Yard House will open third Colorado restaurant Sunday in Park Meadows
How are you incorporating Food Bank of the Rockies?
We've been part of this program for two and a half years. On any given day, each location raises about thirty to forty dollars from small customer donations. Since the program's launch in 2009, we've raised around $8,000, which has all been given to charities. We've donated over $20,000 to Food Bank of the Rockies just from the guest donations. It's a great program. Yard House is the founding restaurant for Round It Up America, and we made it an industry-wide initiative, not just a Yard House initiative. You'll see it in other restaurants throughout the nation. It started because we kept reading articles and watching the news and seeing local food banks without any food on the shelves, so we felt that we needed to do something as a company. Rather than asking for a few large donations, we decided to ask a lot of people to donate just a little. Now we are in 22 states nationwide and sponsored by American Red Cross, the National Restaurant Association and Coca-Cola.
Nobody makes any money on this. Plus, 10 percent of the money raised goes into a cumulative account called National Disaster Relief that can be drawn on for disasters like Hurricane Katrina. Last year a tornado in Joplin, Missouri, devastated an area two miles wide and thirteen miles long. I went down there with the President of Yard House to help with the relief. From pictures we anticipated the destruction, but when we got on the ground we couldn't believe how more people hadn't lost their lives.
What are the pre-celebration parties?
We usually invite business people from the communities to these pre-openings. At this one we're inviting a lot of residents, hotel concierges and mall managers, who are all hand-given invites. This is really a huge event for us. We want to introduce everyone to Yard House and our menu. We're going to build our fan base much quicker from people who get to taste the food rather than by putting an ad out. We want people who want to try Yard House or who already love Yard House to come so we can show them that Yard House is a good place to dine.
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