What do you picture when you hear or see the name Kellogg’s?
Cereal boxes on grocery store shelves is a common answer. Tony the Tiger, of course. Or maybe Eggo, Pop-Tarts or Rice Krispies Treats.
One thing you might not realize, though, is that our company has over $1B in business outside of the grocery store. Convenience stores, schools, hotels and hospitals are our customers, for example.
And so are restaurants.
Restaurants are a core part of the fabric of local communities and their economies. And they are valued partners to us. Sadly, though, the hospitality industry has experienced unprecedented disruption as a result of the pandemic. According to The NPD Group, the U.S. restaurant industry transactions declined over 40% versus a year ago.
So, our Away From Home team wanted to help.
A few weeks ago, we implemented a restaurant stipend program that allows our Away From Home employees to expense up to $100 at their favorite local restaurants. It’s our way of doing what we can to support local businesses.
It’s also a small token of appreciation for our dedicated employees. With the significant disruption to all of our business segments, combined with the shift to working from home, we know the last few months have been challenging but our team continued to demonstrate grit, agility and perseverance.
Our team was incredibly excited about the stipend program – and it shows. I’ve received notes and calls sharing pictures and stories of how our Kellogg team and their families are using this to support their favorite local restaurants via delivery or takeout. Some have found a way to stretch to support three or four meals, at multiple restaurants.
And news has spread to our industry partners and colleagues as well. I’ve received calls and emails from leaders of some of the industry’s largest restaurant chains thanking Kellogg for our support. And from other industry colleagues looking to follow suit with their teams as well. I’ve been so proud to see how our team members have taken personal initiative to help their own communities and restaurants. An idea initiated by our Foodservice General Manager Zach Ramos and his team, has expanded beyond our business unit, our region, and even our company.
Because the program was so well received within our team, Kellogg announced this week that it has adopted the program for our North America employees through the end of June.
When I’ve picked up takeout from one of my family’s favorite Chicago pizzerias, Lou Malnati’s, these last couple of months, it’s been heartening to often see a row of cars lined up for to-go orders. Or when I’ve visited Gia Mia in Wheaton, Ill., and see the owner bustling from car to car delivering orders. It means our community is coming together when our restaurants need it most.
I’m proud that Kellogg has given our people an opportunity to contribute, too. If ever there was proof that we’re a company with Heart and Soul, this is it.