Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Partner Spotlight of the Month: Habitat for Humanity

Every month here on our blog, we'll be highlighting one of our non-profit partnerships. This month, learn a little more about Habitat for Humanity.

The vision of Habitat for Humanity is simple: a world where everyone has a decent place to live. And since their founding in 1976, they have touched the lives of 2.5 million people worldwide – from those who have benefitted from Habitat’s housing program to the countless others who have donated time, money, or materials to the worthy cause. Everyone deserves a roof over their head.

At Eat’n Park, we care about people. Whether our guests, team members, or residents of the our neighborhoods and local communities – we want to be there for them. And Habitat for Humanity is doing extremely important work right here, where we operate. It’s only fitting that we work together for the greater good.

That’s why Eat’n Park team members donate hundreds of volunteer hours to Habitat for Humanity each year. Trading in their aprons and trays for tool belts and hammers, they will work alongside the family receiving the new and/or improved home.

We also support our local Habitat for Humanity chapters through numerous cookie donations, gift cards, and even Smiley appearances throughout the year. Smiley knows the importance of having a safe home to return to after a long day of spreading smiles.

Interested in learning more about Habitat for Humanity? Visit http://www.habitat.org/ to read more about the organization and how to get involved!

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7.30.2012 Eat'n Park FarmSource Listing

Fresh, local produce featured at Eat'n Park for the week of July 30, 2012.

Tomatoes
  • Brenckle’s Farm, Butler County, PA
Fresh in: Freshly Sliced Tomatoes

Grape Tomatoes
  • Yarnick’s Farm, Indiana County, PA
Fresh in: Soup and Salad Bar Dinner and Entrée Salads

Apples
  • Dawson Orchard, Lawrence County, PA
Fresh in: Soup and Salad Bar

Zucchini
  • Brenckle’s Farm, Butler County, PA
  • Wexford Farms, Butler County, PA
  • Harvest Valley Farms, Butler County, PA
  • Yarnick’s Farm, Butler County, PA
Fresh in: Hand-Breaded Zucchini

Cabbage
  • Yarnick’s Farm, Indiana County, PA
Fresh in: Coleslaw

Yellow Squash
  • Brenckle’s Farm, Butler County, PA
  • Wexford Farms, Butler County, PA
  • Harvest Valley Farms, Butler County, PA
  • Yarnick’s Farm, Butler County, PA
Fresh in: FarmSource Vegetable Soup

Green Beans
  • Laurel Vista Farms, Somerset, PA
Fresh in: FarmSource Vegetable Soup

Cucumbers
  • Brenckle’s Farm, Butler County, PA
  • Wexford Farms, Butler County, PA
Fresh in: Soup and Salad Bar

Pickles
  • Brenckle’s Farm, Butler County, PA
Fresh in: Homemade Pickle Spears

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Team Smiley Experiences The Up Side of Downs

Team Smiley traveled to Independence, Ohio this weekend to demonstrate our support for The Up Side of Downs organization. As stated in the mission statement, their commitment to “building a community where people with Down syndrome have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential,” truly touched each team member and made this event one of our favorites of the summer! Hundreds of families gathered at Progressive Field to promote support, education, and advocacy for Downs syndrome.


We were proud to have been part of an inspiring movement, (which was not even deterred by the morning thunderstorm!) and to have been given the opportunity to share cookies and smiles with family members of all ages.



The event proved to be a success, with upbeat staff, guests, and teams showing their support for loved ones who have been diagnosed with Down syndrome. In addition, the popular event featured other sponsors of Down syndrome research, education, and advocacy, inflatable slides, a bumping DJ who kept the dance beats rolling throughout the entire Buddy Walk, and Smiley, who was a crowd favorite as always!


One of the most humbling moments of our weekend was seeing the strong family-like atmosphere. Furthermore, even Eat’n Park fans in Ohio recognized our tent and shared stories of their memories at their local Eat’n Park family restaurants! The Upside of Downs Buddy Walk proved to us that Eat’n Park does leave a lasting impression on everyone, and we truly are one big family. These moments made our weekend truly unforgettable.



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Summer Olympics: Team Smiley-Style

On Friday, July 27th, the world watched as the 2012 Summer Olympic Games began. That same day, the event played out on a smaller, but no less exciting, scale in a small suburb of Pittsburgh. That day marked history’s first Team Smiley Olympic Games, an event sure to be carried on by future generations of this illustrious fraternity of Eat'n Park summer interns.


Smiley kicked off the Team Smiley Olympic Games as he carried the torch into the arena (a.k.a. our parking lot).

Intrigued? Of course you are! What would these smilethaletes (as in, smile athletes. Yes, we just made that up) compete in? Who would take home the gold? Read on to see whose performance captured the hearts of Smiley Nation.


The event lineup had the team testing the necessary Smiley-skills they had honed throughout the summer.

 Just look at the concentration on their faces! 

First up, the all-important skill of cookie decorating. Each athlete decorated two cookies. First, a standard Smiley, and second, a creative design of their own choosing.



Then, a friendly game of head-to head Smiley cornhole. Turns out, we’ve got a couple of sharpshooters on this team!



On to Cookie Cruiser parallel parking, a very important skill. Alas, this team made it look so easy that judging was based on who could do it in the shortest amount of time. Winning time: 18 seconds.


The speed events continued with timed temporary tattoo application. Who could apply a Smiley tattoo the fastest? When the dust settled, Sarah, Team Smiley’s coach and tattoo guinea pig, had a few battle scars to show for it.


Check out that (temporary) ink!

The final event of the day was another race; this one the equivalent of a marathon. The challenge: be the fastest to bag and box 12 dozen Smiley Cookies. The event would require stamina, dexterity, and focus. The race came down to the wire, and every athlete gave it their all.


At the end of the day, champions were crowned and the medal count was tallied. Who would take home the all-around gold?


Anthony dominated the medal stand, but it was clear that we had a team of champions on our hands.


And so the inaugural games concluded, and the athletes carried on, their achievements forever etched in Team Smiley history. Will their records ever be matched? We’ll just have to wait and see!



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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

7.23.2012 Eat'n Park FarmSource Listing

Week of July 23, 2012

Apples
  • Dawson’s Orchards, Lawrence County, PA
Fresh in: Soup and Salad Bar

Zucchini
  • Brenckle’s Farm, Butler County, PA
  • Wexford Farms, Butler County, PA
  • Harvest Valley Farms, Butler County, PA
  • Yarnick’s Farm, Butler County, PA
Fresh in: Hand-Breaded Zucchini

Cabbage
  • Yarnick’s Farm, Indiana County, PA
Fresh in: Coleslaw

Yellow Squash
  • Brenckle’s Farm, Butler County, PA
  • Wexford Farms, Butler County, PA
  • Yarnick’s Farm, Butler County, PA
Fresh in: FarmSource Vegetable Soup

Green Beans
  • Laurel Vista Farms, Somerset, PA
Fresh in: FarmSource Vegetable Soup

Cucumbers
  • Wexford Farms, Butler County, PA
Fresh in: Soup and Salad Bar

Pickles
  • Brenckle’s Farm, Butler County, PA
Fresh in: Homemade Pickle Spears

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WKDD Kidz Day

This weekend, Team Smiley and the Cookie Cruiser attended Ohio’s WKDD Kidz Day! The event lasted all day and there were so many educational and fun things to do in Boettler Park in Green, Ohio.


Along with inflatables, food, games, science fun, and many other attractions, kids could decorate their own Smiley Cookie at the Eat’n Park tent. Smiley even made an appearance and hung out with the kids.


This event was a great way for kids (and their parents) to learn about so many different things, all while having a blast doing it! It was a perfect day to come out to Boettler Park to have some fun and create amazing memories during this fun-filled day.

Ashley
Team Smiley

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Rev ‘Em Up for Kids Car Cruise

Along with classic cars, great food, and even a special “Kid Zone”, Smiley and the Cookie Cruiser loved being a part of the fun of the Rev ‘Em Up for Kids Car Cruise this past Sunday.


Benefitting the Bethel Park Junior Football Program, the Car Cruise was held at the South Park Fairgrounds and drew a big crowd, despite the rainy weather. Kids and adults of all ages came to decorate and enjoy an Eat’n Park Smiley Cookie from Team Smiley. A few people were even brave enough to draw a classic car on their cookie!



Smiley also strolled the Car Cruise and delivered cookies to the crowd. Team Smiley loved hearing so many Eat’n Park stories, especially ones about Smiley’s birthday party, which took place Friday at the Bethel Park Eat’n Park. Some kids were lucky enough to decorate two cookies in one weekend!




Overall, everyone had a great time looking at the many classic cars that covered the fairgrounds. It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, and Team Smiley was happy to be a part of such a fun event!

Ashley
Team Smiley

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Kids Day at PNC Park

The Pirates weren’t the only ones to put on a show last Sunday afternoon! Before 30,000 fans hit the stadium, many joined Eat’n Park’s Team Smiley and others to celebrate Kids Day on Federal Street at PNC Park.



In what ways we were able to celebrate and get pumped up prior to the game? Just as you would expect: Federal Street was lined with moon bounces, obstacle courses, face painting stations and of course, Team Smiley’s cookie decorating station!

Smiley and the Pirate Parrot joined in on the fun as crowds lined up to create their very own version of a Smiley Cookie as well as to enjoy Eat’n Park’s famous Pirate Smileys!



Team Smiley couldn’t have been happier to have joined the fun on Kids Day – especially with a Pirates win to follow!

Ari
Team Smiley

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7.16.2012 Eat'n Park FarmSource Listing

Want to know what's fresh and local at Eat'n Park? Stop back to our blog every week to see what ripe fruits and veggies we have in from local farms.

Week of July 16, 2012

Apples
  • Dawson’s Orchards, Lawrence County, PA
Fresh in: Soup and Salad Bar

Zucchini
  • Brenckle’s Farm, Butler County, PA
  • Wexford Farms, Butler County, PA
  • Yarnick’s Farm, Butler County, PA
Fresh in: Hand-Breaded Zucchini

Cabbage
  • Yarnick’s Farm, Indiana County, PA
Fresh in: Coleslaw

Yellow Squash
  • Brenckle’s Farm, Butler County, PA
  • Wexford Farms, Butler County, PA
  • Yarnick’s Farm, Butler County, PA
Fresh in: FarmSource Vegetable Soup

Green Beans
  • Laurel Vista Farms, Somerset, PA
Fresh in: FarmSource Vegetable Soup

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Volunteering at Animal Friends

Our team members love to volunteer in their communities, and recently a group of restaurant volunteers visited Animal Friends with Mercy Senchur, our VP of Operations. Mercy and the team selected Animal Friends because we are a family-friendly company, and pets are a big part of our families!


Throughout the day, we helped with a lot of tasks: mailings, cleaning up puppy play areas, sprucing up the grounds and walking trails and planting a garden for the resident bunnies. Plus, we had some meet and greet time with the furry friends of Animal Friends!

Our team had such a great time that it was hard to leave! If you're thinking about adopting a pet, we know a few awesome animals looking for good homes.  To see them and learn more about Animal Friends, click here.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Float through summer with our new beverages

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! July is National Ice Cream Month, so why not stop by your local Eat’n Park and celebrate with a classic float or milkshake?

Enjoy a float with two scoops of premium vanilla ice cream topped with Cola or Root Beer for just $2.99. Or try an Orange Creamsicle milkshake featuring a blend of orange sherbet and vanilla ice cream, or a Chocolate Caramel milkshake with vanilla, chocolate syrup, and caramel topping. Both are just $3.69 and are sure to whet your whistle on these dogs days of summer.

Ice cream not really your style? Then try our new Diet Mountain Dew or Dr. Pepper! That’s right – both are now permanent items on our beverage menu. Go ahead and get a refill!

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Coupon for $2 off one of these delicious FarmSource items at Eat'n Park!

Summer is here, and that means that our FarmSource program is kicking into gear!  We're getting fresh, local produce in, and you'll find it not only on our endless Soup & Salad Bar, but also in many of our menu items.  In particular, our Baked Chicken Bruschetta and our FarmSource Veggie Omelette feature locally-grown ingredients.

Haven't tried them yet? Here's a little incentive: Print this coupon and take $2 off either of these items or the Soup & Salad Bar!



Expires July 22, 2012
Coupon must be printed to be redeemed.

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Friday, July 6, 2012

A Trip to Turner Dairy & Lone Oak Farms

We all know the saying, “Milk. It does a body good.” But where does our milk come from? And how does it get from the cow to your table? A few weeks ago some of our team members went to visit Turner Dairy in Penn Hills to get an inside look at that process. The day started off with a tour of the Turner Dairy facility and ended at Lone Oak Farms – one of Turner Dairy’s suppliers. Let’s start at Turner Dairy.

Eat’n Park and Turner Dairy have been partnering for over 20 years. Almost all of the milk products in our restaurants come from Turner Dairy. Turner Dairy has been in business for over 80 years and they stand on three solid pillars – great products, great service, and treating people right. Sound familiar? Their values are the same as ours. No wonder we have such a great partnership!

But back to our tour…

Turner Dairy took us through the entire milk production process, starting from when it’s trucked in from local farms. Every drop of milk that comes off their trucks is tested for bacteria. Turner Dairy holds itself to the highest standards – which, in some cases, are even higher than industry standards!

After the milk has been tested, it is sent out to the silos pictured below. Each silo holds 50,000 gallons of milk. From there it is pumped into their facility to be pasteurized. In order for milk to be pasteurized, it has to be heated to 175 degrees for 20 seconds.

Raw milk silos at Turner Dairy

After the milk has been pasteurized, it’s ready to be bottled and packaged. There are bottles, pint sized cartons, and everything else in-between. (Turner Dairy also produces Orange Juice and Iced Tea.)

Milk from Turner Dairy being bottled

All of Turner’s delicious products are then delivered by truck to area businesses and suppliers, 6 days a week.

But that’s only half of the story. Where does the milk come from? The next part of our field trip was to Lone Oak Farms, one of the farms that supplies milk to Turner Dairy.

Lone Oak Farms, one of Turner Dairy's milk suppliers

Lone Oak Farms is owned and operated by four generations of the Carr family and has just under 800 acres of land. Their cows produce a whopping 1,500 gallons of milk EVERY DAY!

Most people don’t realize what a structured process milking is. Not only does each cow need to be milked twice a day, but before she can be milked, she must be cleaned. After being wiped down with an iodine solution, thirty-two cows at a time are hooked up to automatic milkers. When they’re finished, they’re cleaned one more time. Each cow has a collar with a tracking chip, which ensures that none miss a milking. Additionally, if a cow shows any sign of illness, the chip is tagged so that the milk from that cow is discarded.

Milking stalls at Lone Oak

We learned a lot from both the Carr family and from Turner Dairy. As always, we’re appreciative that they’re not only such great hosts, but also wonderful partners with values similar to our own.


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Monday, July 2, 2012

Movie Nights at Eat’n Park – Enjoy $2 Off Your Check

Summer is in full swing, which means late nights and summer blockbusters. And what better way to end the evening after a movie than at Eat’n Park?!

Now through the end of summer, enjoy $2 off your check between 9 PM and 2 AM with your movie ticket stub.* No coupon is required – just your movie ticket stub!

I don’t know about you, but we’re looking forward to The Dark Knight Rises!

*Times vary by location - Offer valid from 9 PM to close at locations closing before 2 AM.  $5 minimum purchase required

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Team Smiley Roams the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

This past Saturday, Team Smiley visited the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium! The team brought dozens of pre-wrapped cookies to the Zoo’s Kids Kingdom and Beach Party for the kids and family members to enjoy as they made their way through to see the animals.


 Not only did young visitors enjoy cookies, but they also received temporary Smiley tattoos from the professional tattooing hands of the team.


Smiley’s favorite game, Smiley corn hole, was also a big hit for the kids. Though everybody is a winner in Smiley corn hole, the big winner of the day was one of the children who threw all three bean bags at once and made them all into the holes that are the eyes and nose of Smiley!

It was a beautiful day for Smiley and his friends at the zoo. Smiley even explored and visited some of the animals roaming the lands. I think he started a lasting friendship with one of the turtles. Since turtles are one of the longest living animals in the animal kingdom, I think it is safe to say that their friendship will last a lifetime.



We will be visiting the zoo a few more times this summer, so come on out and see the animals and enjoy a Smiley Cookie!

Anthony
Team Smiley

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