So You Want To Be A Waiter

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Super Bowl

The New Orleans storyline in today’s Super Bowl reminds me of the aftermath of Katrina.

I was working for P. F. Chang’s at the time and corporate pledged $500,000 for Katrina relief only days after the event. Included in that was something that the tipped employees pledged – we dedicated one day of tips to be donated to the cause. This was about a week after Katrina.

We had t-shirts printed up (mine is around somewhere; if I find it, maybe I’ll post a picture later.

It was a simple white t-shirt with a halftone screenshot of the radar image of Katrina immediately prior to landfall. Everyone wore the shirt and we told our guests that we were donating all tips to Katrina relief. Many guests tossed in extra money and we as a chain raised beaucoups of money.

If I remember correctly, we called it “The Lucky Cat Relief”. The Lucky Cat is part of P. F. Chang’s culture. Every Chang’s has a large Asian-styled ceramic cat which is holding one paw up. The “Lucky Cat’ is a symbol of wealth and luck and many Asian businesses use it in the hopes of attracting customers and wealth. While predominately associated with Japanese culture, it has been appropriated by the Chinese as well.

We were proud of ourselves, proud of corporate for stepping up to the plate and proud of our guests, who were extra generous in the face of a national disaster.

This is especially resonant in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake. With donations starting to dry up, perhaps some restaurants might consider a similar “relief action”

Just putting that out there…

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One response to “Super Bowl

  1. nativenapkin February 8, 2010 at 9:13 am

    It’s really unfortunate that Reggie Bush has to keep saying in his post game comments that winning the Super Bowl is the last step in bringing the City of New Orleans “all the way back”. Not even close my friends. There are still vast tracts of abandoned houses, closed schools and businesses, plus a population scattered across the country that hasn’t returned home. As a former resident, I am grateful fop the noteriety and (hopefully) all the tourist and convention business that will come as a result, but still lots to be done. And don’t even get me started on levee repairs and government funds…

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