Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka joined Audible founder and Executive Chairman Don Katz and Audible employees at Fresh Coast to mark the Lunch Out Wednesday program’s 30,000th visit to a local restaurant. The Lunch Out Wednesday initiative, which Audible introduced in 2017, subsidizes meals for hundreds of employees each week through the distribution of $15 voucher cards for use at any of 22 participating local restaurants. The program is part of Audible’s community engagement strategy, investing directly in supporting small businesses in Newark and increasing street-level retail, and it now has a 90% employee participation rate since inception. The Lunch Out Wednesday initiative has injected hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy, supporting dozens of local restaurants and providing a boost to area businesses.
“We need more companies to think outside of the box and creatively encourage their employees to support Newark businesses, like Audible does,” said Newark Alliance President and CEO Aisha Glover. “Initiatives like Lunch Out Wednesday help get employees out of the office and onto our streets, introducing them to all that Newark has to offer.”
“Audible really helped us get our name out,” said Luis Valls-Amaible, owner of Fresh Coast who estimates that he serves an additional 200 people a month as a result of the Lunch Out Wednesday program, creating an additional $3,000 per month in sales. “Multiply the Lunch Out Wednesday profits by word of mouth from Audible employees and employees who come in at other days and times,” he says, “and it’s really made a huge difference.”
Audible will also soon leverage the technology of Newark Venture Partners portfolio company MoCaFi, which will provide Audible with a card services platform that will seamlessly execute transactions with each participating restaurant’s point-of-sale system. Through MoCaFi’s services, Audible employees will each get a customized card that can be used to pay for meals, with the cards able to record sales transactions at each participating restaurant or business. With MoCaFi consolidating and streamlining payment to these businesses for employee transactions, this system is wholly adaptable for any company wanting to explore similar employee-driven economic initiatives to invest in its communities, and Audible and MoCaFi look forward to encouraging other Newark employers to join in.
Restaurants interested in collaborating with Audible should contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Participating Lunch Out Wednesdays Restaurants Include:
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