Corporate Responsibility and a heart for community involvement inspire Applebee’s Manager to lend a helping hand to ensure kid’s safety.
This past spring, Applebee’s as well as other local restaurants provided food for Firestone High School’s After Prom festivities. Although the school’s After Prom committee was satisfied with each of its food donors, volunteers were particularly impressed with Applebee’s willingness to bring more food to the event if the committee happened to need more, regardless of the lateness of the night.
“I really enjoyed helping with the After Prom,” said volunteer Vivian McLendon, a grandparent of one of the students who attended. “It’s such a great thing that companies would donate the way they did. The chicken nuggets supplied by Applebee’s was a huge hit. The students even ate the crumbs.”
Dennis Zieske, the General Manager of the Applebee’s in Montrose, insisted that the store was willing to accommodate the school’s need for more food no matter what, stating that the students’ safety was his number one concern.
“I feel that if we can make sure that the kids have a safe place where they can have a great time for prom, well it means a lot to me,” Zieske said. “Normally every year something happens or there’s an accident or kids don’t think about what they’re doing, and they do something that causes somebody to get hurt.”
Zieske’s determined nature in regards to being involved in the community comes from his own moral concerns as well as from the 25 years he has spent being employed by the Applebee’s where giving back to the respective communities of each given store is an integral part of the corporation’s mission. Based on its values and beliefs, the Apple American Group pledges to “assist those less fortunate and support institutions that enhance the quality of life in our community.”
The Montrose location, along with the other 36 locations across Northeast Ohio, sponsors two large fundraisers in support of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Over the past year the restaurants raised over $80,000 for both charities combined. Zieske stressed the importance of getting local schools involved and letting them know that they as a business want to support those schools as well as work with them in other ways to give back to the community.
“It really means a lot because without the schools, without the support of the community, our restaurants really don’t mean that much,” Zieske said.
One of the ways Zieske hopes to get more involved with schools in the future is by sponsoring a local high school football team. At the last Applebee’s store he managed, Zieske was able to do that and would like to bring a similar initiative to Akron.
“We’re hoping to connect with one of the high schools here…feed the players before the game…there’s a lot we can offer to one of the football teams so we’re hoping that we can connect with one of them this year,” Zieske said.
It’s no secret that football is a pretty big deal in this community and that’s something that Zieske believes would be very exciting to be associated with in addition to really making it known that Applebee’s is truly a part of the neighborhood.
“Football is just intense in this area and to get behind a winning team would be amazing,” Zieske said.
Zieske mentioned that his store is among 37 Applebee’s stores in his respective market, and that some are doing an excellent job at joining forces with other local schools or organizations in order give back to their communities while others are improving their efforts. He would like his store to help set an example for others. To Zieske, it goes beyond the promise of great service and good quality foods; it’s going to extra mile and showing true dedication to a valued customer.
“Some are amazed at what we do and others, all they have to do is ask and we’ll do anything we can for them.” For more information contact visit here.
Release ID: 90853