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Monday, December 19, 2011

Caring for Kids Results & Car Winner!

After weeks of tireless fundraising, our team members have wrapped up our annual Caring for Kids campaign, with results that are nothing short of amazing.

In a mere five weeks, we raised...

This total is the highest in the history of Caring for Kids, and given the fact that this campaign has now been going strong for 33 years, that’s saying a lot!

This year’s contribution has also pushed us over the $8 million mark in donations to local children’s hospitals over the life of the campaign.

No words can express our gratitude to all of the guests and team members who opened their wallets and their hearts for such a great cause. This campaign truly makes a difference in the lives of local children who are being treated at these hospitals.

The following hospitals benefited from this year’s campaign:
  • Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
  • WVU Children’s Hospital
  • St. Vincent Heath System
  • Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley
  • Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Medical Center
  • Rainbow Babies
  • Indiana Regional Medical Center
  • DuBois Regional Medical Center
  • Columbus Children’s Hospital
  • Children’s Medical Center of Akron
  • Geisinger Health System
  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Of course, Caring for Kids wouldn’t be nearly so successful without the generous contributions of our partners. The Neighborhood Ford Store once again donated a car – A 2012 Ford Focus – to be raffled off to one lucky winner. Robin Brooks of Youngstown, Ohio got a special holiday surprise on Wednesday when her ticket was drawn by a patient at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Congratulations, Robin!

2012 Ford Focus raffle drawing at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

Other partners who made significant contributions to the campaign include:
  • Sheetz, Inc.
  • Nestle Professional Vitality
  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  • KDKA Radio
Thank you for your support!


Friday, December 16, 2011

The Eat'n Park Christmas Star commercial: Nearly 30 years later, it’s still going strong!

We’ve noticed something lately. The holidays have a special quality; one that ensures that much-loved classics will never go away. Our Christmas Star commercial is coming up on its 30th anniversary (can you believe that it’s been running since 1982?), and that got us thinking about traditions and the Christmas season.

At what other time of year are folks tuning in to watch movies that are over a half-century old? It’s a Wonderful Life came out in 1946, and some of the other classics that we all know and love – Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Frosty the Snowman – came out in the 60’s, more than 40 years ago.

So is it really any surprise that a simple holiday sentiment like our Christmas Star commercial has cemented its place in the hearts of so many? We say no. There are certain things that transcend time, and the Christmas Star, just like those timeless Christmas movies, communicates an everlasting idea that just doesn’t fade. It’s the idea that we’re all in this together – and that by sharing, helping, comforting, and caring, we’re able to make the world a brighter place.

New trends will come and go; 30 years ago, you watched these classics on TV. Who would have thought back then that today you’d be viewing them online or on your phone? Technology will change, but the holiday spirit continues to hold true, as it has for centuries past.

So, as the holidays approach, remember those who could use a special lift. Make a donation, volunteer an afternoon, lend a helping hand, spend a day with someone who has no one to celebrate with. The smallest act of kindness can echo further than you’d imagine. And as you settle in to watch Miracle on 34th Street for the umpteenth time, you’ll know that you’ve made someone’s holiday just a little bit brighter.

From all of us here at Eat’n Park, Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Look Back: 2011 Sustainable Accomplishments at Eat'n Park

At the end of every year I like to take some time to reflect on all of Eat’n Park’s accomplishments over the past year. We’ve had a great year and are really proud of the hard work we’ve done relating to sustainability. (We give ourselves two “green” thumbs up!)

In 2011, we...
  • Reduced the amount of waste going to our landfills (by recycling)
  • Accommodated cyclists at some of our restaurants (stop in to fuel your ride!)
  • Supported our local farmers (who doesn’t love fresh, local produce?!)
  • Became LEED-certified (think skylights and rainwater barrels)
Read more about our EcoSteps initiatives below…

Reduction of waste going to our landfills

We have been recycling cardboard at our locations for many years, but in January 2011, we instituted a recycling program that includes bottles and cans at 47 of our restaurants. This recycling program represents 384 yards or 24 tons of material annually being diverted away from landfills. We would love to incorporate this element at ALL of our locations, but recycling programs aren’t available in all of the communities that we have restaurants. We continue to encourage more areas to offer a comprehensive recycling program.

Smiley visits a local recycling center
Health and Wellness

The Steel Valley bike trail of Allegheny Passage follows the shores of the Monongahela River, through historic battlefields and former steel mill sites in Homestead, Braddock, Duquesne, McKeesport, Glassport and Clairton. When this section of the trail opened in June 2011, we realized that the restaurants we have in the area don’t have places for cyclists to park their bikes. So, we’ve installed new bike racks along the trail next to our Waterfront restaurant location.

We know at this point in time it’s not practical to have bike racks at all our locations, but we’ll install them where it makes sense. At this time we have them at the following locations:

Waterfront – Homestead, PA
Waterworks – Fox Chapel, PA

New bike racks at our Homestead location

So if you’re out cycling in Homestead or Fox Chapel and you’re looking for a place to eat, remember that we’ve got a place to park your bike! If you know of other locations that need a bike rack, please let us know. In early spring, we’ll be installing racks at our McKeesport restaurant, which is also along the Steel Valley trail.

FarmSource Local Sourcing

Eat’n Park Hospitality Group’s FarmSource® program, which started in 2002, is thriving today as a company-wide initiative. This year our FarmSource program purchased over $18 million in local foods throughout the communities that we serve. This program encompasses dairy, produce, local artisan producers and meat. One of the great FarmSource successes this year was local cherry tomatoes from Yarnick Farms in Indiana.

We also were recognized nationally for our FarmSource program. This year Regis Holden, our Senior Director of Culinary Services for Eat’n Park received the United Fresh, Produce Excellence in Foodservice award, which honors the foodservice industries most innovative produce performers. Regis received this award for his exceptional work in incorporating fresh produce on our menu and for his engagement in community outreach.

Regis is one the chefs who works with the Community Food Bank on their Farm Stand project. The Farm Stand project is in place to provide low-income neighborhoods traditionally underserved by full-service grocery stores. Each week the one of our chefs complements the produce for sale with nutrition education and weekly cooking demonstrations with recipes and samples using local produce to encourage healthy eating.

LEED-Certified Gold Eat’n Park

Our Fox Chapel Eat'n Park Restaurant in the Waterworks shopping plaza opened last summer, and this year, it became the first restaurant in the city of Pittsburgh to achieve a LEED Gold certification. The restaurant features skylights that amplify natural light, LED lighting, an Energy-Star rated kitchen, barrels to harvest natural rainwater, bike racks, and a wind-turbine system that generates 2,000 kilowatt hours of wind energy a year, which equates to about 1/3 of the annual energy used by an average household.

So, what does LEED Gold Certification mean? Let me explain. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is an internationally-recognized green building certification system that was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). They have multiply levels for their certification; Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. After the construction of a LEED building it then is evaluated by the USGBC to determine the level of certification, and our restaurant was certified as Gold in June 2011.

On the horizon

So what are we doing now? Through the construction of the Waterworks Eat’n Park, we learned quite a bit about building a green restaurant, and we’re now implementing LEED components into new construction projects. For instance, our newest restaurant, The Porch at Schenley (located in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood) has many cool green construction components, like a green vegetated sedum roof over a 1/3 of the building and a rain barrel that collects water to be used to irrigate our rooftop garden that will starting growing some of our veggies in early spring.
Our newest restaurant concept, The Porch at Schenley Plaza
The Porch's "green" roof
Rain barrel at The Porch

These are some of the highlights of our initiatives and, of course, we plan on doing more in 2012. If you’ve got some suggestions on areas that we can green, I would love to hear from you.

Until next time,


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Eat'n Park Coupon for Stocking Stuffers - BOGO Smiley Mugs

Next time you're in Eat'n Park, knock those last minute stocking stuffers off your list! Just print out this coupon and use it to buy one Smiley Mug, and get one free!

You can mix and match mug styles (ceramic or travel) AND designs. Plus, your coupon is good for up to three mugs. So you can get six, but only pay for three!

Click here to print your coupon now.
Valid through December 24, 2011.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Holiday Bonus Cards are here at Eat'n Park!

Let's take a look at that holiday shopping list.  What are you going to get for...
....your father-in-law, who already has everything
....your picky aunt, a relentless re-gifter
....the co-worker who always brightens your day
....the service people who make your world go 'round, all through the year (you know, your mailperson, garbage men, babysitter, etc.)

Don't have an answer yet? Now you do: Eat'n Park gift cards! Not only does everyone love an Eat'n Park gift card, but right now, you can treat yourself, too! That's because our Bonus Cards are back.

While supplies last, you’ll get a FREE $5 bonus card with every $25 in Eat’n Park gift card purchases at our restaurants. It’s like a reward for being such a great gift-giver! Bonus cards work just like regular gift cards, and are valid from January 1 through January 31, 2012, so you have a whole month to use them.

You’ll get one $5 bonus card for every $25 in gift card purchases, regardless of the denomination. So, if you buy five $5 cards, you’ll get one bonus card. Buy $100 worth of gift cards, and you’ll get four $5 bonus cards. You get the picture.
But here’s the catch : We only have a limited supply of bonus cards, and we can’t make substitutions. So when they’re gone, they’re gone! Stop in to your local Eat’n Park today to get yours, then relax – holiday gift-giving doesn’t get any easier than this!

Bonus cards are only available at Eat’n Park restaurant locations. This offer is not available with online gift card orders.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

12.5.2011 Caring for Kids Activities at Eat'n Park

Monday, December 05, 2011
Big McKnight Pictures with Santa (5:00 PM-8:00 PM)
Library Road Spaghetti Dinner (7:00 PM-9:00 PM)

Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Butler--United Tips for Tots (4:00 PM-8:00 PM)
Marshall Twp. Tips for Tots (4:00 PM-7:00 PM) Includes Pictures with Santa
Belle Vernon Tips for Tots (4:00 PM-8:00 PM)
Austintown Tips for Tots (4:00 PM-8:00 PM)

Wednesday, December 07, 2011
Whitehall Tips for Tots (4:00 PM-8 :00 PM)
Monongahela Tips for Tots (3:00 PM-9 :00 PM)
Canonsburg Scott Blasey Benefit Concert (6:00 PM-10:00 PM) Held at Muse Firehall
Sewickley Tips for Tots (11:00 AM-8:00 PM)
Streetsboro Tips for Tots
New Stanton Tips for Tots (4:00 PM-9:00 PM)
Moon Twp.--Airport Tips for Tots (11:00 AM-8:00 PM)
Johnstown Tips for Tots (4:00 PM-8:00 PM)
Morgantown Tips for Tots (4:00 PM-7:00 PM)
Clarksburg Tips for Tots (5:00 PM-8 :00 PM)
N. Huntington Tips for Tots (4:00 PM-8:00 PM)
North Versailles Tips for Tots (4:00 PM-8:00 PM)

Thursday, December 08, 2011
Parma Tips for Tots (4:00 PM-8:00 PM)
Monongahela Round-up Weekend
Johnstown Bowlathon (11:00)
Chapel Hill Tips for Tots (4:00 PM-8:00 PM)
Warren Tips for Tots (4:00 PM-8:00 PM)

Friday, December 09, 2011
Steubenville Tips for Tots (11:00 AM-7:00 PM)
Franklin Park 80's Dance (6:00 PM-10:00 PM) Held at Corapolis VFW (412 Mulberry Street)
Somerset Pictures with Santa (6:00 PM-8:00 PM)
Marshall Twp. Rodeo Round-up (All Day)
Indiana Rodeo Round-up (All Day)
N. Huntington Night at the Races (7:00 PM-11:00 PM) Held at Manor American Legion

Sunday, December 11, 2011
Library Road Smiley Idol (7:00 PM)
Johnstown Oldies Dance (7:00 PM-10:00 PM) Held at St. Patick's Church
Washington--Mall Christmas Tunes with Jen (10:00 AM-1:00 PM)
Belle Vernon Cash Bash (5:00 PM)


Winter Specials at Eat’n Park

It might be dreary and drab outside, but inside Eat’n Park, our winter specials are going to set your taste buds ablaze!

Texas Tanglers
This appetizer takes no prisoners with its Texas-sized flavor! Strips of onions and jalapeño peppers are batter-dipped and fried, and served with our Cajun ranch dressing. Giddyup, cowboy! $4.99

Buffalo Bleu Burger
Get rowdy with this Cajun-seasoned burger, topped with crumbled Bleu cheese and spicy Buffalo sauce. Served on a Kaiser roll, along with a side of your choice. $6.99

Texas Jack Burger
The heat will get you hopping! A Fajita-seasoned burger is topped with Pepper Jack cheese, batter-dipped strips of jalapeño peppers and onions, and chipotle mayo. Wowza! Served on a Kaiser roll with your choice of a side. $6.99

Chocolate Chip Pancakes
There’s really no denying it – chocolate chips make everything better, especially when you add them to breakfast! Indulge in a sweet start to the day with 2 or 3 Chocolate Chip Pancakes, piled high and topped with whipped cream and MORE chocolate chips. Served with your choice of sausage or bacon. $4.99 (three pancakes), $4.29 (two pancakes)

Chocolate Peppermint Milkshake, Mocha, and Hot Chocolate
Cool down your taste buds after that spicy burger with a fresh burst of peppermint! Get your fix from our Chocolate Peppermint Milkshake, Peppermint Mocha, or Peppermint Hot Chocolate. Ahhhh! Starting at $2.59

Chocolate Caramel Milkshake
If chocolate makes everything better, what happens when you add caramel? Ecstasy, squared. Need we say more? $3.69