Welcome back to everybody’s favorite InkSoft blog series: “˜Spotlight On:’ community initiatives extraordinaire!

In today’s edition, we’ll be highlighting another fantastic fundraising campaign — all in the hopes of veering you away from the negativity that’s been crowding our news channels and inboxes as of late.

The truth is, we’re bored of the darkness. We’re bored of feeling helpless as this virus tears through our communities. So, we’re taking action — by switching our vantage point up a little.

Instead of focusing on the headlines, this series focuses on the stories that barely get any attention at all — but the ones that deserve the most of it. The stories that show goodwill, teamwork, and humanity.

Whether they’re fundraising or boosting morale, volunteering or working on the frontlines, these are the heroes and the campaigns — local and far away — that deserve our attention. So, what do you say we give it to them?

Join us in raising a glass (of water, of coffee, of beer — we won’t judge you) to today’s Spotlight On campaign: Zea Restaurants and the Quarantine Cuisine!

One big restaurant family

Zea Rotisserie & Grill is a widely known —  and loved — restaurant chain in Louisiana.

With 14 locations operating throughout the south of the state, the chain easily employed hundreds upon hundreds of employees just one month ago. But today, like in so many of our own businesses, the impact of the pandemic is visible.

Six hundred employees, from servers to cooks to hosts, have lost their jobs.

With most restaurants nation-wide forced to close their doors, offering only take-out and delivery, Zea wasn’t alone in needing to lay staff off. But that didn’t make doing it any easier.

That’s when an idea dawned on Greg Reggio, the chef and owner of Zea. It was an idea that was catchy enough to spread — and meaningful enough to make a serious difference.

A t-shirt saves the day

“Quarantine Cuisine.”

That’s the tagline that Reggio came up with when this whole thing first started, and that’s the messaging that’s front and center on the t-shirts now.

His idea, spread out around those two effortlessly catchy words, was to sell something for the group of employees that no longer had jobs — to fundraise for them.

That idea turned into a virtual store. And then it turned into a state-wide campaign.

Working with New Orleans-based screen printing and embroidery company Faux Pas Prints, and with the help of InkSoft’s technology, the t-shirts were designed and put into a custom online store.

“100% of the proceeds will go to Zea & Semolina employees,” the very top of the store reads.

Reggio, also the chef and owner of the Semolina restaurant, wanted to make sure the message came across clearly.

The only ones being served by these t-shirts, by this initiative, are the employees.

This isn’t a campaign to turn profits for the restaurants. It’s a campaign to raise much-needed money for the people behind them.

Details in the design

On top of where all of the custom t-shirts are showcased, there are two images side by side.

The first shows a figure standing next to a car, love transferring from him to the vehicle. The second shows a figure inside a house, holding the love that was given to him.

“We’re here for you,” the first image reads.

“We’re there for you,” the second one says.

That messaging is echoed through each of the six t-shirt options, where “Ask me about Quarantine Cuisine” is featured prominently.

It’s messaging that assures customers that Zea will keep cooking food, keep showing up, for them — through the crisis, through the strangeness, the restaurants will adapt to do their part.

(And even offer 50% off for all first responders while doing it.)

But the message isn’t just about spreading one business’s brand.

It’s about inviting the Louisiana community to buy in while staying safe.

It’s about inviting Zea customers, Semolina customers, to show support for the restaurant staff that have been affected — the same staff who’d been hosting, serving, and supporting them before this mayhem began.

Whether it’s through purchasing take-out or t-shirts, it has never been easier for the community to help out — and, it can all be done from isolation.

“We’re gonna do our best for “˜em,” Leonard Louvierre, co-owner and manager of the Lafayette Zea location, heartfully said, referring to the online store. “It’s one of the few things we can possibly do.”

Family first

Like any real family, Zea looks out for its own. When times are tough, when members are vulnerable, they band together to make sure no-one’s left to cope on their own.

To Reggio and the whole Zea team, Quarantine Cuisine was a way to raise money and spread lightness, at the same time.

Here at InkSoft, that’s definitely something we can stand behind.

Most — if not all — of our communities have been hit hard by this virus. Not just medically speaking, but through its secondary effects. The slowed operations. The shut downs.

It’s been hard. There’s no shame in saying that.

But there’s also no shame in focusing on the lightness. In focusing on the initiatives that have brought communities together, connecting them at a time when physical distancing is the norm.

We’re so impressed by the Quarantine Cuisine campaign — how it’s working to support vulnerable members of the Zea family, of the Louisiana community, and make them rightfully feel like they’re a part of something bigger. 

These “˜Spotlight On’ articles aim to showcase the good in the bad. 

If you know of a business or a campaign that’s doing something awesome for its community right now, let us know. We’d love to give them a platform.

Or, if you’re thinking about ways you can help out yourself, our technology is always here for you.

We offer incredible features that let you design apparel and build custom stores from wherever you are — office or couch — and our staff is always available to talk you through it.

The best part? Our Stores feature comes equipped with a fundraising component, so all of your logistical, transactional needs are taken care of.

As you can see, we’re more than a little passionate about the services we offer — because they work. They can work for you, too.

Let’s turn that campaign idea you’ve been throwing around in your head into action.

Our phone number’s 800-410-3048. We’re here for you. And we believe, at our core, that we all do better when we’re working together.

Stay safe,

The InkSoft team

P.s. Check out the first “˜Spotlight On’ blog here.
Check out the second “˜Spotlight On’ blog here.