Source, The Times Herald, Gary Puleo
UPPER MERION >> Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson’s advice that “you cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late” rings especially true right now for kids interested in earning some serious burger rewards.
Burger rewards for doing good deeds?
It turns out that a popular burger chain has come up with a novel idea for promoting good will and, hopefully, its own growing charbroiled reputation in the process.
The Habit Burger Grill at King of Prussia Town Center, King of Prussia, and the Upper Merion Township Police Department have teamed up this spring to encourage local youth to exert some old-fashioned kindly acts or simply exhibit good behavior in the name of “community activism.”
Through the “Rewarding Good Habits” program Upper Merion Police officers on patrol will reward “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 can reward individuals or groups of kids, noted Lt. Jeffrey Maurer, of Upper Merion’s Community Oriented Policing Division.
“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.”
With a similar partnership between its Cherry Hill, N.J., location and the Cherry Hill Police Department now underway, as well as ongoing in-store fundraisers where 20 percent of the proceeds is donated back to an organization, giving back to the community has become a part of The Habit Burger Grill’s culture, noted district manager Russ Caratenuto.
“We look forward to celebrating the good habits happening daily in the King of Prussia community,” he said.
Located at 120 Village Dr. near LA Fitness in the Town Center, the corporate-owned burger-centric fast casual eatery has developed a massive following since opening several months ago, Caratenuto said.
“We know there’s a lot of competition out there, so what will help bring customers in is delivering a quality product at a reasonable price. What differentiates us from the rest is that we cook over an open flame, which gives the food a really nice taste, and we cook to order. Our staff is very customer-oriented and they really take pride in every sandwich we serve,” he noted.
Although the famous Charburger takes the spotlight in several incarnations (BBQ Bacon, Teriyaki, Portabella), the diverse menu also features a chargrilled tuna sandwich, veggie burger and a Santa Barbara Cobb Salad, which pays homage to the chain’s roots.
Founded in Santa Barbara, Calif. in 1969, the Habit Burger Grill chain has a deeper heritage than much of its modern competition in the burger world, but didn’t begin a rapid expansion until 2007 when it was purchased by KarpReilly, a private equity firm.
Under parent company Habit Burger LLC the chain has grown to more than 220 restaurants in 11 states, including California, Arizona, Utah, New Jersey, Florida, Idaho, Virginia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Washington and Maryland, in addition to three international locations.