Lisa Pucci-Delgado knows food.
A ‘foodie’ by trade with her personal chef and catering business What’s For Dinner, Pucci-Delgado is passionate about local eateries and the people who run them.
“It is so tough to be in business these days,” she said. “I see these great restaurants — really top notch places — struggling. I know that they work hard but struggle to get customers through the doors.”
Pucci-Delgado thinks she has a solution, or at least a boost, for those local restaurants.
Pucci-Delgado is the director of the Ashtabula County Foodie Cash Mobs (ACFCM), a group of people who are eating out to support the local economy, infusing restaurants and surrounding establishments with customers and cash.
Cash mobs are Internet-driven gatherings where people use social media like Facebook to get the word out and then they gather at a local business. Everyone commits to spending $20 at that business. That means a struggling business that serves 1,000 people can make a significant profit in one night and show off their business to new customers.
“Community cash mobs come alive in Ashtabula County,” Pucci-Delgado said. “We have more than 522 members and we are growing, and everyone is welcome to join.”
Pucci-Delgado said the group hosts a minimum of two cash mobs each month, though members often have “mini-mobs” in between.
The result is exactly what Pucci-Delgado is working for, and more.
“There has been so much growth in this group,” she said. “We were at Lakeway Restaurant with 32 people, Hong Kong Buffet with 34 people, Honeybee’s Restaurant with 41 people, Bridge Street Pizza with 52 people, we had 32 people at the e-Comm Cafe and there were 61 ‘foodies’ at Slyyders in July.”
The side effect to all this commerce is fun, Pucci-Delgado said.
“It is wonderful to see people who used to never get out and now they come to our events and meet new people and have fun and just relax. We are introducing people to people and people to restaurants they might not have tried otherwise,” she said.
The foodie group is selling T-shirts to raise funds for advertising dollars to keep people updated on their events.
Members will hold a fundraiser potluck picnic to support the ACFCM and the Ashtabula County Animal Protective League on Aug. 19 at Geneva Township Park. The picnic begins at 2 p.m.
“This isn’t about making money,” she said. “This is about supporting our local economy while connecting people. There is no need to feel like you have to spend a lot. The business owners are just so appreciative of what we are doing.”
The ACFCM will be at CHOPS Grill and Tap House on Tuesday; at HilMak’s Seafood Restaurant on Aug. 15; and anticipate September events at the Lakehouse Inn and Winery and Casa Capelli.
For more information on ACFCM or for a schedule of local cash mobs, visit facebook.com/groups/ACFCM or email email@example.com.
Restaurant owners interested in hosting the ACFCM can also contact Pucci-Delgado.
Geneva woman organizes cash mobs, supports local restaurants
Lisa Pucci-Delgado knows food.
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