BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) – The nation’s largest pizza chain is encouraging people to eat local by supporting smaller eateries in the Boston area.
David Jenks, a Domino’s franchisee in the Boston area, recently bought 600 gift cards worth $50 from local restaurants. These included Fresco’s in Malden, Mei Mei in Boston and El Pelón Taqueria, which has locations in Brighton and Fenway.
Over the past week, Jenks placed the gift cards in pizza boxes and randomly gave them to selected delivery customers. He wanted to help bring attention to smaller-run businesses that do not have delivery options built into their system.
Jenks said these businesses are often hurt by hefty fees they pay for using third-party delivery apps. Irene Li, who owns Mei Mei, said dealing with these fees has been tough for her business.
“We pay anywhere from 17-33% of the revenue from a third-party order to that delivery company. We love that Domino’s has supported other restaurants and driven their customers to these mom and pops that could really use the help,” Li said.
“While delivery is built into Domino’s operations model, it’s not always simple for local restaurant owners to execute,” Jenks said. “We wanted to give back and do something nice for these local restaurant owners and help support them.”
Jim Hoban, owner of El Pelón, has been struggling to keep his employees fully employed over the course of the pandemic. While Hoban has not had to let go of anyone, he said this help is much needed.
“Covid’s been very challenging [and] we’ve had a lot of support from the local community,” he said. “So, something like this is just a big help.”
Jenks added that “by doing this small act of kindness, we hope that the next time customers are ordering food, they’ll use these gift cards to order and pick up directly from these restaurants.”
WBZ’s Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) has more: