Controversial US fast food chain ‘Chick-fil-A’ have closed their only Scottish outlet after a row over their anti-LGBT donations.
Campaigner Scott Cuthbertson, who launched a petition in October 2019 which gained over 1,500 signatures, said he was pleased the chain had closed the doors of its restaurant, which was part of the Macdonald Hotel complex in Aviemore.
Scott told us:
“Chick-fil-A is a company with a terrible record of supporting anti-LGBT causes. Many LGBT people in the Highlands and beyond expressed alarm at the opening of a restaurant with such a record, and values that went against all that we have achieved in making Scotland a better place for LGBT people.”
“I want to thank everyone who signed the petition to tell Chick-fil-A to cluck off and hope Macdonald Hotels staff are now redeployed to ensure no job losses.”
Groups including Highland Pride had written to Macdonald Hotels asking them to reconsider the controversial chain’s presence in their hotel in Scotland, with Green MSP Patrick Harvie calling for Parliamentary colleagues to boycott the venue.
Jessica Taylor, spokesperson for Highland Pride and a committee member with Highland LGBT Forum, told us:
“We’re aware that the Macdonald Aviemore Resort branch of Chick-fil-A has closed its doors after a very short time of operating. We would just like to stress that as an organisation we have never asked for its closure – just that we raised awareness of its anti-LGBT+ stance, and support of anti-LGBT+ groups in the US.”
“We understand this will have resulted in job losses; however we hope it will make way for a new business who do not have such questionable actions towards our community.”
“What has been most disappointing for us as an organisation is the lack of response from Macdonald Aviemore Resort who have still not replied to any of our emails or public requests to ask whether they knew of the organisation’s background.”
Chick-fil-A was forced to close its Reading branch in 2019 after a similar reaction from locals, including calls for a boycott by LGBT campaigners there.
A spokesperson for the hotel group had previously said the restaurant chain was “an enormously successful business”, but have so far been unavailable for comment today.