A restaurant owner in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is helping his fellow business owners get back on their feet.
Adolfo Melendez opened his eatery just before the coronavirus pandemic hit but he is now using a large portion of his advertising funds to buy gift cards and help other local restaurants, WSAW reported February 16.
“If you help one person and another person helps another, that will help a lot,” Melendez told the outlet. “Most of us are just single family owners and there’s no where you can go to ask for help but ourselves.”
He recently spent over $2,000 in gift cards to seven nearby restaurants, each worth $20, and has been raffling them off on his Facebook page.
“The whole idea is just to give other opportunities,” he said. “I think it’s important to support a small business, that’s what makes this little town so strong, you know? Because big companies come and go.”
In a Facebook post on February 1, a customer praised the El Mezcal restaurant owner for his kind gesture.
“Adolfo has been buying gift cards to other restaurants and giving them away to help support our local businesses. Today I support him by having a wonderful dinner!” the customer wrote.
Olympia Family Restaurant owner Pete Ananiadis called Melendez’s idea smart and said he was grateful for what he did for the community.
“In these COVID times, it’s very important to eat local, small mom and pop shops and he understands that and for all of us right now, it’s a tough time,” he noted.
Melendez later echoed his comments and said small businesses are an essential part of a community’s fabric.
“That’s part of what keeps us alive,” he stated, adding, “You can go to Applebee’s, or you can go to Pizza Hut but it ain’t the same like when you go to this little diner or pizza joint.”