For the second year in a row, Meijer stores and distribution centers are showing appreciation for frontline team members throughout the holiday season by serving meals sourced from local businesses. Restaurants from pizzerias and barbecue joints to sandwich shops and diners are receiving large orders from the retailer to feed hundreds of team members at every Meijer location across the Midwest.
With 110,000 restaurants having closed their doors temporarily or permanently last year, remaining local eateries continue to face significant challenges as they try to regain their footing. Meijer chose to continue its holiday meals program again this year as part of its continued efforts to support local businesses and recognize team members.
“We know many restaurants are still recovering from the challenges of 2020 that continued into this year,” Meijer President & CEO Rick Keyes said. “We’re pleased to support them with our meal orders while also showing our appreciation for our team members who are doing so much.”
With nearly 300 Meijer locations hosting multiple holiday appreciation meals for their team members throughout the holiday season, the retailer plans to make a significant impact on local restaurants. It estimates local businesses will cater more than 1,000 holiday meal events across its footprint by the end of the year, serving more than 250,000 individual meals to its team members.
“We really appreciate the large orders,” said Shannon Foster, Owner of Crave Café in Louisville, Ky., who catered boxed sandwich meals to a Louisville Meijer last week. “They came through last year in a time when we really needed it and they continue to be helpful even today as business is better.”
After having to shut its doors for 2 months in 2020 due to the pandemic, Crave Café was first chosen to cater the nearby Jeffersonville, Ind. Meijer last year as part of the retailer’s first-ever holiday meals program. Once word spread to the other stores in the area, the restaurant became a local Meijer favorite, receiving multiple orders this year from the surrounding locations, even outside of the holiday season.
“We’re honored to be a part of this community and get to support local restaurants like Crave Café through this program,” said Scarlett Greenwood, Store Director of the Louisville Meijer. “The holiday season can be especially stressful for those in retail, so it feels good to show our team members we care and make their days a little easier.”