Not long ago, Sustaining People discussed the community engagement work being done by Kellog with their Breakfast for Better Days program. Another company that is following suit is the Australian Mexican fast food franchise Zambrero, with their Plate 4 Plate initiative. For each standard meal purchased, Zambrero donates one meal to someone in need through their international partner Stop Hunger Now which to date has provided over 160 million meals in 65 countries.
Zambrero is the brainchild of Dr Sam Prince, who was named 2012 ACT Young Australian of the Year for his entrepreneurial efforts whilst studying medicine in Canberra. The reason behind this is that the franchise did not come across its CSR initiative after becoming successful. Unlike the majority of mainstream organisations that use CSR as an add-on to their operations, Dr Prince’s business is built around the desire to give back to society.
“to empower a social movement dedicated to the provision of food to those in need, through customer engagement and corporate responsibility”
Zambrero’s mission statement above is a clear indication of this. The restaurant’s mission isn’t about providing great Mexican food to the community, it is focused on engaging with people to end hunger around the world; this has been their greatest strength in being recognised by Business Review Weekly as the fastest growing franchise in Australia (2010).
Whilst of course, making great food that caters to public demand, it edges out its competitors (Salsas and Mad Mex) because it is intrinsically linked to a great cause. From the moment you walk in, Zambrero is a social enterprise: this is made clear through its store design, branding and accentuation of Plate 4 Plate marketing. As with Kellog’s campaign and Vodaphone’s #mealforameal, Zambrero shows once again that community alignment has a positive effect on brand and customer loyalty.
Last month, Zambrero celebrated its One Million plates of Food to Action against Hunger, and next year will celebrate its ten year anniversary, after opening up its first store in Canberra in 2005. A year later in 2006, Prince created the Emagine Foundation, and this became Zambrero’s philanthropic arm. In addition to partnering with Stop the Hunger, Emagine also provides education support to children in developing nations and works to eradicate diseases affecting our global community.
You can hear Dr Prince’s inspiring story in his 2011 TED Talk above, and if you’re feeling peckish, pop down to your local Zambrero. Grab a plate for yourself, and help someone who needs a plate of their own.