City Barbeque lends a holiday hand

by Robert Mitchell

City Barbeque partnered with The Salvation Army this Christmas season and provided nearly 1,000 toys for underprivileged children who might otherwise have gone without.

The company, based in Dublin, Ohio, accepted new toy donations from Nov. 15 to Dec. 15 at its 67 locations. According to QSR, an online news source reporting on the restaurant industry, City Barbeque staff worked with The Salvation Army to distribute gifts to children in every community the restaurant serves. Customers who donated also got a $5 coupon off their next City Barbeque order of $25 or more.

Annica Conrad, chief brand officer for City Barbeque, told QSR, “Here at City Barbeque, we’re all about serving others and creating happiness, and we can’t wait for our guests to join us in spreading some cheer for kids in our communities.”

A social media post from The Salvation Army’s National Headquarters said City Barbeque collected 834 toys, “bringing joy to hundreds of children and their families.”

Two Salvation Army divisions that partnered this Christmas were Northeast Ohio (NEOSA) and Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky (SWONEKY).

Mandy Hoover, development and public relations director for NEOSA, says the relationship is amazing because City Barbeque restaurants are fairly new to the area, and this was the first year of the partnership.

“It didn’t bring in a lot of toys this first year, but just having the new partnership and being able to build that relationship, not only at Christmastime, but through the year, is exciting for us,” Hoover says. “We’re looking to the future.

“Some programs have a very slow start in the beginning, but there’s always that opportunity to grow and that’s really what we’re looking forward to with the partnership.”

Julie Budden, development director for SWONEKY, agreed.

“This is the first year they did a toy drive, and they picked The Salvation Army,” Budden says. “They chose us. Their timing was really exquisite—right when we were getting everything organized for the mass distributions that we have.

“We always want more toys because no child wants to be forgotten, so any kind of assistance is always so welcome. It hopefully is part of a nice national partnership for years to come.”

The partnership extended beyond the USA Eastern Territory to other territories across eight states.

“We are grateful for the giving spirit of City Barbeque and its customers,” Dale Bannon, national community relations and development secretary for The Salvation Army, told QSR.