and genuinely welcome everyone from the community.”