Wednesday, June 30, 2010

“Eat for Education” campaign encourages dining at city restaurants

Mayor says "Eat for Education"

A campaign dubbed “Eat for Education” was launched Wednesday in front of the Texas Tavern. The two-percent meal’s tax increase starts July 1 and Mayor David Bowers recognized that “the meals tax may impact restaurants and their customers.”

The two-percent tax will go to combat the budget shortfalls for Roanoke City Schools. The campaign still in its infancy invites area restaurants to participate in the campaign. Several restaurants have already taken the challenge according to Thomas Becher of the Becher Agency.

Members of council and city staff filled the sidewalk in front of the Texas Tavern in support. Matt Bullington owner of Texas Tavern is one of the restaurants who will sport the “Eat for Education” logo in his window. “This is a unique opportunity to get involved,” said Bullington.

John Dudley, president of the Roanoke Valley Hospitality Association said, “This is a great way for restaurants at no cost to them to encourage the public to eat for a great cause.”

Joyce Waugh, president and CEO of Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce said, “this is a great program that helps both restaurants and our workforce.”

The campaign is a joint initiative through the City of Roanoke, the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Roanoke Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Roanoke Valley Hospitality Association, and Downtown Roanoke, Inc.

Restaurants that participate in the program are invited to complete a form. The participant customers can enter a monthly drawing to win a $50 gift card to be used at participating restaurants. To be eligible customers must mention they’re “eating for education.”

Every Tuesday night restaurants will be encouraged to offer a menu special to attract families to support public education. Once a month Roanoke City School employees would be welcomed at city restaurants and encouraged to eat out or take out.

All restaurants have been notified of the program and the city and partner organizations are in the process of gathering the names of participating restaurants that will sport the window sticker logo – “Eat for Education.”

Landon Howard, executive director of the Roanoke Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau announced that the board of directors voted unanimously to offer free membership to all area restaurants in the Roanoke Valley for one year. “It’s very important as we know our restaurant community is looking to attract more visitors … our cuisine beats anybody else and we want to prove that,” said Howard who is just four months into his job. The offer of free membership will be made to Roanoke City, Salem City, Roanoke County, Franklin County and Botetourt County.

Bowers asked, “all people of Western Virginia to come into Roanoke and participate in this program – have fun and eat well – and benefit the schools.”

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Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Business, Education, Finance, Local Events, Politics, Roanoke City Politics, Roanoke City Public Schools

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