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Franchisors and ‘Zees Line Up to Help Hurricane Harvey Victims


Russo's New York Pizzeria dropped off pizzas at St. Anne Catholic Church in Houston

As the devastation and damage adds up in Houston and in other areas hit by Hurricane Harvey, plenty of franchisors and franchisees are offering what they can to help. The storm has finally dissipated, but more than 30,000 people remain displaced from their homes, and the storm has racked up $190 billion in damages throughout the U.S.
Here are 10 franchisors, both big and small, offering their services and resources to those in need:

• Couche-Tard/Circle K: The parent company of Circle K announced that all of its North American network (close to 9,500 stores) would take part in raising funds for the Red Cross. It also donated $100,000 to the Red Cross to get immediate support to its employees and the community. The company also activated an internal fundraising campaign to help employees affected by the storm, starting with a company donation of $150,000.

Jersey Mike’s: More than 1,300 Jersey Mike’s Subs locations across the country are partnering with the Houston Food Bank and Corpus Christi Food Bank to help Texas residents affected by Hurricane Harvey. From Monday, September 11, through Sunday, September 17, participating Jersey Mike’s locations will donate $1 for every regular sized No. 7 Turkey Breast and Provolone sub sold. Jersey Mike’s will also offer special cards for a free sub in exchange for a $2 donation to the food banks. The company expects to raise more than $500,000 in total.

Papa John’s: The pizza giant’s Houston stores provided free pizza to first responders, and delivered more than 3,000 pizzas at NRG Stadium to feed those displaced by the storm. On September 3, Papa John’s committed to donate a minimum of $500,000 to relief for victims of Harvey.

• Buffalo Wild Wings: From September 3 through September 17, participating Buffalo Wild Wings locations will match in-restaurant donations received from guests, up to $100,000.

• Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt: The self-serve yogurt franchise is hosting a special fundraiser for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. On Saturday, September 9, participating Menchie’s stores will donate 10 percent of their sales to the American Red Cross.

• On The Border: All of the company’s restaurants in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, along with its Waco and College Station restaurants, will be donating 20 percent from guest’s checks, on request, toward disaster relief in Houston. The fundraiser will be held Wednesday, September 6.

• Little Caesar’s: A big-rig pizza kitchen, known as “the Little Caesar’s Love Kitchen,” is now on the road throughout Texas to feed victims and first responders affected by the storm and flooding.

• Children’s Lighthouse: Franchisees in the Dallas/Fort Worth area turned their childcare centers into drop off areas, accepting a variety of supplies for Hurricane Harvey victims. They collected toiletries, blankets, baby formula/baby food, diapers and wipes, and made trips to Houston to help deliver and pass out the supplies.

• Russo’s New York Pizzeria: Based in Houston, the company worked to get their restaurants open and operating after the hurricane hit so they could help provide food to those in need. Russo’s has been delivering pizzas to organizations and shelters throughout the Houston area.

• Aaron’s, Inc.: The provider of lease-purchase solutions is donating $100,000 to help associates and communities affected by the storm, and re-routing some of its trucks to deliver 10,000 cases of bottled water. Aaron’s associates from across the country have already contributed more than $45,000 to assist their Texas colleagues.

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is senior editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is editor-in-chief of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is managing editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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