Garbanzo to Panera: 'We'll see your kids meal challenge, raise you a charity'

In response to Panera Bread Co. Founder Ron Shaich's challenge to fellow restaurant CEOs to eat from their brands' children's menus for a week, Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh CEO James Park said, "Challenge accepted."

And he's upped the ante, according to a company press release.

Not only is Park ready to eat from his chain's kids meals from Sept. 24 -30, his entire management team has volunteered to join him.

Park is also encouraging adult guests to order from the kid's menu this week and will donate $1 to a local children's hospital for every kids meal purchased during the week, according to the release.

"We agree with Ron that too many restaurant brands offer 'nutritionally empty' meals to their youngest customers — and to their adults guests too, for that matter," Park said in the release. "On the contrary, Garbanzo is incredibly proud of the meals we serve to every guest, including kids.

"Our authentic, flavorful dishes are derived from Old World recipes with a new twist, but without compromise. I'm a father of four and I occasionally choose a kids meal at Garbanzo when I'm not that hungry, so eating them for a week sounds awesome."

The Denver-based Mediterranean cuisine brand serves fresh-baked pitas, falafels and hand-marinated shawarmas. Park said the chain is dedicated to satisfying every palate — including vegetarian and gluten-free diners — and believes that "simple tastes better."

"So we'll see your Kids Meal Challenge, Ron, and raise you a charity drive," Park said. "We invite Panera to join us in donating $1 from your kids meal sales next week to a children's charity of your choice. Let's do some good while shining a light on the importance of eating healthier, better food — starting with our kids."

Topics: Health & Nutrition

Companies: Panera Bread

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