Campers await opening of Chick-Fil-A

Customers trying to win meal coupons

POSTED: 06:13 PM PST Feb 20, 2013    UPDATED: 07:48 PM PST Feb 20, 2013 
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VENTURA, Calif. -

People are already camping out at a new Chick-Fil-A even though the restaurant doesn't open until early Thursday morning.

By noon Wednesday more than six people had pitched tents outside the new location next to Chuck E. Cheese's on Eastman Avenue in Ventura.

The first 100 customers at the opening win free Chick-Fil-A meals for a year.

The deal comes with weekly coupon books good for a meal a day.

One camper came all the way from San Diego.

The franchise is feeding the campers and also keeping them entertained with games.

Some people passing by said they thought it was protest over gay marriage issues.  

But the food chain is trying to put that subject aside to focus on expanding its business.

Robert Shaffer of Ventura is the new owner-operator.

Shaffer said he has hired 70 employees.

Longtime workers from around the country are in town to help them learn the trade.