East Coast Burger Chain Brings Comfort Through Food Donations

Actor Bill Murray once said, “My favorite thing about New York is the people, because I think they’re misunderstood. I don’t think people realize how kind New York people are.” New Yorkers have been exhibiting their kindness in addition to their usual tenacity throughout the coronavirus pandemic. For New York-based Bareburger, having an established and recently streamlined catering service allowed them to seamlessly jump into action and provide donated meals when chaos and uncertainty began.  

“We organized a Go Fund Me page. [We] started getting donations and funding it ourselves through Bareburger and our partners. We’re always trying to be a part of the community,” said Misha Levin, Director of Culinary at Bareburger.

Already equipped with Cambro UPCH400 units, each Bareburger location in New York was able to begin providing meals to healthcare employees at more than 25 hospitals and to organizations serving people in need.

“We’ve been using the Cambro [UPCH400 units] forever…it’s just a Godsend, so we bought more. We have like 10 sets. We always use them for catering and off-premise events and just in general for transportation. When [the coronavirus] happened, we were actually in the process of moving from our commissary and then dispersing catering to the store level,” said Levin.

The full-service casual gourmet burger brand started serving in Queens, NY, 12 years ago. They now have 48 locations in the US and abroad. Their focus has always been to provide organic, all-natural and sustainable food that tastes great. In order to keep their food at its best, Bareburger has depended on their UPCH400 units to safely hold temperatures until it gets to their customers.

“It’s important for us to always deliver the best quality and I think with these [UPCH400 units] we have been able to do our catering in different settings and execute them properly with the help of these boxes and to tell you the truth, a lot of my catering events would have not gone well without them,” said Ria Zouroudis, Event Coordinator at Bareburger.

The UPCH400 is designed for both electric and non-electric transport with incredible durability. When plugged in, non-radiant heat protects prepped food from becoming dried out. Without electricity, thick CFC-free insulation safely holds prepared foods for at least four hours. The UPCH400 is ideal for long transport times and limited electrical options during banquets and outdoor events.

“A lot of spaces and venues now, they don’t allow cooking onsite. When it comes to cooking, you don’t have much options other than to cook it in your restaurant and transport it. And keeping everything to health standards and protocol, the [UPCH400]…gave us the ability to do that. We’re very thankful that we found out about these boxes and we’re capable of ordering quite a few of them,” said Zouroudis.

In addition to their UPCH400 units, they also received a handful of Cam GoBoxes from their local Cambro rep to help their efforts.

“When the first shift [of food] comes out, we put it in the [GoBox] and we close it and then we don’t reopen it until we actually deliver. Because we have multiple of those boxes, we’re able to get each shift into its own box as the food comes out,” said Zouroudis. 

The best way to promote heat retention when using a non-electric insulated transport unit is to reduce the amount of times you open its lid. Bareburger demonstrates this perfectly by packing each shift and only opening the GoBox’s lid again once they’ve arrived at their destination.

“People are happy that we actually have these [Cambro insulated transport units] and even on regular catering orders and deliveries, they’re very impressed with them because if it’s an onsite catering order, they’re able to just plug [the UPCH400 units] in and keep it warm the entire time, which is a big plus,” said Zouroudis.

When ordering, Bareburger gives customers the option of purchasing a second meal to be donated on their behalf. As of today, more than 2,500 meals have been donated using this option, and all together, Bareburger has been able to donate 11,000 meals. With the coronavirus pandemic still being very prevalent in New York, Zouroudis said they don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.


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