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Monday, January 31, 2011

Now Hiring: 2011 Team Smiley Summer Interns at Eat'n Park!

"What does Team Smiley do?"

When asked what Team Smiley interns do for the summer, I can come up with an answer pretty quickly; they act as Eat’n Park’s brand ambassadors in the community. I know this, because for the 2009 summer, that was me. When asked what my time on Team Smiley taught me, I have a much harder time summing it up.

That's me on the right!

See, Team Smiley is about much more than smiling sugar cookies, community festivals, a sweet ride, sock tans, and paychecks (though those are all really nice). Plus, Team Smiley has a lot of fun, and it shows. But believe me, there’s more than meets the eye.

You learn to plan for events (as much as you can plan for an event!) and when that doesn’t work, you learn to go with the flow and be flexible. Nothing can stop us (including weather) from handing out those iconic cookies and getting to know our guests. All it takes is watching one kid decorate their own cookie (lots of icing, of course!) and take a big bite to understand why we love our jobs.

It’s probably pretty safe to say that any high school or college student has once been a part of a team. But it’s probably also safe to assume that the team wasn’t together for almost 40 hours a week. When you spend that much time together, you quickly learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses and, as a team, how to use them to your advantage. That’s not to say we always did the same thing – every day our role was different. We shared the work and we shared the responsibility. I know most internships don’t offer that.

Looking back, I remember walking into my Team Smiley interview a nervous, absurdly over-energetic college student looking for a paying job that didn’t require getting people to sign up for credit cards. But after my summer with Smiley’s Cookie Cruiser, I learned how to work with new people, plan for the unexpected, use my “inside voice” in a corporate setting, and positively engage in dialogue with guests. And boy, did that come in handy! Upon graduating from the University of Pittsburgh last May, I accepted the position of Community Marketing Assistant for Eat’n Park. I now have the honor of overseeing the program that taught me so much. My passion for Eat’n Park is as strong as ever and I’m still overly energetic, but now, I’m a professional in the making.

Think you have what it takes to be on Team Smiley? Apply here.

And maybe I'll see you this summer!

Sarah Heisey
Community Marketing Assistant


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Save on Eat'n Park takeout during the big game: two coupons!

You'll be plenty busy getting ready for the game, so let us help!

Pick up lunch or an early dinner to go (most of our locations are closing at 4:00 PM on game day), or grab a quart of homemade chili, chicken noodle soup, or our famous potato soup to enjoy during the game!

You'll save time and money with Eat'n Park takeout - especially with our special coupons, valid on Sunday, February 6 only. 

Click here to print yours now!


Go Steelers! Downloadable Eat'n Park poster and desktop wallpaper

Go Steelers! Click the link below to save our wallpaper as your desktop background, or to download and print our 8.5x11" poster!

Click here to get our desktop wallpaper!

Click here to download our poster!


Greetings from Steeler Nation (and best wishes from Eat'n Park!)

Here we go, Steelers, here we go! Steeler Nation is behind you - just take it from these fans!


Steelers Smiley Cookie Gift Packs - Free shipping, anywhere in the U.S!

The Steelers are headed to the big game in Dallas, and Steeler Nation is behind them! Steeler fans are spread far and wide across the country, and that's why we're offering FREE Shipping on the Steelers Gift Packs in our online store at SmileyCookie.com. Send a taste of victory anywhere in the U.S., and we'll pick up the shipping cost!

We have three Steelers gift packs available. All are $25.99 and ship for free to any state in the U.S. Click here to place your order today at SmileyCookie.com! Order by Tuesday, February 1 for guaranteed delivery before the game.

And if you're here in Pittsburgh, remember to swing by your local Eat'n Park to pick up a dozen Steelers Smiley Cookies and a quart of soup or chili to go!

Go Steelers!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Eat'n Park Locations Closing Early on Super Bowl Sunday

Since we're based in Pittsburgh, many of our team members are loyal Steelers fans.  To give them the opportunity to cheer our hometown team to victory with friends and family, we will be closing most of our locations early on game day.

The following locations will be closing at 4:00 PM on Sunday, February 6, and re-opening at 6:00 AM on Monday morning:
  • Altoona
  • Austintown, OH
  • Avalon
  • Banksville
  • Belle Vernon
  • Boardman, OH
  • Bridgeville
  • Butler (Clearview Mall)
  • Butler (New Castle Road)
  • Canonsburg (Peters Twp.)
  • Center Twp./Monaca
  • Chippewa
  • Clarion
  • Clarksburg, WV
  • Cranberry Twp.
  • Dormont
  • Dubois
  • Edgewood
  • Erie (Peach St.)
  • Erie (West 12th Street)
  • Etna
  • Franklin
  • Franklin Park
  • Greensburg
  • Grove City
  • Hampton Twp.
  • Hermitage
  • Indiana
  • Johnstown
  • Latrobe
  • Library Road/Bethel Park
  • McKees Rocks
  • McKeesport
  • Monongahela
  • Monroeville
  • Moon Twp./Airport
  • Morgantown, WV
  • Murrysville
  • N. Huntingdon
  • Natrona Hts.
  • New Castle
  • New Kensington
  • New Stanton
  • North Hills (McKnight Rd. Northbound)
  • North Hills (McKnight Rd. Southbound)
  • North Versailles
  • Penn Hills
  • Pittsburgh Mills
  • Robinson
  • Sewickley
  • Somerset
  • South Hills Village
  • Squirrel Hill
  • St. Clairsville
  • State College
  • Steubenville
  • Uniontown
  • Warren, OH
  • Washington (Oak Spring Road)
  • Washington (West Chestnut)
  • Waterfront/Homestead
  • Waterworks/Fox Chapel
  • Weirton, WV
  • Westmont
  • Wheeling, WV
  • Whitehall
The following locations will remain open for regular business hours on Sunday, February 6:
  • Chapel Hill, OH
  • Elyria, OH
  • Medina, OH
  • Mentor, OH
  • Parma, OH
  • Streetsboro, OH
  • Willoughby. OH


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Save 20% on Eat'n Park takeout for the game this Sunday!

Let us do the cooking on Sunday so you can focus on the big game! Use this coupon to take 20% off your Eat'n Park takeout order, Sunday only! Click here to print your coupon.

Go Steelers!

Coupon valid on Sunday, January 23, 2011 only.


Send our Steelers Playoff Gift Packs (with Steelers Smiley Cookies) to fans in enemy territory - free shipping!

We're one home victory away from the big game, so here we go Steelers! We know that Steeler Nation extends far beyond Pittsburgh's city limits - that's why we're offering a couple special deals this week in our online store at SmileyCookie.com! 

You can send our Steelers Playoffs Gift Pack or our Rivalry Gift Pack to fans trapped in enemy territory, and we'll pick up the shipping cost.  That's right - FREE SHIPPING on these two items when you send them to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut this week via FedEx Ground. Place your order today at SmileyCookie.com!

And if you're here in Pittsburgh, remember to swing by your local Eat'n Park to pick up a dozen Steelers Smiley Cookies for the game on Sunday.

Go Steelers!


Monday, January 17, 2011

Healthy meals (and a little indulgence!): TWO Eat'n Park coupons!

We know - you overdid it with the cookies and candy during December, so you're looking for light and healthy options to get back on track. That's where our Eat'n Smart menu comes in. Items like our Baked Lemon Sole, Rosemary Chicken, and Sesame Pork Chop are delicious AND healthy. Don't believe us? Try them for yourself, and take $2 off these items with this coupon - click here to print yours!

Coupon expires Sunday, January 30, 2011.

Of course, everyone deserves a little treat now and then. So print out this coupon and indulge in a free hot chocolate with your next meal - on the house! Enjoy!

Coupon expires Sunday, January 30, 2011.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Save on Eat'n Park Takeout This Saturday!

Let us do the cooking so you can focus on the game! Use this coupon to take 20% off any takeout order at Eat'n Park on Saturday, January 15, 2011 only!

Click here to print the coupon.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

From Costa Rica to Eat'n Park: Our Coffee

Coffee is one of those beverages that you either love or hate. I had my first coffee experience when I was 18 floating around the Atlantic Ocean in the Navy. I couldn’t stand coffee at first, but over time, I grew quite fond of it. 4:30 AM comes mighty quick, and coffee was the one thing that I could look forward to every morning. Regardless of where or when you had your first cup of joe, coffee has become an important part of many peoples’ morning rituals.

Because our coffee is such a customer favorite at Eat’n Park, we wanted to be able to tell our guests where and how our coffee is grown.

Our coffee comes from Costa Rica and Guatemala, both established coffee-growing regions. The company we source our beans from has been in business since 1967. They have well-defined standards in regards to planting, growing, harvesting and employee well being. In February 2010, I had the pleasure of visiting one of their plantations, Hacienda La Minita in Costa Rica. My primary focus on this trip was to become more knowledgeable about where our coffee is sourced.

La Minita is located about 1½ hours drive south of San Jose, in the coffee producing area called “Los Santos.” The plantation consists of a total of 1,200 acres of land, of which 680 acres are currently in production.


In any given year, La Minita harvests from approximately 2,500 trees per acre on the farm, depending upon the geography of the area being planted and the variety of tree used. This results in a total of about 1,700,000 trees on the farm. As the trees age, older trees are gradually replaced with new trees from the farm’s nursery. In a typical year, about 150,000 new trees are transplanted from the nursery.

Nursery of coffee plants at La Minita Coffee Plantation


The growing season begins with the first rains of the year, which normally occur sometime between the end of March and the beginning of May. The timing of the first rain is essential, for it is the rain that signals the tree to begin flowering.

Approximately ten days after the initial rains, small honeysuckle-like flowers form on the trees. The flowering is of critical importance to the coffee crop, for the node where each flower formed will produce a single coffee cherry, and within this cherry are the coffee seeds which will become the coffee bean. If the flowering is adversely affected by the weather, pollination wil not occur, no cherry will form, and there will be no coffee.

From the onset of the initial rains, they enter into seven month of rainy season, when the farm sees four to six hours of rainfall every day.

With the end of the rainy season comes the ripening of the coffee cherries. The large green cherries begin to turn either red or yellow as they gradually ripen. Because not all of the cherries ripen at once, most trees are picked up to 5 times to harvest all of the fruit.

Me, picking coffee cherries at La Minita


La Minita has a core of 80 full time employees, augmented by an additional labor force of about 600 people during harvest season. All of the farm’s full time employees are provided housing for themselves and their families on the plantation.

The plantation assists their workers by actively supporting them in their lives outside of working hours. They contribute matching funds to the workers’ association savings plans. Additionally, a medical clinic is located on the farm near the administration building, and a doctor and dentist are on site several days a week to attend to the needs of the workers and their families.

After seeing the source of our coffee firsthand, I was thoroughly impressed not only by the care taken to produce a superior-quality coffee, but also by the farm’s efforts to provide a safe, comfortable environment for their workforce. Though I was already a fan of the coffee we serve, my experience visiting La Minita gives me a whole new appreciation for it.

Drink up!


Friday, January 7, 2011

2011: New Year's Resolutions at Eat'n Park

Another year has passed us by, and it just wouldn't be right if we didn't ring in 2011 with our New Year's resolutions! Here's what you can expect our contributors to be working on and blogging about this year.

Regis Holden, Senior Director of Culinary Services

With a new year comes new goals and new challenges, and with the right amount of hard work and a little luck, new successes. Looking back at 2010, I am very pleased with the progress I made in meeting my resolutions, and I’m excited to share my focus for the coming year.

First, I’ll continually be looking for ways to make our menu selections just a little healthier. For starters, we plan to reduce the sodium content of our menu selections by focusing primarily on three items: turkey, bacon, and cheese. These three ingredients can be found in many of our recipes, and by sourcing and testing a high quality, low sodium replacement, we will be able to add a health benefit to our guests, while maintaining the great taste you expect in our food.

As you probably already know, we are very committed to accommodating our guests with special dietary needs. Two years ago, we introduced a groundbreaking allergen program that provides a higher level of comfort to guests with food allergies when they’re dining in our restaurants. We have even sourced gluten-free buns for those suffering from celiac disease. As a continuation of that program, look for us to test and introduce a great gluten-free dessert that will be universally enjoyed by all of our guests.

Last year, we launched our new LifeSmiles program, which is aimed at helping families make healthy choices. As a part of that program this year, I’ll be working with the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank to conduct cooking demonstrations at local farmers markets. I’ll also be working with local schools to help improve the nutritional value and quality of student lunches through our Chefs in Schools program.

Finally, on a personal note, I have three goals. The first is to make more of an effort to get to Manhattan to visit my son. It really isn’t that far to travel but I only made it to the island twice last year to visit. My next goal is to learn a little more Spanish. My daughter has been dating a new guy from Cuba and it would be nice to know what they are taking about behind my back. Lastly, I promised my wife that we would reinstitute our “date night” and be sure to have dinner out at least once a week.

That’s it for me. I think that 2011 is going to be the best year since 2010, and I hope that you and yours enjoy this year to the fullest.


Jamie Moore, Director of Sourcing & Sustainability

Last month, I sat down to reflect on the months that had passed, and I made resolutions for the coming year. I’m excited about one of my personal goals (more on that later), but I’m REALLY looking forward to implementing one of my professional goals: helping Eat’n Park become a better steward to the community by implementing a full-scale recycling program.

You may not realize it, but the majority of restaurants in the tri-state area (not just Eat’n Park) aren’t currently recycling. At Eat’n Park, we have been recycling cardboard at all of our restaurants since the early 80’s, but we’ve never focused on incorporating bottles and cans into the mix.

One of the biggest reasons for that had to do with having to separate bottles and cans. As of last year, most of the hauling companies (BFI, Allied Waste, Waste management, etc…) required that all recyclable items be separated into individual recycling bins. If you’ve ever been in the back of a restaurant, you know that space is a major concern. Though it may seem like a weak excuse, this was a major hurdle that we just couldn’t get over – until now.

Several of our haulers now allow us to co-mingle our recyclables into one container – which makes recycling simple and easy! So, starting in February, we will have 35 our restaurants recycling not only cardboard, but bottles and cans as well. We hope to have 90% of our locations fully recycling by the end of the year. The other 10% of them will happen as soon as their municipality starts offering a recycling program; if they don’t offer it, we can’t do it.

I’m looking forward to kicking off this program – it’s just one more way for us to reduce our impact on the environment.

Now, on to that personal goal…As I get older it’s harder to stay in shape, so I felt it made sense to learn something new that focused on my health. During the winter months it tends to be a little harder to find a cardiovascular exercise - I enjoy cross country skiing, but snow isn’t always on the ground in Pittsburgh. So, I needed to find a more dependable source of winter exercise.

I live in small town outside of Pittsburgh, and though I pass by tennis courts on my way home from work everyday, I’ve never taken advantage of the facilities. So as I was jogging the other day, I decided to stop and take a closer look. As I looked out at the courts, I noticed a smaller type of court that looked very similar to a tennis court, but it was on an elevated aluminum deck with 12’ high walls all the way around it.

It turns out that the court is used to play platform tennis, which is a cross between tennis and racquetball. The base of the platform has a heating system beneath the deck to melt ice off the surface, allowing you to play outdoors in all weather conditions. Eureka! I knew this sport was for me, since I grew up playing racquetball. So in early January my first lessons will begin. I’m excited about learning a new sport but even more excited about finding something I can do in the winter months.

Happy New Year!

Kevin O’Connell, Senior V.P. of Marketing

It’s a new year, which means time for some new resolutions. Last year, it was about healthy eating for me and sticking to the Eat’n Smart menu when I have my daily lunch at Eat’n Park. I did pretty well and have definitely lost some pounds in 2010. Mission accomplished!

So, what’s next? Well, we have something even bigger in 2011 … the 25th anniversary of the Smiley cookie. My resolution for 2011 is celebrate Smiley’s big anniversary as if he has been around for 50 years! The Smiley Cookie was introduced at Eat’n Park in 1986, and today it’s hard to imagine that Eat’n Park actually existed at some point without Smiley. We have lots of plans to celebrate throughout the year (most are top secret right now), but we’ll keep you updated!

As for me personally, I’d like to exercise more in 2011. Eating healthy is only half the battle, and I want to win the war!

I hope you have a wonderful 2011 and succeed in all of your resolutions. If you have time, stop by Eat’n Park and wish Smiley a happy 25th! I’m sure it will make him smile (and me, too).


Eating healthy is easy! Eat’n Smart at Eat’n Park

January is always the time of year when many people resolve to live a healthier lifestyle. After the avalanche of cookies, candy, and bountiful meals that we enjoy during the month of December, it’s no wonder we’re looking for light and healthy options after the holidays.

At Eat’n Park, making those healthy choices is a cinch. Just look for our “Eat’n Smart” icon to find items that are low in calories and fat. In fact, we have more than 20 menu items with under 500 calories! And we’re not just talking about your typical boring diet fare. Have you tried our Baked Lemon Sole? How about our Rosemary Chicken? Delicious AND good for you! We have plenty of Eat’n Smart options to choose from, whether you’re looking for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Here are just a few of our favorites. Team them up with our Eat’n Smart sides like fresh broccoli, applesauce, garden rice, or a cup of homemade chicken noodle soup, and you’ve got yourself one tasty, low-calorie meal!

To see all of our Eat'n Smart selections, click here.

Baked Lemon Sole
Flaky, tender sole lightly crusted with Parmesan bread crumbs and drizzled with butter and fresh-squeezed lemon. Enjoy it with one fillet or two.
One fillet: 194 calories, 9.78 grams of fat
Two fillets: 387 calories, 19.56 grams of fat

Sesame Pork Chop
Center-cut pork chop, marinated in sesame, garlic, ginger, and teriyaki, then chargrilled to juicy perfection.
One chop: 200 calories, 11.46 grams of fat

Rosemary Chicken
Tender boneless chicken breast seasoned with rosemary, black pepper, extra-virgin olive oil, sautéed mushrooms, and white wine sauce.
One breast: 240 calories, 9.06 grams of fat
Two breasts: 469 calories, 17.41 grams of fat

Classic Gardenburger
A Gardenburger patty on a grilled Kaiser roll with shredded lettuce and tomato.
292 calories,5.33 grams of fat

P.S. Did you know that you can substitute the Gardenburger patty on any of our Black Angus Burgers? You’ll save about 170 calories and 16 grams of fat.

Skinny Scrambler
Scrambled Better'n Eggs®, two slices of Canadian bacon, and American cheese on toasted bakery-fresh six grain bread. Served with fresh fruit.
354 calories, 13.44 grams of fat

Eat’n Smart Sides
Fresh Fruit Cup
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
Garden Side Salad
Baked Potato
Bean Medley
Fresh Broccoli
Sugar Snap Peas
Cottage Cheese
Garden Rice

And don’t forget about our Soup & Salad Bar – you can build your own healthy meal!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Eat’n Park Restaurants and the history of the Smiley Cookie

On June 6, 1949, we opened our first restaurant - a tiny, two-tone yellow, 13-seat building in Pittsburgh’s suburban South Hills - and sent 10 smiling carhops to serve customers right in their cars. In the sixty years since then, we’ve grown to more than 70 full-service locations in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. Along the way, we’ve become known as “The Place for Smiles.” Why? Well, there’s a story behind that. And that story starts with a little boy in Titusville, Pennsylvania.

Growing up, Jim Broadhurst (now the Chairman here at Eat’n Park) would pass a small local bakery every day on his way to and from school. And every day, Jim would purchase a cookie – iced with a happy, smiling face – for five cents from that local shop, Warner’s Bakery.

Turns out that those happy memories stuck with Jim, as happy memories often do. When Jim joined Eat’n Park and oversaw the opening of our first bakery in 1986, he wanted a way to share the sweet experience that he remembered from his own childhood. So, with the blessing of Ellsworth Warner at Warner’s Bakery, Eat’n Park began baking Smiley Cookies to give to every child for free after their meal.

The story doesn’t end there. Smiley Cookies were so loved by children of ALL ages that we eventually began offering them for sale by the dozen – though of course, they’re still free for every child who dines at Eat’n Park!

The Smiley Cookie has come to be our company’s most recognizable brand icon – a sweet, smiling treat that takes us all back to the simpler days of childhood. Though we now have Smiley Cookies in virtually every shape and color combination, one thing that remains the same is the cookie’s signature smile.