PHOENIX — With financial support from the community, Aioli Burger delivered 800 pre-packaged meals to Phoenix Children's and Valleywise hospitals on Monday to benefit the doctors, nurses, and staff working during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Each hospital received roughly 400 meals, said co-owner Kyle Hollenbeck.
Photos shared with ABC15 show Hollenback and staff unloading meals and boxes of chips from a truck and then loading them onto carts, where hospital staff members wearing their protective equipment were waiting.
Next week, Aioli Burger plans on delivering meals to HonorHealth and the Phoenix Police Department, he said, which comes in the wake of a shooting over the weekend that left a beloved Phoenix police commander dead and two officers injured.
He and his team are working with the 100 Club of Arizona to coordinate how the meals will be distributed to police, a spokesperson said.
Like a lot of restaurants, Hollenbeck said he and his business partner, Tommy D'Ambrosio, had to “completely shift our business model” in order to keep the business open and staff employed.
“We rolled out a prepared meal program where we were just selling to the public. They were cooked meals that were refrigerated that we were going to deliver and they could be picked up at the restaurant. We did about 600-something of those. We knew that if we wanted to keep our staff going, we needed to really scale this quickly,” he said.
So, they decided to discount the meals, eliminate charging sales tax and delivery fees, and see if their customers would help buy meals for first responders and the hospitals.
They have three options: five meals for $40, 10 meals for $75, and 20 meals for $140. Those interested can purchase meals via Aioli’s website, www.aioliburger.com/first-responder-meals, or by calling the store, 602-971-5555.
Last week, one family bought 400 meals — a $2,400 purchase — and left a 20% tip for Aioli’s staff, he said.
“It was overwhelming to be honest with you. I’ve been trying to be the strongest person to carry all the weight in this whole thing…and that was the first time I kind of broke down in a good way,” he said. “I’m glad it was me breaking down from something that was so amazing that happened [and] not having to tell a bunch of people that I’m having to lay them off.”
Aside from the first responder meals, Aioli Burger is open for regular carry-out and their menu of burgers, fries, and milkshakes.
IF YOU GO:
10652 N 32nd St. Phoenix, AZ 85028
We're Open, Arizona: We know this is a tough time for a lot of people in our community, including local restaurants and businesses. As local spots continue to serve takeout, look for ways to safely do business, and give back to our community, we want to share their stories. Visit abc15.com/open or email us at OpenInAZ@abc15.com.