Source, The Times Herald, Gary Puleo
UPPER MERION — The Habit Burger Grill had already earned a reputation as a good neighbor to law enforcement in Upper Merion.
Now the popular fast casual eatery at 120 Village Dr. in King of Prussia Town Center has lent a helping hand to Upper Merion Fire and Rescue’s Community Smoke Alarm Blitz
As the crowds were hitting the King of Prussia Mall Black Friday, Habit Burger Grill district manager Russ Caratenuto was counting on many hungry shoppers and Black Friday defectors alike to stop in and support the smoke alarm cause — the fire department would like to see every residence equipped with a good smoke alarm — across town, far from the madness.
From opening to closing, 20 percent of the day’s sales from the sale of the Habit’s signature flame-grilled Charburgers, sandwiches, sides and hand-cut salads were donated to purchase smoke detectors.
“The Habit Burger Grill is happy to partner with Upper Merion’s firefighters,” Caratenuto said on Friday, as the lunch rush began pouring through the doors. “The day after Thanksgiving, everybody’s off, so hopefully we’ll get a nice crowd today. The fire department reached out to our marketing department to see if we could help in any way. And as we’ve said in the past, part of our culture is to really give back to the community. This is a no-brainer … the new fire chief wants to buy 10-year fire alarms for everyone in the community. That’s pretty cool. What’s nice about the Habit,” he added, “is that we like to give back to the communities we serve. We like to get involved. Think about how many homes there are in Upper Merion Township and they’re looking to put a fire alarm in every one, that’s a pretty big deal.”
Upper Merion Chief of Fire and EMS, Dennis Rubin said: “We created the Community Smoke Alarm Blitz Program because every resident in our community deserves to feel safe in their home. I cannot thank The Habit Burger Grill enough for thinking of their community and its public safety.”
Many may remember the Habit’s partnership with the Upper Merion Township Police Department last spring that was created to promote good will and, hopefully, the relatively new restaurant’s growing charbroiled reputation.
Through the “Rewarding Good Habits” program Upper Merion Police officers on patrol rewarded “good” children and teens with a voucher for a free Charburger — named the “best burger in America” in 2014 by Consumer Reports — from The Habit Burger Grill.
An officer could reward individuals or groups of kids, noted Lt. Jeffrey Maurer of Upper Merion’s Community Oriented Policing Division, at the time.
“When an officer sees something that they deem a good habit, like helping out a neighbor, helping their family out, wearing a bicycle helmet … an officer will make contact with them and give them an opportunity to come in and enjoy a burger and hopefully bring their parents with them,” Maurer said. “We see young people doing things to make our community better all the time. We are thrilled to partner with The Habit Burger Grill to be able to offer more than our thanks to them.”
“Rewarding Good Habits” is likely set for an encore at some point in the future, Caratenuto said.
“Once you create a relationship with groups and organizations, we partner up and like to make sure that these fundraisers aren’t just a one-time event. Whether they come to us once or twice a year, we always want to get involved.”
The first Habit opened in Santa Barbara, California in 1969. The Habit has since grown to more than 240 restaurants in 11 states throughout California, Arizona, Utah, New Jersey, Florida, Idaho, Virginia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Washington and Maryland as well as four international locations.