Chick-fil-A sets drill for remote work by more than 2,000 HQ staff

Chick-fil-A headquarters in Atlanta.
Chick-fil-A headquarters in Atlanta.

Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A is assigning the more than 2,000 employees at its headquarters to work remotely Thursday and Friday, as businesses around the nation increasingly prepare for how the worsening coronavirus outbreak may affect their operations.

The fast-food restaurant chain, one of the largest in the U.S., said in a statement that what it calls the Chick-fil-A Support Center will be closed “to test operational preparedness. During this time, all staff will work remotely to ensure business continuity should we need to close the Support Center in the future.”

The company doesn’t expect the headquarters drill to impact operations of its more than 2,500 restaurants, which remain open.

The company said, “It is important to note that there are currently no known cases of COVID-19 at Chick-fil-A Support Center or at any of our restaurants.”

On Wednesday, company president Tim Tassopoulos posted a letter online. He wrote, Chick-fil-A restaurants “have heightened their cleaning and disinfecting procedures to maintain a healthy environment for our Guests and Team Members. We’ve instructed anyone who is not feeling well to stay home out of an abundance of caution and self-monitor their symptoms. In addition to following CDC guidance and partnering with local health departments, all franchise restaurants have been equipped with recommended procedures to follow if their community, or someone from their restaurant, becomes impacted by the virus.”

He went on to write that, “As the situation evolves, restaurants may implement additional preventative measures to ensure Guest and Team Member wellbeing, including staffing or service modifications.”

Chick-fil-A's test of having many workers operate remotely mirrors similar drills by others, including Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Company and Cox Enterprises, the parent of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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