Chick-fil-A opened its first United Kingdom restaurant on October 10 –making it the chain’s second location outside the United States. Just nine days after opening, the company announced that it will close the U.K. location within six months.
The news comes after an LGBTQ group held protests outside the new restaurant at the Oracle Mall in Reading,denouncing the chain’s opposition to same-sex marriage. A mall spokesperson told BBC that the company would not be allowed to stay beyond its “six-month pilot period,” calling it the “right thing to do.”
Chick-fil-A claims the company had always planned to only be around for a limited time. “We have been very pleased with the lines since opening Oct. 10 and are grateful for customer response to our food and our approach to customer service. We mutually agreed to a six-month lease with the Oracle Mall in Reading as part of a longer term strategy for us as we look to expand our international presence,” the company said, according to the Washington Post.
U.K.-based LGBTQ advocacy group Reading Pride, announced its feelings toward the opening, saying it was “staunchly opposed to Chick-fil-A setting up shop in the UK and certainly in Reading.”
Protests at the new U.K. location continued Saturday even aftet the closing was announced.