Chick-fil-A location's summer camp for kids draws criticism, sparks debate on social media



 A Chick-fil-A restaurant in Louisiana announced that it will host a summer camp just for kids, igniting a debate on social media.

The franchise location in Hammond will open its doors to kids, ages 5 through 12, to participate in its very own "Chick-fil-A Summer Camp" from July 15-17 and July 22-24. The camp fee is $35 per session, according to a recent Facebook post.

Campers will be given the opportunity to meet the Chick-fil-A mascot as well as team leaders and get a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into the brand's hospitality.

This may sound like a dream to fans of the restaurant chain, but not everyone on social media appears to support the camp.

chick-fil-a sign on New York restaurant

A Chick-fil-A fast food location in Louisiana is launching a summer camp for kids in the restaurant and the announcement has sparked backlash from some social media users. (Lindsey Nicholson/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images / Getty Images)

The Hammond location has since updated its Facebook post after it was met with some backlash.

In an earlier announcement, the Chick-fil-A location shared different activities that it was offering to campers including: "learning dining room host and customer service skills, learn how to take a guest order, learn how to bag a guest order, tour the kitchen and box your own nugget and make your own ice dream cone or cup."

The post, which was shared on June 6, received thousands of comments claiming the restaurant was "exploiting" the kids in attendance and taking advantage of them by putting the campers to work — one user even tagged the Labor Department.

"'Hey parents! Pay us so we can use your kids for child labor.'  – I fixed your flier," one user wrote.

Chick-fil-A location storefront

The first-ever kids' camp at Chick-fil-A took place at an owner-operator location in Houston, and it has continued every year for the past six years. (iStock / iStock)

"Wait. You're wanting parents to *check notes* pay you, to use their young children as laborers. But they get a free meal, snack and shirt that will give you free advertising?" one person added.

"Just because it’s the 20’s again doesn’t mean we should bring back child labor. It didn’t go great the last time, spoiler alert," another Facebook user wrote.

Not everyone is against the camp, however. Some users showed interest and even defended the fast food location.

Chick-fil-A kids summer camp split

The camp is for kids ages 5 through 12 and will only last for three hours in the late morning until noon. (iStock / iStock)

"I’ll go against the grain here. Kudos to you, Chick-fil-A Hammond. It’s nice to see an offer to teach young children about work ethic and responsibility, while having a little fun at the same time. I’ll ask my daughter if she’s interested in attending," one Facebook user commented.

"I love this and don’t think it’s bad at all. Customer service skills and kids love to play in the kitchen. Reminds me of the children museum where we got to grocery shop, but only with real food," another person wrote.

"Why is everyone in the comments tripping?? Kids would LOVE this. It’s literally no different than paying to get into one of those kid only towns where the kids learn new skills," another user commented.

Chick-fil-A employee taking an order

Chick-fil-A restaurants are owned and operated by individuals in their respective communities, so the camp is not a corporate program. (Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images / Getty Images)

"Some local restaurants create their own programs to engage with the communities they’re located in. Chick-fil-A restaurants are locally owned and operated by people who live and work in the communities their restaurants serve," a public affairs and external communications representative for Chick-fil-A told FOX Business.

When asked for comment, the corporate representative responded on behalf of the Hammond, Louisiana, Chick-fil-A location.

The representative noted that the camp is not a corporate program.

The concept behind the camp started six years ago by an owner-operator Chick-fil-A location in Houston, Texas, and has continued to take place every summer since first launching, the representative added.

"It continues to run every summer and receives positive comments from parents and kids alike – this year’s kids camp at that restaurant sold out in seven minutes, 200 spots," she said.

A Louisiana Chick-fil-A location has sparked a debate online after launching a kids camp where campers will have the opportunity to spend a few hours behind the counter and learning about the business. (iStock / iStock)

Campers at the Houston restaurant partake in activities like trivia and bingo games that are focused on the brand.

Chick-fil-A's rep highlighted that the restaurant does not profit off of the camp.

"It’s important to know campers are not doing the work of a Team Member," she said.

"While there are Team Members who serve as camp counselors, other Team Members are continuing to work in the restaurant and ensure guests receive the delicious food and hospitality Chick-fil-A is known for."

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