Yard House, which initially launched Round It Up America(r) (RIUA) six years ago, has raised more than $2.4 million to date by inviting guests to “round up” their checks to the nearest dollar and donating the change to various organizations.
“Round It Up America(r) started out as a very grassroots effort,” said Jennifer Weerheim, vice president of brand marketing for the company and co-founder of RUIA. “The concept was simple: Invite our guests to round up to the nearest dollar and donate the change to various organizations whose focus is to help victims of natural disasters, active military and veterans, food banks, and education for the culinary arts.”
Among the most recent organizations to partner with RIUA is Special Olympics. Founded nearly 50 years ago by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Special Olympics empowers people with intellectual disabilities to become accepted and valued members of their communities. Yard House has long partnered with Special Olympics to help raise money and awareness for those with special needs.
In addition, some several scholarships have been awarded through the National Restaurant Association’s ProStart program. ProStart is a national career-building and job placement program for high.
“Partnering with these larger organizations helps us reach more people in-need with more resources,” added Weerheim. “However, we are all about live local, give local. The monies stay mostly with the local chapters so that the communities where Yard House does business ultimately benefit.”
RUIA costs very little to operate with 91 cents out of every dollar going to worthwhile causes. To date, RIUA has raised a total of $4 million since its inception.
Guests who want to round up when visiting Yard House can ask their server or bartender for more details. For additional information regarding Round It Up America(r), visit www.rounditupamerica.org.