World's largest Wendy's franchise owner stands with Chick-fil-A after controversy

Sign outside Wendy's on Broad River Road Wednesday morning (Source: Robby Zobel )
Sign outside Wendy's on Broad River Road Wednesday morning (Source: Robby Zobel )
Marquee outside Wendy's a short time after first photo was taken Wednesday morning ( Source: lphacitadel2005@yahoo.com)
Marquee outside Wendy's a short time after first photo was taken Wednesday morning ( Source: lphacitadel2005@yahoo.com)

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - People driving on Bush River Road Wednesday morning may have seen a message supporting Chick-Fil-A on the marquee of a competing restaurant.

The sign outside the Wendy's restaurant said "We stand with Chick-fil-A." By 8:30, the message was taken down.

Jim Furman, CEO of Tarheel Capital based out of Boone, NC, who owns the restaurant and 74 other Wendy's said the company decided to post the message.

Furman tells WIS he doesn't know how many of the company's restaurants posted the message, but he says it was more than just the one on Bush River Road.

Furman said the message supporting Chick-fil-A was taken down because the company "felt it was time to go back to their marketing message."

WEB EXTRA: Furman's Wendy's stores in North Carolina | South Carolina

The Wendy's corporation released the following statement Wednesday:

"This is one independent franchisee's personal opinion. We are proud to serve customers of varied races, backgrounds, cultures and sexual orientation, with different beliefs and values."

Supporters of Chick-fil-A are encouraging customers to eat at the company's restaurants Wednesday, declaring a "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day."

The restaurant chain became the subject of controversy after company president Dan Cathy told the Baptist Press last month that his company supported the "biblical definition of a family."

In response to comments, gay rights organizations have called for boycotts of the restaurant.

Copyright 2012 WIS. All rights reserved.