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Chick-fil-A opens a new spot in the U.K. for the first time ever

Chick-fil-A has reportedly opened a ‘pilot’ location in the Oracle mall in Reading, England, marking the restaurant’s first expansion into the U.K.

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Chick-fil-A customers wait in line to order lunch in Midvale Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012. Nationally, supporters of Chick-fil-A have declared Wednesday “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.”

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Chick-fil-A has reportedly opened a “pilot” location in the Oracle mall in Reading, England, marking the restaurant’s first expansion into the U.K.

“We can confirm we opened a pilot licensed location in the U.K. on Oct. 10 and we are pleased to have already served several hundred customers in our first day,” a Chick-fil-A spokesperson told Fox News. “This location will help us understand more about consumer interests in our brand and signature menu items.”

According to Fox, organizers of the LGBT group Reading Pride are calling for a boycott of the U.S. restaurant chain’s first U.K. branch, and plan to hold a “peaceful protest” Saturday morning.

“We are a progressive country and certainly a very progressive town,” Martin Cooper, chief executive of Reading Pride, told BerkshireLive Tuesday.

According to Think Progress, in 2012, the Chick-fil-A Foundation donated millions to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Paul Anderson Youth Home and the Salvation Army. Campaigners have said these three organizations have a history of being hostile towards LGBT rights. But Chick-fil-A told BBC News its donations have solely focused on youth and education and that they have never donated with the intention of supporting any specific agendas.

“We are the sum of many experiences, but what we all have in common is a commitment to providing great food, genuine hospitality and a welcoming environment to all our guests,” the company said. They also added that they stopped donating to the Paul Anderson Youth Home in 2017.

In September, Chick-fil-A opened its first international location in Toronto, an event which was boycotted by LGBT activists, claiming the chain owner’s reputation for holding anti-LGBT beliefs would create a culture clash.