Buca offers discount to Calif. state workers

LAS VEGAS The casual-dining Buca di Beppo chain is offering a 20-percent discount to California state employees and their guests who dine at any of the brand’s 21 locations in the state, officials said Thursday.

Calling it “The Great Bolognese Bailout,” Buca officials said California’s government workers have been singled out in part because the state has been particularly hard hit by the recession. California’s unemployment levels in February reached 10.5 percent, compared with an 8.1-percent unemployment level nationally. The state also boasted the nation’s third-highest home foreclosure rate, with one in every 165 houses receiving a foreclosure filing.

Buca's discount also was a result of connections with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The 88-unit Buca di Beppo chain was acquired earlier this year by Planet Hollywood International Inc., a Las Vegas-based restaurant and hotel company that once counted the actor-turned-politician among its investors.

“Buca di Beppo is all about family, fun and value, and this is something special for the dedicated government workers in these difficult economic times,” said Robert Earl, Planet Hollywood's founder and chief executive. “The governor of California has been a longtime friend, and this discount is a thank you to all the state employees for their hard work on behalf of the great state of California.”

The discount will be available through Oct. 31 to any state employee who can show their employee identification and a valid photo I.D. The offer, which also applies to the state employee's guests, is good only for dine-in customers and is not valid on gift cards, alcohol, tax or gratuity, officials said. The discount cannot be combined with other offers or group dining packages.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected] [3].