Texas Union Chick-fil-A reopens after year-long hiatus

Hope Unger, News Reporter

This article first appeared in the Feb. 14, 2022 flipbook.

David Anthony, director of business services for University Unions, said the Union Chick-fil-A’s previous management’s contract was supposed to end in May 2021, but the University exercised their option to end the agreement six months early. Now, Longhorn Hospitality manages Chick-fil-A and many other dining options on campus, Anthony said. 

“One of the advantages of having things in-house is that decisions can be made for the benefit of students as opposed to a corporate decision,” Anthony said. 

Anthony said internal management makes it easier to supply food service options to students during high-demand times like student events. 

The location will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. The hours of operation will expand as students start frequenting the spot once again and employees have more availability to work, he said. 

Leonard Tham, director of retail operations, said the University is expecting Chick-fil-A to either match or beat the amount of money Panda Express is bringing in. 

Panda Express typically makes about $5,000 a day, Tham said, but for the past three weeks, Panda Express has been closed for repairs due to a fire on an electric stove.

Anthony said the University picks on-campus food vendors through a request for proposal process in which members of the RFP committee vote on which restaurants to bring in. The committee includes student, University Unions and University Housing and Dining representation, Anthony said.

Communications junior Erin Oshea, who went to the soft opening Monday, said the service at the reopened Chick-fil-A was fast and efficient and the Dr. Pepper tastes a lot better than it used to.

“I’m glad they didn’t replace it with a University sponsored restaurant,” said Oshea. “They took away the Steak ‘n Shake and now it’s Tower Burgers, and Starbucks is … not really Starbucks. But this is Chick-fil-A. This is real.”

Tham said if everything is on schedule, the Chick-fil-A in the WCP will be under construction over the summer and open in the fall. He said it is exciting to satisfy a big student population with the reopening.

“We will be able to give the students what they’ve been looking and asking for such a long, long time,” Tham said. “This is a brand recognition so students feel very comfortable, because they recognize the brand is consistent day in and day out.”