Camping out for free chicken

Credit: Deren Martinez/KTVB

This Chick-fil-A on Eagle Road north of Fairview Avenue will open Thursday. Some people camped out early to take advantage of the company's chicken giveaway.

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by Scott Evans

Bio | Email | Follow: @ScottEvansKTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on October 25, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Updated Sunday, Nov 24 at 9:09 PM

BOISE -- Chick-fil-A will open two stores in the Treasure Valley and that has a lot of fans willing to wait to eat.

Two stores - one in downtown Boise and one in Meridian -- open Thursday for the popular fast food chain.

Despite the rain, wind and cold temperatures, people were camped out Wednesday for free food.

Chick-fil-A expected a lot more people to come, and in fact they still can.

The plan is to hand out free meals to 100 people.

“I'm a little chilly, but I should be getting another sleeping bag later when my wife comes down," said Matt McGuinness, who was waiting in line. "I thought about waiting for the iPhone, but I usually just order it online."

He's just sitting and waiting at the Chick-fil-A at Broadway Avenue and Front Street in Boise.

"I didn't have anything better to do today," said McGuinness. "I was just going to sit around the house. I'm a stay-at-home dad and my wife's got the day off. I was just going to hang out there anyways, I thought this would be fun."

Nathan Taylor arrived at 6 a.m. to get his spot in line.

"I have this tent, and I have a tarp inside the tent for if it rains," said Taylor.

Tyler Wasson showed up a little later.

"I'm not working, so this, this is work. I get paid 52 meals to sit out here and work," said Wasson.

For those men - this is a casual thing - they had nothing better to do.

That's not the case for Dean Beus and his family from Ogden, Utah.

"We're chicken chasers. We chase around for the openings of the Chick-fil-A," said Dean Beus.

Inside his hunting tent there is three generations.

"We have nine people sleeping in here, we have a couple sets of bunk beds, everybody is on a cot. We have a couple heaters that keep it nice and warm in here," said Brant Beus.

Between everyone in this family, they've done this 50 times. They even have proof.

"They give you a shirt, then we just made a blanket out of some of them here," said Dean Beus.

He proudly boasts that he have never paid to eat at Chick-fil-A.

"I've been eating free for three years," said Dean Beus.

That's thousands of meals.

"If you think about it, it's weird, but it's just what our family does. Our family is weird," said McKell Beus.

At least they're in good company.

"Yeah, it's a little chilly. Maybe it's a little crazy, but I'm up for anything I guess," said McGuinness.

"Oh yeah, it's insanity. It pretty much is just crazy. People getting together for the sake of free food," said Wasson.

The way this works is people come down to the restaurant and get a wrist band, then they have to stay on the property until 6 a.m. Thursday. The first 100 people in line will receive 52 coupons, good for one free meal for each week of the year.

Chick-fil-A started giving out free meals after a grand opening event in Arizona in 2003. Since then they've given out $16 million in free food.

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