Businesses Pay It Forward

courtesy photo

Times like these can illuminate the best in people, and also show a businesses’ true colors. Of course, not all companies are able to help during these tough times, but some can… and are! We welcome you to enjoy a bit of good news, as some of San Diego’s favorite places to eat, drink and play have stepped up to help their communities and employees.

The Village at Pacific Highlands RanchIn support of its valued business community, The Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch gave Trader Joe’s gift cards to all full- and part-time employees who work in the Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch. Altogether PHR handed out 348 gift cards to those who work at various local businesses within the complex. 

OMG Hospitality Group (Waterbar, Union Kitchen & Tap, Backyard Kitchen & Tap, Pacific Beach Alehouse) –Owners- Eric and Teresa Leitstein have donated over $100K to provide some financial relief for their 500+ OMG employees.  They have also been feeding their employees by hosting foodbanks for their laid off employees.

Rise & Shine Hospitality Group (Breakfast Company, Fig Tree Café, El Jardin Cantina, Feast & Fareway, Breakfast Republic) – This restaurant group decided to give laid-off workers free food (at their Breakfast Republic Mission Valley location). They have also been making food deliveries to local hospitals. To date, they have given out over 3,500 free meals. Rise & Shine also set up a GoFundMe Page to continue these efforts. Plus, they are donating over $45k to make this campaign possible.

Verant Group (barleymash, Gingers, The Smoking Gun, Sandbar Sports Grill, Mavericks, Tavern, True North Tavern, Spill The Beans) – This group is feeding the staff from all their establishments on Tuesdays – Fridays, with free cooked meals they can pick up at The Smoking Gun. So far, they have donated over 1100 meals. Spill The Beans and The Smoking Gun have also delivered hundreds of meals to healthcare workers.

City Tacos Every Tuesday, City Tacos is offering a free meal to their employees. They switch up the City Tacos location each week.  They also make enough for the general public to come by and purchase the same meal. The purchases are all donation based. All donations made are then given to laid-off employees. The owner also set up a GoFundMe page to raise monies for their employees.

Tavern at the VogueThey have been offering meal kits to Congressional Towers; a local senior community. Several benefactors have been pre-paying for meals, which are prepared and delivered to Scripps Mercy Hospital on H. St. in Chula Vista. Their first delivery was on April 11, when 15 substantial meals (Tavern Board and salad) were delivered.

AleSmith – This popular brewery partnered with Tank Farm to create a “Save Your Local Brewery” T-shirt with 100% of proceeds going to employees ( ).  They are currently still employing their staff, but many have reduced hours.  They are also still covering healthcare costs. For the community, AleSmith is conducting a food drive both at the brewery, and virtually.

Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza – The list of giving is long at Sammy’s, where they remain open for take-out. Employees are welcome to free pizza, along with Sammy’s efforts to donate pizzas to the following organizations: Jacobs Medical Center 3GH Intensive Care Unit (40 pizzas delivered weekly), UCSD Moores Cancer Center, Sharp Rees Stealy La Mesa, Rady Children’s Hospital, Scripps Mercy Hospital and Sharp Rees Stealy Del Mar.

Cohn Restaurant Group They are operating a food pantry at The Prado on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and also distributing meals to their team members. This is taking place at 333 Pacific in Oceanside, BO-beau in Long Beach and from Balboa Park (the park is closed so they are operating a drive-through on Park Blvd). Cohen Restaurant Group has provided over 3,000 family meals for laid-off team members. They are also funding and raising funds to provide substantial VISA Gift Cards to over 600 of their ‘great people.’

How refreshing it is to live in a community where businesses are giving back to their employees and others in need. It’s times like these that make us all come together, no matter how distant we feel. Thanks to you all!