Zambrero franchisees passion (1)

Zambrero ignites franchisee passion in mission to end world hunger

Sarah Stowe

Zambrero has just passed a mega milestone in its mission to end world hunger. The Mexican quick service restaurant has donated more than 70 million meals to people in need, through its Plate 4 Plate initiative.

And franchise partners Tim and Danielle Edge are proud to have contributed to one million of those meals.

“When I read up about Plate 4 Plate, and Zambrero founder Dr Sam Prince’s mission, I knew I had to be involved” says Tim, who joined the business 12 years ago, intrigued by what he heard. “It’s cool and exciting to be part of this.”

Plate 4 Plate mission inspires

The Plate 4 Plate Initiative is the brand’s secret sauce. For every bowl, burrito, Kids Zam Box or retail item purchased Zambrero donates a meal to someone in need via local and global hunger relief partners Rise Against Hunger, Love Mercy and Foodbank.

The Plate 4 Plate program goes beyond being socially responsible, says Tim, who worked in Zambrero’s state-based and national operations before becoming a franchisee.

“Six years ago I was ready for something new, and I loved the brand and the mission. It felt like opening the store was the right move for us. It’s by far the most rewarding career move I’ve made,” he says.

The husband and wife team now own and operate three Zambrero restaurants in the south of Adelaide: Seaford, Colonnades and Reynella.

Danielle says “As well as serving and building relationships with customers we know we are doing something extra with Zambrero, something with more purpose. It is having a mission alongside your own business that goes beyond helping the local community and charities.”

Once a year Zambrero holds its Plate 4 Plate Day. This event aims to bring together volunteers from all over Australia to pack more than 430,000 meals in a single day. The meal packing locations include Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Perth and Adelaide.

“Plate 4 Plate Day is really rewarding,” says Tim. “We have had about 20 team members involved each year; they have a great day volunteering their time.”

Vision trip is rewarding

And to create an even greater impact, on Plate 4 Plate Day (this year 13 October), Zam Fans can enjoy their favourite bowl, burrito or Kids Zam Box knowing the business will double donations.

“Zambrero has been a very rewarding experience for both of us. We went on a Vision Trip last year and got to meet the people who have benefited from the Plate 4 Plate program,” Tim says.

Tim and Danielle were thrilled to win the Zambrero Franchise Partners of the Year award last year. As winners, they joined other stellar members of the Zam Fam on an adventure of a lifetime to see the incredible impact that the Feel Good Mex business has through Plate 4 Plate.

Rockstar franchisees, suppliers and team members jetted off to the Philippines and South Africa, to witness first-hand the life-changing work done by Rise Against Hunger.

“We went to the Philippines and were involved in feeding families and children,” says Tim. “We learned so much about the charity and the work they do to tackle food insecurity and malnutrition.”

It was a jam-packed eight day trip, says Danielle.

“There was so much to show us, so many experiences we got to have that were unbelievable. This was something you take with you for the rest of your life,” she says.

Partnership program delivers change

“It was bittersweet, and heartwarming, to see how much progress malnourished children had made as a result of the different programs Plate 4 Plate assists. The impact is so much greater than just a nutritious meal.”

Tim takes up the story. “Food is the hook; once people are involved there are different programs and opportunities they can engage with. They can get access to GPs and vaccinations, and agricultural solutions such as growing their own food from seeds.

“We went to one food bank which had a mini medical centre with a sonographer, prenatal care and a small education centre. Children are going to school for an education, and also getting fed.”

Some programs also provide financial education to help families step up from poverty.

“Some families invited us to their homes; there was just so much gratitude, and kindness,” he says.

“The most fun was meeting people. But as parents of young children ourselves, the impact of Plate 4 Plate really hit home when we met the kids.”

Zambrero franchisees’ passion

For Tim and Danielle the incredible impact of Philippines adventure continues to inspire.

“As franchise partners we don’t need to do anything extra. All we have to do is sell burritos and that has a real impact on peoples’ lives. But this is extra special. The Philippine Vision Trip certainly made everything more real,” says Danielle.

“Since then, we’ve just wanted to share our story and tell everyone about the mission. The amount of interest we’ve had from sharing our photos on social media…so many people have engaged.”

“The trip was so rewarding,” says Tim. “At the end of it, I’ve never been more grateful to be a part of it, meeting the people who benefit, and seeing the program live in action.

“The customers feel special too. They’ve told us ‘It’s so good you got to see the impact of Plate 4 Plate; we love that just by buying lunch at Zambrero we are helping feed other people.’

“This is a real Feel Good Mex story.”