Friday, March 27, 2009

Building Partnerships in YOUR Community

At Eat’n Park, we try to contribute as much as possible to the communities in which we do business. As a corporation, we donate at least 5% of our pre-tax earnings to non-profit organizations in our neighborhoods. We also get involved by:
  • Giving away a LOT of Smiley Cookies! We donated about 10,000 dozen Smiley Cookies to nonprofit and community organizations in 2008.
  • Donating gift cards to help non-profits raise funds. Last year, we donated more than $50,000 worth of Eat’n Park gift cards.
  • Supporting community events with Smiley, our mascot, his Cookie Cruiser vehicle, and our team of smile experts! Team Smiley visits community events free of charge. In 2008, they attended events throughout Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania to pass out about 90,000 Smiley Cookies and offer kids a chance to play games and even decorate their own Smiley Cookies.

We’re proud to be a part of your community and want to be good neighbors. We offer two types of donations to non-profit organizations. If your non-profit is looking for assistance, here’s how we can help:

Restaurant-Level Donations

Our restaurant managers at each Eat’n Park location are authorized to make one of the following donations per event:

  • Up to 15 dozen cookies at 50% off
  • Up to $10 in gift cards
  • Up to $15 in product (Smiley Cookies, food, or supplies)

Non-profit organizations are eligible to receive a restaurant-level donation once per year. To receive one of these donations, take a written request on your organization’s letterhead to the general manager of your local Eat’n Park for consideration. For more information about restaurant-level donations, click here.

Corporate-Level Donations

Requests for Smiley Cookies, gift cards, and any other in-kind donations exceeding the amounts above must be approved by our corporate office. You’ll need to submit your request online (just click here) at least 5 weeks before your deadline or event date.

We would love to support every worthy organization that requests our help. Unfortunately, due to the volume of requests that we receive both at the restaurant and corporate level, we are unable to participate in all of the worthy opportunities presented to us, and we cannot make exceptions to our 5-week deadline.

Smiley and his Cookie Cruiser

Smiley and his Cookie Cruiser visit community events throughout the year. If you would like to invite Smiley and/or his Cookie Cruiser to your special event, click here to fill out our online form.

On behalf of the team at Eat’n Park, thanks for thinking of us as a partner for your organization. I hope we have a chance to work with you in the future!

Kevin

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Why is our seafood so good?

“I Didn’t Know That!”

I’m always surprised to hear this response from some of our most loyal guests when I tell them about how we prepare our seafood. They know our seafood is good, but they’ve never thought about what makes it so good. It’s really simple - we take great care in choosing ingredients and preparing your meal at Eat’n Park. Here are a few of the fun facts that have surprised my friends and family:

  • Our fish sandwiches, including our famous “Whale of a Cod” and our new “Whitefish Sandwich,” are hand-breaded and fried in trans-fat free canola oil. Hand-breaded tastes better than processed!
  • Our new Gulf Coast Spinach appetizer is prepared fresh! When I say fresh, I mean that it’s not shipped in or frozen, but is hand-mixed from the raw ingredients each day and baked fresh when you order it.
  • Our Nantucket Cod, one of my favorites, is topped with an incredible seafood stuffing that’s homemade each morning. It’s fresh-baked and made to order, just for you. Our crab-stuffed cod also features our own homemade stuffing.
  • We prepare our tuna salad fresh, from scratch, every day. We mix Starkist tuna with fresh green peppers, celery, onion, diced egg and mayo. It’s served on our six-grain bread, which we bake fresh each day in our restaurants. We then top it with melted cheddar cheese, lettuce, and tomato to make what we think is the best Tuna Melt Sandwich in town. Homemade tuna salad on fresh-baked bread is why it tastes so good.
  • We take a lot of pride in the seafood we serve. For instance, we only serve wild-caught Alaskan Salmon. It’s higher in Omega 3 Acids (the good fat!) and lower in Mercury than farm-raised salmon.

So, now you know why our seafood items are so delicious! Don’t forget to stop in soon to try one of our seafood specials – they’ll be gone before you know it.

Kevin

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Find us on Facebook!

If you’re here reading our blog, chances are you’re familiar with Facebook. So many of our team members and guests are members that we decided we’d better join the party!

So, this week, we launched our very own fan page! We’re excited about joining the Facebook community - we think it will be a great way to further connect with our guests, and for our guests to reach out to us.

We’re already planning some really cool promotions on Facebook – so find us and join the fun! If you’re a member, sign in, then click here to see Smiley's Fan Page. We’re giving 10% off coupons to anyone who becomes a fan before March 30.

From our fan page, you’ll be able to download Smiley avatars and wallpapers for your desktop. In addition, you can even customize your own Smiley Cookies right in Facebook, submit your order, and have your creation delivered to your door!

If you’re a diehard March Madness addict, you’ll enjoy our “Menu Madness” promotion. Vote on your favorites from the Breakfast, Burgers & Sandwiches, Dinner, and Dessert “regions” to determine which menu items will move on to the Sweetest 16 round. You’ll get something special just for voting. Don’t forget to check back to see which items make it to the championship…if one of your picks wins it all, there might be something in it for you!

If you’re not familiar with Facebook, here’s the scoop: Facebook is an interactive site where you can easily keep in touch with family, colleagues, and friends new and old. Once you’ve created a profile, you can search for your acquaintances and request that they become your “Facebook Friend.” Once you’ve become friends with someone, you’ll get status updates whenever they post new information, photos, and more. You can even send and receive messages through Facebook. You’ll be surprised at who you’ll find – it’s not uncommon to reconnect with someone you haven’t seen in 20 years! If you're ready to join now, click here to get started.

We’re hoping you’ll find us and become a fan. See you on Facebook! Share

Monday, March 16, 2009

Soup to Go!

What is your favorite soup day at Eat’n Park?

Our soups and chili have long been a favorite at Eat’n Park. It seems like there’s a following for each flavor. The most popular is definitely Eat’n Park’s famous Potato soup, but my personal favorite is the Stuffed Pepper soup. I order it every Monday! What is your soup day at Eat’n Park?

A great way to enjoy our soups is to get them to go. That’s right – all of our soups and chili are available for takeout by the quart. And at $5.99, it’s a great deal! A quart contains about 4 servings so it’s delicious, a great value, and can serve the whole family.

Our homemade chicken noodle soup and chili are available every day. Our other soups are available as follows:

Sunday: Cream of Potato
Monday: Stuffed Pepper
Tuesday: Cream of Broccoli
Wednesday: Cream of Potato
Thursday: Wedding
Friday: Clam Chowder
Saturday: Cream of Broccoli

Enjoy!

Kevin Share

Friday, March 6, 2009

Celebrating Our 60th Anniversary in 2009

2009 marks our 60th year in business! 60 years of providing high quality food and service at a wonderful price! 60 years of making new friends, and 60 years of building smiles in our communities! We thank you for helping to make this all possible.

It seems like just yesterday when my Dad would load our family into the station wagon to head over to our Bridgeville restaurant for a Superburger. He would always buy at least one Tin Roof Sundae for us all to share. 25 years later, I am still enjoying Superburgers on a weekly basis…they just never get old. And the Tin Roof Sundae… it’s still a favorite, although now we each order our own!

There are so many memories to go around…I know you have a bunch as well. We hope that you will take time to celebrate with us this year over the summer as we look back over our great history, while at the same time never resting on our laurels. This year in particular, we will work harder than ever to provide you with a wonderful experience at an even better value.

Thank you, again, for allowing us to serve you, your family and your friends for 60 years. Cheers!

Jeff Share

Friend passes on love of Smiley Cookies

Well, my story isn't a romantic story, but it is about love! 10 years ago I had twins, Melissa and Michael. My best friend Charles loves Eat'n Park so much that he couldn't wait until he could take them to eat there. Well, they were about a month old and there we were at Eat'n Park on Banksville Road. Chuckie (as I call him) was getting his picture taken with Melissa, holding a Smiley Cookie right in front of her. Yes, he wanted to feed it to the twins but I had to assure him that they'd soon in time be old enough to eat them. One of their first solid foods was a Smiley Cookie. You know, until this present day, Melissa LOVES Smiley Cookies. We have to go buy them at least once a month for her, and believe me when I say she eats the whole dozen herself! Michael, on the other hand, LOVES the buffet.

Charles now lives in Florida and we ship him Smiley Cookies, since he loves them just as much as Melissa does. He even comes up to Pittsburgh about 4 or so times a year, and you better believe we go to Eat'n Park to eat every time he visits. As I said, this isn't a love story, but it is of the love of Eat'n Park.

Tanya
Pittsburgh, PA Share

Like father, like daughters

I met my husband in 2001, and we were married in 2002. During courtship, and even after our wedding, we frequently ate at Eat'n Park Restaurants because he was a very healthy eater and loved the salad bar and fish we could get there.

A few months later we started a family.....now two daughters later...at 3 & 5 years old they still like to go to "Park n Eat" It is their favorite restaurant. Every time I take the girls to "Park n Eat," they get the Baked Scrod w/ Broccoli, and they love it so much. Waitresses are often surprised to see two toddlers eating fish, but they've been eating it since before they had teeth. Their daddy loved it and he passed that down to them. He came ill to cancer and has, to our dismay, go on to be with the Lord in Heaven, but God sustains us and still gives the 3 of us opportunities to go to "Park n Eat" to have some fish!!!!

Rebecca
Greensburg, PA Share

Fond first-date memories

After almost 20 years of marriage, I lost my beloved husband, Norman, on April 15th, 2008. Our very FIRST date was a lunch at Eat'n Park in Johnstown. He worked in Pittsburgh, and I worked in Johnstown, and he came home every weekend to visit me in my drug store job. After about a year of his coming in every weekend, and buying enough aspirin, greeting cards, tissues and other sundry needs, he gathered up the courage to "ask me to lunch."

He used to accuse me of wanting to play "Twenty Questions" with him, and instead our luncheon turned into "100 questions!" Our waitress was a dear woman named Betty, and she worked there for a great number of years. She was very patient as our hour lunch turned into two and then three hours! We moved to Pittssburgh 18 years ago, and spent many wonderful dinners at the Eat'n Park location at South Hills Village. Thanks, Eat'n Park, for contributing to our wonderful years together!

Barbara
McMurray, PA Share

The 14 Days of Marissa

Those who say "Absence makes the heart grow fonder" will really enjoy this story. Before my husband was my forever Valentine, we lived 2 states apart; almost 9 hours away from each other. And that is why our first Valentine's Day was a special one!

He had it all planned out - even the time off work - to spend 14 days in Erie celebrating our love together. It was titled "The 14 days of Marissa." Each day leading up to February 14th was unique, in which he would take me to one of my favorite places or set something up at my apartment that would make me smile and laugh. Such memories inlcude: dinner at a Japanese steakhouse, fried ice cream at Chi Chi's, a chick flick at a local theater and a time away from it all - a bubble bath filled with rose petals.

But, he left the best gift for the last day. . .a box of Eat'n Park Smiley Cookies. We spent that final night together watching a movie and eating my favorite treat! Now we are happily married and still remember that first Valentine's Day together celebrating not just 1 day but 14 in a row!

Marissa
Sewickley, PA Share

Coin flip seals fate of lifelong love

In 1976, I worked as a server at the Eat'n Park on Banksville Rd. When summer rolled around, I was transferred to the Eat'n Park on Lyle Blvd. in McKeesport and was promoted to Training Specialist. The company had just built this restaurant, and it was beautiful. I was responsible for conducting orientations for all the new employees and then training them in the restaurant dining room.

So there I was, working my way through college with little on my mind other than making as much money as I could that summer; however I couldn't overlook the extremely handsome trio of men who were managers and general managers. Although I had a boyfriend waiting for me back at school, I indulged in a little flirting. So did the other training specialist. We spent a lot of time working with two specific managers. We were kinda interested in them and they in us.

Sooooo, leave it to the men to decide who would ask out who. They flipped a coin and the winner chose to ask the other girl who, ironically, said 'no'. I was the booby prize. The other manager got "stuck" with me. We couldn't go out on a date at that time because we worked together. However I was being transferred on July 4th, and accepted a date for the next day.

It was a 'magical' day. I was told to dress casually, so I wore a little sun dress. He picked me up at 6 am and apparently our destination was Moraine State Park. I thought, 'how romantic, a picnic at the lake'. He pulled up to a little restaurant/gas station, and I figured he was getting the fixin's for our lunch. He came out with two dozen worms and a big pail of frantically swimming little fish. I must have looked puzzled, at which point he said, "I did tell you we were going fishing, didn't I?" NO, he didn't, but I was game.

I pulled in some beautiful bass while my date proceeded to be the macho man and throw lures into the lake that were bigger than my bass. He got skunked. I think he was trolling for Moby Dick. But wait, there's more. He said we were going to dinner and a movie. I thought maybe this would be a little more romantic than the fishing disaster. He took me to Pizza Hut and then to see a western, "The Shootist" with John Wayne. At this point, I had figured out that we were probably the most mis-matched couple in the world. He took me home and was working up the nerve to kiss me good night. And then it happened! His lips met mine and rockets went off! I was levitating, fireworks shooting everywhere! I didn't even realize the kiss had ended. He asked me out for the following evening. Having just lost the power of speech, I mutely nodded yes.

And so our romance continued. On Thanksgiving Dinner 1980, this wonderful man asked my parents, "Can I have your wife as my daughter's hand in marriage?" If I didn't already love him, that would have endeared him to me forever! Of course, my parents assured him that he could marry me, but that my Mom was taken. That broke the tension. Every Thanksgiving since that day, I give thanks that this man lost a bet a long time ago. We were married on March 27th, 1982. My husband, Jeff, is a General Manager with Eat'n Park with 38 years of service. I stayed with the company for 7 years, at which time I moved on to a job related to my field of study in college. I'm now a stay at home Mom, caring for my 17 year-old son who also works for Eat'n Park. We're an Eat'n Park family through and through! And regarding that coin toss, I'm SO glad that Jeff ended up with me.

Jocelyn
Pittsburgh, PA Share

Generations of love at Eat'n Park

This story is about my brother, Michael, and my sister-in-law, Ginni. They will be married 35 years in June. Michael was working in the kitchen when Ginni became a waitress - you know what they say about "love at first sight" - and that is exactly what happened to them. What a beautiful couple they make. They even had one elderly couple who loved them both so much that they would ask for Ginni when they needed to be seated and always left a generous tip for both she and my brother (although I believe in those days the waitresses had to put all tips in a jar, which they shared at the end of the day).

Love still continues as their daughter, Erin - who is subbing as an elementary teacher - also works at Eat'n Park on the days she is available. Their youngest daughter, Kily, has been working, first as a greeter and now as a waitress, at the Eat'n Park in Allison Park. Me, well - I remember when we would jump in a car and we would drive in a circle around Eat'n Park for years - that was the place to be.

Ginni
Cheswick, PA Share

Just say "Yes!"

Eat'n Park - are you kidding! I love Eat'n Park. I used to work at the restuaurant in Ambridge in the 70's. Unfortunately, it is no longer there. I didn't meet my sweetie there or get engaged there, but he used to stop in and visit me quite a bit. He would also pick me up after the late shift for a ride home. One evening after he picked me up, we went for a drive. He parked so we could talk, and there I sat in my waitress uniform: brown skirt and mini tie, white shoes and blouse, blue apron tied up in a pretty bow (and paper clipped to perfection), and my black and white name tag. And it was there that he asked me to marry him - I said yes, of course, and we have been married for 35 years now! I'll never forget what I was wearing when he proposed -that awesome Eat'n Park uniform!

Fran
Aliquippa, PA Share

25-year romance begins at Avalon Eat'n Park

Oh, young love! My first real job was as a waitress at Eat'n Park. I actually started out as a carhop at the Avalon location, then after the store closed and was remodeled, returned to continue as a regular waitress on the inside. :) I'm afraid that if I hadn't returned after the construction, I wouldn't have met the love of my life, John.

I worked there through high school and even on the weekends after I started my career job at the Bank of New York Mellon. During my senior year of high school, a new cook was hired at the same store. I want to say there was an instant attraction between the two of us, and the romance began. Spending time together at work gave us a chance to get to know one another, and pretty quickly we started dating. We had other friends who also met there and dated (then married), and we shared great friendships with these couples, along with each other. I must admit, although probably not allowed, we would occasionaly sneak a kiss in the freezer.

It's not the most exciting story of romance, but a lifelong love developed from that innocent relationship so many years ago. John and I just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary on October 29, 2008. We are raising children, our son, John, and our daughter Jamie, who both respond the same when we ask...."where do you want to eat?" They almost always say "Eat'n Park!"

Sandra
Pittsburgh, PA Share

Our favorite date place - 40 years and counting

During our dating years, Eat'n Park was our favorite date place. We were both poor college students. I was at Seton Hill and John was at Penn State, main campus. John's home was in Greensburg. When he came for a visit, we would head for the local Eat'n Park. This was during the time when you could sit in your car and have your order brought out to you. We would order two orange drinks, an order of fries with ketchup and sit in the parking lot for most of our evening, catching up while sharing those fries. On August 9th of this year, my husband and I will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. Eat'n Park is still one of our favorite places to go for a date. Things have worked out pretty well. Now, we can each get our own order of fries!

Donna
McMurray, PA Share

Joy in friendships found at Eat'n Park

This isn't a typical "Valentine" love story, but one of the love that I have found in friendship. Valentine's Day isn't about finding my "one true love,” but in my case, I have found so much more. The friendships, the care, and the joy that I have found this past year at the Whitehall Eat’n Park have been a special gift in my life.

The past year has been a somewhat difficult one for me. I had a fairly serious surgery in January 2008, some ongoing health problems, my Mom passed away suddenly in April, and my uncle died in May. Through all of this, my Eat’n Park family has been such a comfort to me.

I have written many times to the corporate office of my gratitude, but I want to share my story with others. I truly believe that people come into our lives when we need them most. I have found that not only do I care about the team at Whitehall, but they care about me. I feel like Norm on Cheers...everybody knows my name!

We all have a story. Our lives are all filled with sadness and joy, so going to this Eat’n Park has opened my eyes and my heart and helped me to realize that life is too short - so we should love and live every moment. To me, that's what love is all about...the giving, the sharing… the caring - and I have found all of this and more in the friendships that I have found at the Whitehall Eat’n Park.

A special thank you to manager Jenn P. Her friendship has been such a wonderful gift in my life. The managers, servers, cooks, greeters, and salad bar people that I have come to know and love have been a source of strength and joy for me. They have placed an Eat’n Park smile on my heart. Eat’n Park truly is a "place for smiles" in my life. How blessed am I!

Mimi
Pittsburgh, PA Share


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