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New York state could force Chick-fil-A to stay open on Sundays in the name of 'the public good'
Photo by: Lindsey Nicholson/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

New York state could force Chick-fil-A to stay open on Sundays in the name of 'the public good'

New York State lawmakers are hoping to compel businesses through government force to stay open seven days per week even if they don't wish to do so.

The Rest Stop Restaurant Act would force any businesses along the New York State Thruway to stay open every day of the week to accommodate travelers. The Thruway is a system of highways that spans approximately 570 miles across the state of New York. It operates under its own authority, the New York State Thruway Authority.

The new bill would require companies that provide food and beverage services along the Thruway, as well as the Port Authority in New York and New Jersey, to keep their doors open as the government sees fit.

New York state Assemblyman Tony Simone (D) called it "ridiculous" that a business would be able to close its doors of its own accord.

"It’s Sunday, Christmas Eve … thousands of New Yorkers are traveling to their families to find restaurants at rest areas across the state," Assemblyman Simone said, according to WTEN.

"The Thruways are meant to serve New York travelers first,” the assemblyman continued. "I think it’s ridiculous that you’re able to close on Sunday, one of the busiest travel days of the week," he added.

Of course, this would affect popular restaurant Chick-fil-A, which has six locations along the Thruway, according to WOUR. The central New York radio station raised the same issue in March 2023, with arguments that are strikingly similar to that of the New York assemblyman:

But what sense does it make to put a restaurant that's closed on Sunday inside establishments that cater to travelers? Sunday is the biggest travel day of the week! People are coming back from weekend getaways. They're hungry and need a quick bite on their way home. So they stop at a thruway rest stop, only to find that its anchor food option ... isn't even operating!

The restaurant famously stays closed on Sundays so that "employees could set aside one day to rest, enjoy time with their families and loved ones or and worship if they choose," the company's website said.

"You know, we get hungry when we’re traveling. We may not like our brother-in-law or sister-in-law’s cooking and wanna get a snack on Christmas Eve," Assemblyman Simone continued.

Simone then argued that forcing the restaurants to stay open is a matter of serving the overall good.

"To find one of the restaurants closed on the Thruway is just not in the public good," Simone claimed.

According to WTEN, however, a Thruway official told the outlet that Chick-fil-A is already under contract with the government agency as part of a 33-year deal. The $450 million project having been built with no toll or tax dollars certainly makes it difficult to force a business to abide by government-mandated operating hours.

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Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados is a writer focusing on sports, culture, entertainment, gaming, and U.S. politics. The podcaster and former radio-broadcaster also served in the Canadian Armed Forces, which he confirms actually does exist.
@andrewsaystv →