Skip navigation

Chains raise funds for breast cancer charities

Caribou Coffee, Hooters, Panera Bread, La Madeleine among restaurant brands contributing to various breast cancer research and awareness nonprofits

For chains such as Caribou Coffee, Hooters and Panera Bread, campaigns for Breast Cancer Awareness Month are personal, as the brands raise money to honor or remember team members diagnosed with the disease.

Minneapolis-based Caribou Coffee will again sell its Amy’s Blend collection of coffee, tea and coffeehouse accessories to honor the memory of Amy Erickson, the chain’s “roastmaster,” who died from breast cancer in 1995 at the age of 33. The brand donates 10 percent of sales of that line to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, one of the nation’s largest breast cancer nonprofit organizations.

Since Erickson also loved tulips, Caribou has expanded its Amy’s Garden program this year by offering fans a chance to share a virtual tulip on the brand’s Facebook page in honor of friends or loved ones fighting breast cancer. For every Facebook submission, Caribou will plant a pink tulip in Amy’s National Garden of Hope in Washington, D.C.’s Brookside Gardens. The brand also set up Amy’s Garden areas last year at the Mall of America in Minnesota and the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.

Over the past six years, Hooters has raised money and awareness for breast cancer to remember Kelly Jo Dowd, a former Hooters calendar cover girl and manager for the chain. Dowd was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002 and died in 2007.

On Wednesday, Hooters presented a check for $200,000 to the V Foundation for Cancer Research, earned from local fundraisers throughout the year at Hooters’ 430 restaurants. The Atlanta-based chain has raised more than $2 million for the foundation through the Kelly Jo Dowd Research Grant.

The brand also educates its 17,000 Hooters Girls about the importance of early breast cancer detection with a video testimonial from Dowd.

For the 10th consecutive year, Panera Bread will sell its Pink Ribbon Bagel to benefit the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and local breast cancer charities across the country. The Pink Ribbon Bagel was created in 2001, when 18-unit franchisee and breast cancer survivor Sue Stees began selling them to raise money for breast cancer research. She sold 27,000 Pink Ribbon Bagels that year, and the 1,493-unit chain has sold more than 7 million since.

See more about the Pink Ribbon Bagel; story continues below

A portion of the proceeds from each bagel sold will be donated to cancer research, including $1 from every sale of the Power of Pink Baker’s Dozen. Panera also will donate 10 cents for each Facebook “like” for its Virtual Pink Ribbon Bagel.

Continued from page 1

For bakery-café chain La Madeleine Country French Café, the cause of fighting breast cancer is a yearlong effort. The Dallas-based chain of 60 locations has tied its loyalty program to its cause marketing, offering frequent visitors a Card for the Cure benefitting Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Loyalty club members purchase a card for $35, which is donated to Komen, and register the card online for La Madeleine to capture their customer data. Cardholders receive 10 percent off every purchase for one year, with 1 percent of each purchase donated to Komen. Club members can renew their membership each year for a reduced donation of 25 percent.

Amanda Breaux, senior manager of interactive marketing at La Madeleine, told a Nation’s Restaurant News’ MUFSO conference audience this year that the loyalty club signed up more than 12,300 people in fiscal 2010 and received more than 3,200 renewals this year. La Madeleine made $5.1 million in loyalty club sales in the past year, Breaux said, and its donation to Komen stands at $52,000 and rising.

RA Sushi is one of several chains running a limited-time offer this month to donate sales to breast cancer research. During October, 25-unit RA will donate 100 percent of profits from sales of a $15 “ONEHOPE” special to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The combo features a glass of ONEHOPE California Chardonnay and a Pink Roll, which combines shrimp and crab with sriracha, lettuce, avocado and cucumber. The roll is wrapped in pink soy paper and a pink ribbon of strawberry sauce.

San Ramon, Calif.-based Straw Hat Pizza is celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness Month and National Pizza Month with the same fundraiser, donating $2 from the sale of every “Queen-size” pizza to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The 86-unit pizza chain also will donate 10 cents to the NBCF for every new Facebook “like” it receives during the month of October. It anticipates up to 50,000 new likes.

SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza, a four-unit upscale pizza concept based in Kansas City, Mo., ran a fundraiser through Oct. 8 that donated 15 percent of proceeds from the sale of every Tour de BBQ pizza or half-carafe of Chianti Sangria to cancer research. Funds benefited the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the University of Kansas Cancer Center.

SPIN! also sponsored and fielded a team in Kansas City’s Tour de BBQ, a bicycle race that raises money for cancer research.

Contact Mark Brandau at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @Mark_from_NRN

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.