Restaurant brands pitch in for Oklahoma tornado relief

May 24, 2013 | by Alicia Kelso
Restaurant brands pitch in for Oklahoma tornado relief

It's been nearly a week since fatal 200-mph tornadoes ravaged Moore, Okla., and plenty of restaurant brands are pitching in to help with the clean-up and recovery process.

The heart of the storm hit just miles from Sonic's Oklahoma City headquarters. Sonic and its franchisee partners have provided hundreds of meals to first responders and relief agencies, and have coordinated water, ice and sanitizer delivery to the area.

The company has also donated to the Red Cross of Central & Western Oklahoma and United Way of Central Oklahoma's Tornado Relief Fund. Sonic has also asked its social media followers to donate to the cause.

From May 28 through June 28, participating Dunkin' Donuts restaurants in Oklahoma City and Dallas will collect donations from guests via in-store canisters to support American Red Cross disaster relief.

In addition to the month-long collection program, Dunkin' Brands will make a $10,000 donation to the American Red Cross.

"Our Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins franchisees, employees and restaurant crew members want to help provide assistance to those who have suffered the devastating impact of the tornadoes that struck Oklahoma," said Karen Raskopf, chief communications officer at Dunkin' Brands. "Our hope is that our donation to the American Red Cross, coupled with the donations from our guests, will help the survivors and their families during this difficult time."

McDonald'snonprofit organization, Ronald McDonald House Charities, is donating $200,000 to the American Red Cross to help support the Moore, Okla., community.

RMHC is partnering with donors McDonald's, Lopez Foods Inc., Bama Companies, Dorada Foods, Martin Brower and the McDonald's Division of The Coca-Cola Company to provide aid.

"McDonald's is a trusted neighbor in these communities, and extending a helping hand to these families in need is the right thing to do," said Don Thompson, McDonald's CEO and RMHC Global board of trustee member. "Our local owner-operators in the affected areas are lending their support by serving McDonald's food to emergency personnel and residents."

In addition, The Coca-Cola Company is providing water, Bama Companies and Lopez Foods are offering sausage biscuit sandwiches to rescue workers and displaced victims and Martin Brower is providing assistance with the distribution of food.

Little Caesars employees have donated food, money donations and time to help the Moore, Okla., community, according to its Facebook fans.

Papa John's is facilitating a "Help Oklahoma" fundraiser on May 26. All day, $1 from every order will be donated to the Salvation Army Oklahoma Relief Effort.

Marco's Pizza has a semi on the ground in Moore filled with necessities such as water, clothing, cleaning supplies, toiletries, paper plates, batteries and more. Marco's two interns, Page and Caitlin, are posting updates about the "Road to Recovery" effort on Twitter at @marcospizzacorp.

Additionally, Marco's is also donating $1 from every large pizza sold to relief efforts.

CiCi's Pizza franchisee Mark Shelton, from Cleburne, Texas, and his store manager, Cassy, and their crew have been delivering cinnamon rolls and pizzas door-to-door in the neighborhoods hardest hit by the storms. Cassy has been diligently working to locate and verify the well-being of all her regular guests.

According to CiCi's Facebook page, Cassy "was concerned about one couple who come in regularly and didn't show up at their usual time on Friday. Saturday morning, Cassy went to their home, carrying their favorite special request pizza, and found that, despite a totaled car, damaged home and lack of power, her guests were doing fine and very awestruck over her generosity and spirit. We are so proud to call Mark, Cassy and their entire crew shining examples of the CiCi's family."

Quiznos told its Facebook fans it is "exploring options to help the OK community the best way we can."

The Facebook community has reported sightings of Chick-fil-A and White Castle employees donating food to residents and first responders in the Moore area. White Castle, a partner of the American Red Cross, has also directed its loyal fan base to the ARC's people finder website.

Read more about cause marketing.

Topics: Customer Service / Experience, Marketing / Branding / Promotion, Operations Management, Social Responsibility

Alicia Kelso
Alicia has been a professional journalist for 15 years. Her work with, and has been featured in publications around the world, including NPR, Good Morning America, Voice of Russia radio, and Franchise Asia magazine. View Alicia Kelso's profile on LinkedIn

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