A Car, Rent Payments, TV: Chick-fil-A Owner Gives Employees Massive Gifts at Holiday Party

The owner of a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, showed her appreciation to her workers by giving out generous gifts during a recent holiday party, including a Toyota RAV4, money for rent, a big-screen television and a Dyson vacuum cleaner.

Aimee Hernandez, the owner of Chick-fil-A Robinson in the Pittsburgh suburb of North Fayette, spoke with Newsweek about her decision to treat her employees to a holiday drawing on December 5 that featured big-ticket items.

Chick-fil-A restaurant Delaware 2019
A Chick-fil-A owner in Pittsburgh recently held a holiday party drawing which featured a car. In this photo, a Chick-fil-A venue is seen in Middletown, Delaware, on July 26, 2019. Getty Images

"Each Christmas party, I used to do a white elephant exchange for everybody where I would buy all the presents and wrap them all, and they would get numbers and then fight over the gifts," Hernandez, who has owned the chicken-based fast food store for six years, said.

"The past couple years, it's been challenging, because the gifts have gotten a little bit bigger, but people were still leaving disappointed sometimes if nobody stole a gift that they got," she added.

The pandemic proved an especially difficult time for her business, Hernandez explained, with her store's dining room having to be closed for a period. Plus, her employees began feeling stressed around the holidays.

"I just kind of asked myself, what would really knock their socks off, because they deserve the world, they really do. They work so hard," Hernandez said.

"So, I saved every month. I portioned aside some of the profit, and I always knew in my mind that I was going to get a car," she explained. "We turned it into a contest. Depending on how much you work, you got that many tickets, then you got to use your tickets to bid on whichever prize you know you wanted to win. If you only wanted to win the car, you could put all your tickets in there, and then we did a drawing, and it was so exciting and so fun for them."

Also included in the drawing were tickets to a Pittsburgh Steelers game, a Nintendo video game console, a Louis Vuitton purse and $1,000 cash.

A Twitter account set up for the Chick-fil-A location shared a video of the drawing.

One person on social media wrote that while she hasn't been to a Chick-fil-A in years, she commended the store for "its decent treatment of some of its employees this year."

Hernandez shrugged off the generosity she showed the 60 workers at her store, saying "they're the absolute best. They deserve the best of everything."