Over & Above: Firebirds Wood Fired Grill

Firebirds Alex's Lemonade Stand

Over & Above is a Fishbowl blog series featuring brands that are going “over & above” their call of duty by supporting their community, employees, and customers.

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill

$1.25 here, $1.00 there, an Alex’s Lemonade Day here, one there and over time (well, just five years to be exact) Firebirds Wood Fired Grill has raised over $1 million for Alex’s Lemonade Stand, an organization dedicated to raising funds for childhood cancer research.

If you’re unfamiliar with the story, Alex’s Lemonade Stand was started in 2000 by Alexandra Scott, 4-year-old, and battling cancer, as a single lemonade stand with the mission of helping to find a cure for all children with cancer. Alex held her first lemonade stand in her front yard, raising over $2,000 and by the time of her death in 2004 more than $1million, inspiring a legacy of hope.

Kaela Cruz - Eatontown, NJ

Alex’s story certainly inspired the folks at Firebirds to get involved. In 2012, the restaurant launched their first campaign to support the organization on a national level. Every day of the year, at every location, if you order lemonade, close to half of the menu item cost will be donated directly to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF). During Alex’s Lemonade Days in the summer, every cent from your lemonade is donated directly. As a guest, you also have the option to “round up” your check to the nearest dollar in support of ALSF.

Social media is used to get the word out about the stands and encourage guests to visit Firebirds in support of ALSF. “On a national level, we share stories from the many Childhood Cancer Heroes that ASLF supports” commented Christine Lorusso, Digital Marketing Manager, Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, “During the event, we share photos from lemonade stands across the country. The engagement and reach that we receive from these posts is a testament to how supportive our guests and followers are.”

We also see this support shown in the overall rating and review traffic on and around the Alex’s Lemonade Days. The Fishbowl Social Media Analytics team pulled the data for 2016 and 2017 and as you can see there is a significant increase in the summer of both years – the time these campaigns are being run. Guests are coming into the restaurants, having a good experience and rating the brand online. During the campaigns, the average number of reviews per location jumps from 2.8 to 4.9 per day.

Firebirds Ratings and Reviews Graph

But, it’s not all about social media, likes, followers, store visits, ratings or check size. Christine said, although social, web and store traffic are all important, the primary focus of the campaigns around ALSF is the uptick in funds raised for ALSF. This year, the restaurant raised more than $100,000 during their Alex’s Lemonade Days alone.

And, it doesn’t stop at lemonade. “This year, we featured our Big Daddy Lemon Cake. It was available for limited time and, in honor of Alex’s Lemonade Days, we donated $1 of every slice sold to ALSF.”

So raise those lemonade glasses high as we toast Firebirds Wood Fired Grill for going Over & Above the daily call of duty in the restaurant industry.

This blog was written by Fishbowl’s Marketing Coordinator, Alyson McGonigle.

The image in this post is from Lemonade Days in Eatontown, New Jersey and features Childhood Cancer Hero, Kaela Cruz.