Maui Business

Chick-fil-A delays Maui opening, names Kahului operator

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Chick-Fil-A construction is underway in Kahului. PC: Andy Gross (1.4.22)

Chick-fil-A pushed back the tentative opening for its $3.87 million Kahului restaurant — the first of at least four locations launching in the Aloha State.

Initially scheduled to open late spring, a news release today said the Central Maui restaurant is now set to open mid-2022.  

The release also announced the names of four operators chosen to helm the Hawaiʻi restaurants.

Sean Whaley, of San Bernardino, Calif., was selected as the franchise operator for Kahului. 

“With a heart for service, Sean brings years of experience in the restaurant industry, from managing a shaved ice truck to most recently owning and operating a delicatessen in Rancho Cucamonga, California,” the release said.

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Previous work trips brought Whaley to Hawaiʻi and he is “happy to now plant roots in Maui with his wife, Danielle, and their three children,” it added.

Sean Whaley has been selected as the operator of Chick-fil-A in Kahului, which is slated to open mid-2022. PC: Chick-fil-A
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Workers employed heavy equipment and other machinery at the site today, as underground infrastructure construction is under way. 

Chick-fil-A’s building permit was issued by the County of Maui in October, according to county documents.  The facility value is listed at $3.87 million and the builder is Maui-based Arita-Poulson General Contracting.

A building permit in 2020 listed a project cost of $2,950,000.

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Maui Chick-fil-A’s 7,500-square-foot parcel is part of Alexander & Baldwin’s Puʻunēnē Shopping Center at 140 Hoʻokele St., which is anchored by Target.

Once completed, the restaurant will have a full dining room with double drive-thru and outdoor dining patio, according to earlier announcements. It is anticipated to generate about 120 jobs.

The company’s news release today listed operators for the forthcoming Oʻahu locations, including the following:

  • Kurt Milne, Chick-fil-A Ala Moana Mall, 1450 Ala Moana Boulevard, Honolulu, slated to open in late 2022. 
  • Zane Dydasco, Chick-fil-A Makiki, 1050 S. Beretania St., Honolulu, slated to open in late 2022. 
  • Spencer Goo, Chick-fil-A Kapolei Parkway & Kualakaʻi (NWC Kualakaʻi Pkwy & Kapolei Pkwy, Kapolei), slated to open in late 2022/early 2023. 

While some competitors require a half million to a million dollars in order to operate a restaurant, Chick-fil-A operators pay $10,000 and go through a highly competitive selection process, the company has said.

Known for chicken sandwiches, the Atlanta-based fast-food chain that dates back to 1967 now has thousands of restaurants in nearly all 50 states.

Chick-fil-A, a company privately owned by the family of its late founder, S. Truett Cathy, has 2,300 restaurants in 47 states and Washington, D.C., according to its website. It reported more than $9 billion in revenue in 2017.

Cathy opened his original diner, the Dwarf Grill, later called the Dwarf House, in an Atlanta suburb in 1946. After testing hundreds of recipes, he created in 1964 the recipe for the original chicken sandwich with two pickles on a toasted butter bun. Three years later, Cathy founded and opened the first Chick-fil-A in Atlanta’s Greenbriar Shopping Center.

A rendering of Chick-fil-A in Kahului, Hawaii’s first restaurant of its kind, is pictured. PC: Chick-fil-A
Kehaulani Cerizo
Kehaulani Cerizo was born and raised on Maui and worked for nearly 15 years as a news reporter, copy editor and features editor at daily newspapers. She earned awards at The Maui News in Wailuku and at Today’s Local News in San Diego.
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