MADISON — Chick-fil-A lovers here are hoping to stave off a major panic.


The highest-grossing Chick-fil-A in the Southeast will be closed almost two months for renovations starting next weekend.


Signs posted around the Madison location off Grandview Boulevard announced that the Madison Chick-fil-A will close for renovations on Saturday, February 16 for remodeling. 


“Just learned today that our beloved city will soon be facing a crisis of epic proportions - Chick-fil-A closes for renovations on 2/16/2019!” Roger Taylor wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday.


In one of about 15 comments, Mona Tubbs Franzen wrote, “Ours did here in Gulfport and everyone survived. Remember, absence makes the heart grow, hungrier. Lol.”


Restaurant Operator Chris Rosson said that they had been talking to Chick-fil-A corporate for over a year about possible renovations to the dining room and plans are now in effect to move forward.


“We have grown and are the highest chain by volume in the southeast,” Rosson said. “We could not have done that without the tremendous support of this community and we thought it was time we could make some changes to offer our customers better service.”


The remodel will include expanding the kitchen with more flat surfaces for food preparation.


“So much of what we do is made from scratch, so our prep stations are incredibly important to us,” Rosson said.


In addition, the layout of the service counter and the drive-thru window will be remodeled to increase movement of staff members. 


For instance, Rosson said they do between 20 and 25 percent of their business through the Chick-fil-A app which allows customers to order before they set foot in the restaurant.


The drive-thru, which Rosson said accounts for as much as 50 percent of sales on most days, will feature an awning with fans and heaters for their now signature drive-thru line ordering.


“Basically, we want to make it better for our workers so that we can continue to deliver the best product to our customers,” Rosson said.


The dining room will also see a new layout and a large projector screen for special events. Rosson also said that they will change the interior layout to offer a clear path for food and supply deliveries.


Baron Wohlgemuth, executive director for the local chain, said that they hope to be back open on or before April 11.


Rosson said that the 115 employees at the Madison location will not be laid off or have to seek temporary employment or go on unemployment during the renovation.


“We have a great team and we want to make sure they are taken care of while we are closed. We will still be filling various catering orders, mostly for local schools, out of our County Line location, and we will have work opportunities for our employees there as well,” he said. “In addition, many will receive extra training or have opportunities to travel to help with other store openings. And finally, we have arranged for several service projects in the area and in the Delta for our team members. It was very important from the outset that we take care of our employees during this time.”