A restaurant's grand opening has created a tent village in St. Cloud


When you're hungry it feels good to eat. And that's sometimes especially true when the food you're eating is free.

The folks behind Chick-Fil-A restaurants seem to understand that. The first 100 people in line at their brand new St. Cloud restaurant will be rewarded with coupons for 52 free meals at the Atlanta-based chain famous for its chicken sandwiches.

Which explains the tents that started popping up in the parking lot outside Crossroads Center mall on Wednesday morning.

Occupying the prime roost outside Chick-Fil-A's door is a man named Scott Middendorf, who tells WJON he arrived a little before 3 a.m. – 27 hours before the store's opening.

Middendorf tells the station he bought a new tent for the summer camping season but didn't use it until this Chick-Fil-A campout.


Grand opening giveaways are common for Chick-Fil-A

Dangling free meals for those willing to camp out in front of their new stores is actually par for the course at Chick-Fil-A.

The campouts have become more common in Minnesota over the last few years as the chain steps up its presence in the state.

Chick-Fil-A skipped the giveaway, though, when its first St. Cloud location opened a couple of days ago. It's in the student union at St. Cloud State University.

This embed is invalid

The company's founder opened a restaurant called Dwarf Grill in Hapeville, Georgia, in 1946, its website says.

It didn't become Chick-Fil-A until the 1960s when it found a niche at new shopping malls in Atlanta's suburbs. Now there are more than 2,000 Chick-Fil-As around the country and they sold $6 billion worth of food last year, the company says.

Next Up

Zach Parise

Ghosts of Wild's past force split with Sharks

Brent Burns and Ryan Donato thwarted a comeback attempt by the Wild.

Avante Dickerson

Top-ranked recruit Avante Dickerson decommits from Gopher football

The four-star cornerback was the highest-rated recruit in Minnesota's 2021 class.

u.s. district court minnesota - federal court minneapolis

Limits on in-person court activity extended for 45 days

The statewide order extends current limitations through March 15.

D'Angelo Russell / Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves need more from D'Angelo Russell

The Wolves haven't gotten what they expected since making a blockbuster trade.

oct. 20 snow crash

Spinouts, crashes still happening after snow leaves MN roads a mess

The snow storm caused at least 208 crashes this weekend.


For The Week: Food tips and tricks to get you through the next 7 days

BMTN's food writer Lindsay Guentzel makes life easier for Minnesotans.

snow, plow

Here's how much snow fell in Saturday's storm in Minnesota

MSP Airport had the highest total as of 7 a.m. Sunday with 5.3 inches.

Screen Shot 2021-01-18 at 3.17.49 PM

No KAT? No D'Lo? No problem as Timberwolves defeat Pelicans

The Timberwolves were without Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell, but still picked up a (SCORE) win.

Screen Shot 2021-01-23 at 7.53.44 PM

Spinouts, crashes across Twin Cities as snow gets heavier

There have been multiple incidents across the metro area.

Mason Branstrator

Family, friends raising funds for teen soccer standout with spinal injury

Mason Branstrator of Duluth was injured in a skiing accident.