Chick-fil-A opened its doors to its first-ever location in the U.K. on October 10th. Just a week later, the outlet is scheduled to shut down due to protests over its anti-LGBTQ+ values.
Chick-fil-A faces continual criticism over its donations to anti-LGBTQ+ groups, yet still remains incredibly popular in the U.S. It’s poised to become the third-largest fast food chain in the country, behind McDonalds and Starbucks.
But the U.K. is having none of that. Chick-fil-A opened its first restaurant at The Oracle shopping center in Reading. Residents were “deeply divided” over the opening, Berkshire Live reports. LGBTQ= advocates and allies called for a boycott.
After eight days, The Oracle announced that it would not extend Chick-fil-A’s lease beyond its six-month pilot period.
“We always look to introduce new concepts for our customers, however, we have decided on this occasion that the right thing to do is to only allow Chick-fil-A to trade with us for the initial six-month pilot period, and not to extend the lease any further,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
Reading Pride, a local LGBTQ+ organization, praised the decision as “good news.” They will continue to campaign against the location until it officially closes its doors.
In addition to Chick-fil-A’s millions of dollars of anti-LGBTQ+ donations, the company’s chairman also spoke out against marriage equality in 2012, sparking a U.S. boycott. There are about 2,400 Chick-fil-A outlets across North America.