My Red Lobster and the Ft. Collins Olive Garden donated about 100 lunches each on separate days to the volunteers set up at the Red Cross command post at the Budweiser Event Center in Loveland, which is about 10 miles from our restaurants. To get these lunches cooked and transported while still preparing for our normal lunch service, team members were willing to come in early and help out. Service Manager Kevin Siekmann, Culinary Manager Lisa Hill, Certified Grill Master Bryan McGee and Prep Specialist Adan Rueda jumped right in. We dropped off Shrimp Alfredo, salad and Cheddar Bay Biscuits to the many hungry volunteers. Even though they were grateful to us for the food, I was thankful for all the work they were doing on the front lines for my community.
I could see first-hand how these floods impacted not only Colorado residents but those within the Darden Restaurants family. Two Red Lobster restaurants closer to the impacted areas were closed due to the flooding and my own Culinary Manager delivered supplies over the FEMA border to her grandparents, who lived in Lyons, Colorado, the hardest hit town. In speaking with the guests dining at our restaurant during this time, my team and I learned that many of them were residents of the evacuated areas and were displaced. We were able to lend an ear and be a shoulder to lean on. We also provided free appetizers and desserts to try to lift their spirits during this stressful time.
Darden Restaurants is part of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program, which allows the Red Cross to respond immediately to those impacted by disasters around the U.S., regardless of cost. Our relationship with the Red Cross also allowed me and my team to quickly jump in and personally get involved when this natural disaster hit so close to home. I am so proud of my Ft. Collins Red Lobster team for giving their time and energy to helping our community during this state of emergency. I hope our efforts were able to bring a smile to the hard-working volunteers and some hope to all those impacted.
By: Kevin Bonich, General Manager, Ft. Collins Red Lobster
Pictured: The Ft. Collins Red Lobster team donated and delivered lunches to the Red Cross volunteers during the floods that devastated Colorado. From left to right: Service Professional Austin Rettig, Service Professional Josh Bruner and General Manager Kevin Bonich of the Ft. Collins Red Lobster team with a Red Cross Volunteer.