Brenham | Washington County Economic Development Director Susan Cates presents county commissioners on Tuesday with a proposal to provide $250,000 in total incentives, including $50,000 from the county, to build a Chick-fil-A in Brenham. The proposal was approved 4-1.

Chick-fil-A is officially on its way to Brenham.

Washington County Commissioners at their meeting today (Tuesday) voted 4-1 to approve an economic development agreement between the county and Brenham CFA Series, LLC to build a full-service restaurant in the Brenham Market Square development, located on the north side of Highway 290 between Cantey Street and Chappell Hill Street.

Brenham | Washington County Economic Development Director Susan Cates said the project will benefit both the city and the county by generating “significant sales tax revenue.”



Through the agreement, a total of $250,000 will be contributed by the county, City of Brenham and Brenham Community Development Corporation (BCDC) to help the developer, Lisciotti Development Corporation, offset increased supply and construction costs.  That includes $150,000 from the BCDC through sales tax dollars, along with $50,000 apiece from the county and the city.

Cates estimates the county’s investment will pay off in less than two years, based on projected sales tax revenue from the project in addition to property taxes.  She said this development is a $2.5 million investment in the community.



Cates predicts the restaurant will open in around six months.

Commissioner Kirk Hanath voted against the economic development agreement.  He said he is not opposed to bringing a Chick-fil-A to town, but was not in favor of using an economic incentive agreement to do so.  He believes the county’s investment should go toward the manufacturing industry instead of retail, as manufacturing “has a longer effect on our community in terms of economic development.”  He said, “We need to be a self-sustaining economy, and manufacturing does that for us.”

What’s your Reaction?


  1. A lot of these new developments won’t last more than 5 years here. Brenham likes to think that it has money but the citizens are broke lol. This community isn’t big enough or economically sound enough to keep these businesses afloat. The whole city will show up and enjoy the establishment for a few months and that’s it. Back to cooking at home. Everything is too expensive and jobs here still throwing around 8-10 hr like you can live off of that here. Let alone eat out and shop all the time lol.

  2. From a story from Forbes, dated 6 October 2021, and entitled: “Forbes Has Added A Third Chick-fil-A Heir To The Billionaire Ranks”

    According to documents obtained by Forbes, based on the trust set up by Truett Cathy and a trust for the family’s WinShape Foundation, each of the three Cathy siblings is estimated to own a third of the family’s stake in the $4.3 billion (2020 revenues) company. That makes them the richest fast food moguls in America.

    They need tax incentives?!

  3. Most of the above is irrelevant. At issue is should tax dollars be spent subsidizing private businesses. Brenham is now reaping the benefits of past decades of investment in public infrastructure such as parks, downtown, swimming pools, theaters, etc. When I asked the owner of one of the industries that had moved here “why did you locate here?” he replied “Well I made the City think subsidies were pivotal in my decision but really this is where I wanted my children to grow up and if you repeat this I will swear you are lying”, Grants and tax breaks are foolish giveaways. If the City has all this spare money, how about more parking for downtown?

  4. It’s easy to see that this is about making an investment in our community by using a nationally recognized brand that has historically made lots of money to take our seed capital and generate cash flow for the city, county, etc. that would otherwise be generated by raising our taxes. The proposed turnaround time seems conservative, when you look at CFA’s historical numbers.

    Let’s be real. Most of the income generated will be from thru traffic. Sure, a lot of us in-county will eat there. But, whether we like it or not, CFA is definitely a well-recognized and proven draw, much more than any other food business we’ve got out on the highway (Starbucks excepted). We can grab lots of money from people going to and from Austin and Houston that would otherwise get spent at Buc-ee’s.

    The small businesses that are upset about this deal sound jealous that they weren’t chosen to be the county’s cash cow…

  5. Why does a multimillion dollar company Liscotti Development, Leominster, Massachusetts get $250,000.00 in taxpayer money? See their website http://www.lisciotti.com This is a how the rich get richer. Gregg Lisciotti should pay the full price like all small businesses must do. This is indefensible!

  6. I called this at the start of the infrastructure building off of 290.
    It’s very predictable to me to see a chik fil a in this town, whether or not the people here wanted it or not.
    I’m sure someone thought it would make the town look good from the travelers on 290. A “good christian” restaurant helps keep image right?
    We need small business manufacturing jobs that have more incentive to stay in this town and build families. Corporate America is falling apart at the moment so I don’t see the benefit in bringing more into town. Especially with tax payers dollars

  7. I have never understood the appeal of Chick-fil-A. It is okay, but definitely not worth the wait, or price. Not to mention they are closed on Sunday. I am sure they could find some way to be open for limited hours on Sunday, after church, and most people, even someone like me, who thinks they are medium to fair, would appreciate it. Weekends are generally the time when you have the time to take everyone out, and the kids enjoy it.
    If they are soo amazing, and soo successful, why do they need help with free money???
    Must be nice to spend the tax payers money on things you like. Good grief!!!

    1. Thanks for your opinion. I know you think you are an expert on everything. Like you tell everyone else that writes in, “If you don’t like it, don’t go there”.
      My opinion, Chick-fil-A is the best. When you see the cars lined up down the street after it opens, maybe then you will understand. People “vote with their feet”.
      Their employees are well trained and polite. The problem will be trying to find people that can be trained. I have never seen a long line at Popeyes. The reason the corporation is successful is because they have a good product.
      Don’ worry about the money distribution, you never would have seen it anyway.

      1. Agree completely, except you are missing the point of the lines. Huge lines, but with each car taking about 5 minutes to get through the whole thing. Any other restaurant…2 cars and 10 minutes in to out. Then you gotta eat that sub-par food.
        As for the price, easier to swallow when you leave feeling good about humanity, unlike most fast food joints.

        1. If eating at a fast food restaurant makes you feel good about anything, that is fantastic. Go all the time. I enjoy the instant gratification myself occasionally.
          They definitely do not need any help monetarily, especially from the Washington County Tax Payers.

    2. Here comes J.D. with his negative views on things. Some good things Chick-fil-A has. Sunday’s off, so their staff can go to church. Waiting? Every Chick-fil-A I’ve been to is pretty fast and they have huge lines to go through. As far as the food, it’s average to me but hey others like it. The things I don’t agree with is the economic incentives. This is a billion dollar company and you need help opening a shop in Brenham? That’s not right, and we shouldn’t have approved that, AT ALL!

    3. I think it’s great that they’re closed on Sundays. It gives their employees a day with God and family. It’s their business, and if they want to be closed on Sunday then they can be closed on Sunday. I’m tired of seeing one little person get upset because someone isn’t doing something they like or is running their business in some way that they don’t like and they get all upset and pitch a fit. It’s his business, if he wants to close on Sunday he can. If you don’t like it, go eat somewhere else.

  8. Listen brenham area already has too many chicken spots and Mexican restaurants, why can’t we invest in a free birds or something else?? Idk something that won’t get old faster then the next spot we already technically have. That’s why certain places don’t last because we have so many of them it gets old We don’t need it lol y’all need to get out of town sometimes anyways see new faces.

    1. IMHO only, all of Brenham’s “chicken spots” are mediocre at best. I’ll be glad to see a Chic-fil-A, but STILL NO MATCH to the BEST ones Brenham ever had: 1)KFC 2)POPEYE’S KFC was done in by horrible management and staff. POPEYE’S was located on a “suicide corner” of the Loop. So I won’t be doing any backflips until THOSE TWO RETURN.

    2. U do realize what u just said? Lol no more chicken or Mexican then u said we should get a freebirds. Um what do u think freebirds is – MEXICAN! I can tell you CFA is widely popular and for good reason Their service is one of a kind and the only thing that could mess that up in this town is the poor excuse for workers we have here !

  9. Why Chick-fil-A? How about subsidizing Popeyes which was run out of town after the new highway improvements (?) Or perhaps the poor folks that tried to open the former Cieolito Lindo (sic?) only to be run out of business by poor municipal planning. It’s now the moved Sealand Steakhouse but only after installing a new road! Oh heck, I’d like to build an addition….can I get a tax break?? Didn’t think so…. Any business should be able to make it or not ON THEIR OWN! I don’t care to have my tax dollars subsidizing anyone.

  10. I would be willing to bet all my land, retirement, CDs, and IRA accounts that if I were to take out a permit to build a small shop for my business within the city limits that no one would lift a finger to help and give me tax incentives and other sorts of financial recompense to help me offset ” […] increased supply and construction costs.”
    There is a systemic ignorance that if you pay people to come to this town, pay their building costs, pay their taxes, and promote them at every turn that the town will benefit. Some buildings in downtown Brenham, in the last 20 years, have had probably 10 or 15 occupants. If the businesses that were started were solid and had good financial planning and a financial reserve to weather slow times and increased costs, they would still be in business. However, it’s my firm belief in looking how many businesses open and close within a year or two, that the owner/operator has no earthly idea about running a business and it turns into a monster for them financially. Larger businesses and developers look at Brenham as easy pickings because there are few regulations that they need to adhere to, and (seemingly) the city council and the county commissioners will do whatever they can to minimize their upfront costs; on the back end, the developer and business owner will reap all of their profits and, especially in the case of a housing development, the houses have been sold to taxpayers and the developer is off the hook for long-term expenses. Thanks Commissioner Hanath for taking a stand against the proposed giveaway and looking at better options for Washington County.

  11. Crony capitalism. Corporate welfare. Plain and simple. I love this chicken company but if they want to do business in Brenham they will find a way. Why are they special? How does Bush’s chicken feel about this. Will the same be done for 5 Guys if they want to do business in Brenham? How would Dairy Bar react. This is unfair business practice choosing one company over another. If the Cathy family wants to sell chicken in Brenham I believe they would pay the full price to do so. Just my opinion.

    1. There is a difference between this and cronyism. Chick-fil-A’s brand affinity is of great demand by the voting public and the elected officials knew this and they delivered. Nobody except for Hanath wanted to be the one to vote Chick-Fil-A down, and since he didn’t actually run them off he gets to be principled and also not blamed for anything at the same time. It’s brilliant for his part.

      There is definitely a problem here and with so many other things. The diagnosis stares us in the mirror. It’s us. We the people get everything that we really want, but also the things we don’t know that we deserve.

      1. Chick-Fil-A pay your own way! Please see definition of crony. $250,000.00 call it what you want these people are choosing the winners and losers.

  12. Yes!!!! It’s about time. WWJD, do you or people you know go to Chick-fil-A when you or your people you know go shopping out of town. Well I do! And so does half the population of Washington county. The other chicken places in town better step up their game because CFA pays their workers well, very involved in education, training, involved in the communities, and are a Christian company. Closed on Sundays! Because they believe in family time.

    1. No, I don’t, no my friends don’t. It’s about selecting this particular privately out of town owned franchise to give our tax payer dollars for starting a fast food outlet. I do not recall one time that any local privately owned business received this from local governments. Which begs to answer why this franchise? Has nothing to do with not being open on Sunday. Or the Christianity I learned in Sunday school about loving and respecting each other is certainly not their mantra.
      We have a very popular locally owned BBQ restaurant with much statewide attention bringing in hundreds of out of town visitors, and many more worthy food businesses who could have used help in years past. No, this was a big mistake, and reeks of panic and desperation in an election year.

    2. I find this comment comical. I have never cared for this overpriced and overrated restaurant. I do not go out of my way to mapquest this place and drive miles to eat there. Stop with the handouts. Work with the local folks and let the bigger chains pave their own way in.

  13. Thank you Commissioner Hanath for your good sense to vote no. We do not have the labor force for the retail business we currently have. Many of the new retail outlets in the shopping center have personnel who live elsewhere and normally work in that same retail chain in their community, but are asked to come here to work on a weekly basis. As you said, we need higher paying family support jobs as in manufacturing.
    In reality, this “ decision” was made in a reaction to a community event planned for Oct. 16th. It puts a face on our community a face of intolerance, fear, uneducated, anti science, bigotry and unchristian attitudes and behavior. First it’s this group, then another, and another, until we have returned to the pre WWII days of eliminating what someone else tells us to blame and fear.

    1. Why? Why burden the taxpayers of Washington Co & Brenham? Chick-fil-A is hugely successful. They are usually good corporate neighbors but They need NO taxpayer funds to make a fortune in Brenham. Brenham is between Austin & Houston and on the way to Lake Somerville. The local population plus Blinn students would make a Branham location profitable. Washington County. The traffic to the lake, Austin & Brenham will insure that Chick-fil-A is more than successful. It will be a ‘gold mine. Brenham needs small manufacturing companies that pay very good wages and hire LOCAL people. Such handouts are a burden to the local competitors who pay taxes to pave the way for new competition.

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