St. Louis-based Schnuck Markets is making the holidays a little happier for its workers and local restaurants in its communities with a new program that gives all Schnucks associates a $15 gift card to a restaurant located within five miles of his or her work location.
The company is spending $200,000 on the gift cards, which will help support local restaurants that have been challenged during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As many families do this time of year, we wanted to support others in our ‘food family’ — in this case, the many local restaurants negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Schnucks chairman and CEO Todd Schnuck. “We thought the best way to do this was by offering all of our teammates gift cards to these restaurants near our stores, extending our mission to nourish people’s lives to those many businesses and their employees who help make up the communities that we jointly serve.”
Schnucks has reached out to support restaurants since the beginning of the pandemic. As early as April, Schnucks came to the aid of St. Louis-area restaurants by carrying an array of their menu items at select supermarkets. Meals, side dishes, snacks and other offerings from six local restaurants — Revel Kitchen, Crispy Edge, Seoul Taco, Nudo House STL, Crushed Red and Hot Box Cookies — were made available in the deli grab-and-go coolers and frozen department at designated stores in the St. Louis marketplace.
In July, the retailer expanded its grab-and-go meal partnerships with a focus on teaming up with local Black-owned restaurants. Customers could find offerings from area such restaurants as Royally Baked, The Fattened Caf, Patty’s Cheesecakes, Bold Spoon Creamery, Cathy’s Kitchen and Ms. Piggies’ Smokehouse at designated stores.
“We’re committed to supporting our neighboring restaurants at a time when many are struggling because of pandemic restrictions on space and occupancy,” said Andy DeCou, specialty deli category manager at Schnucks, at the time. He added that he and other Schnucks associates were seeking more local restaurant owners interested in partnering with the grocer to extend their reach to customers. “After reading ‘Black-Owned Restaurants to Support in St. Louis Right Now’ in Feast Magazine, we called these restaurateurs and invited them to sell their unique offerings in our stores.”
Since COVID, Schnucks has also launched initiatives and programs to ease the burden of the pandemic on the communities it serves. The retailer, which operates 112 stores in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, has contributed $100,000 to local schools to support virtual learning and also helped bring socially distanced high school graduation ceremonies to St. Louis schools.
For the safety and convenience of its customers, Schnucks has also expanded its curbside pickup to more stores and introduced contactless e-receipts for its Schnucks Rewards members.
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