One crucial way for restaurant chains and franchises to connect with their communities is by giving back, and some chains in particular have made this a major priority. Chipotle Mexican Grill is consistently dedicated to charitable causes related to food and agriculture through its own Chipotle Cultivate Foundation. But for the month of June, the chain has formed a strategic partnership with (RED) on a month-long EAT (RED) DRINK (RED) SAVE LIVES campaign to raise money and awareness to support the fight against AIDS.
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“We look to partner with organizations that are positively impacting peoples’ lives,” said Mark Crumpacker, chief creative and development officer at Chipotle, in a press release from the restaurant chain. “Through the (RED) partnership, we are giving our customers a chance to purchase special edition (RED) gift cards to help play a role in ending AIDS around the world.”
Part of the campaign involves the use of special limited edition (RED) gift cards, available at restaurants as well as a Chipotle (RED) microsite. Throughout the month of June, Chipotle has committed to donating five percent of sales for every (RED) gift card sold to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, up to a total of $100,000. To further raise awareness, the chain also enlisted the support of 11 chefs and culinary world personalities to contribute special recipes for the EAT (RED) DRINK (RED) SAVE LIVES campaign that will also be available on the Chipotle (RED) microsite. Those chefs include Chipotle culinary manager Nate Appleman (contributing a recipe for beef short ribs), Graham Elliott (avocado hummus), Andrew Zimmern (braised pork with chiles), Richard Blais (barbacoa terrine), Rocco Dispirito (Mexican cauliflower chili scramble) and more.
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“We are so thrilled to have Chipotle coming to the table for EAT (RED) DRINK (RED) SAVE LIVES in 2015. Not only is the brand loved and enjoyed by young people around the world, it’s fantastic to see Chipotle rallying its customers to join the AIDS fight as part of this campaign,” said Deborah Dugan, CEO at (RED). “The impact is huge—Chipotle’s contribution alone can provide more than a quarter million days of life-saving HIV/AIDS medication for those who need it most in sub-Saharan Africa.”
From Ronald McDonald House Charities to Yum Brands’ World Hunger Relief efforts, in-house charity organizations are mainstays of major chains and franchises. But perhaps this year will see a rise in partnerships between established brands and established organizations dedicated to good works.