Smashburger, with three locations in Orange County and several more throughout Southern California, does not want to be just a business in the area, but an integral part of the community. Today, in an exclusive interview for the Examiner, I spoke with Stephen Sandoval, the Orange County franchise Vice President, about their new Raspberry Sorbet Shake, a special limited time product for October's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, their place in the community and the new San Clemente location. We also talked about how breast cancer has affected me personally, a story I documented last year at this time in the article in the Examiner National Breast Cancer Month and my daughter Lindsay in Memoriam.
Arnold, the manager of the new San Clemente location, went to work on making the shake. Featuring Haagen-Dazs Raspberry Sorbet and Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Ice Cream, the shake was designed to show the pink color of the ribbon that is the symbol of breast cancer awareness. As he proudly wore his own pin with the pink ribbon, Arnold created a delicious shake that was well-balanced, with the raspberry sorbet's flavor meshing nicely with the vanilla ice cream. The shake is handmade and finished in the traditional stainless steel cup used in the shake mixer. It is served in an old-fashioned milk shake cup and topped with a dollop of whipped cream. The shake was just the right consistency, thick but still able to drink with a pink straw.
The Raspberry sorbet shake sells for $4.49, with $0.40 of each shake's price being donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Smashburger has guaranteed that a minimum of $25,000.00 will be donated to the Foundation for breast cancer awareness and research. Stephen encourages everyone to “Enjoy this delicious product for a limited time and donate to a worthy cause”. The shake will be available through October 31. Smashburger has also set up a direct link for their guests that want to donate larger amounts of money to the Foundation. The website, www.komen.org/smashburger, allows for donations that help support not only awareness and research, but also advocacy groups, community health initiatives and groundbreaking research.
Stephen talked about the ways that people are being made aware of the Breast Cancer Awareness Month promotion. “We have a mailing that goes out to all of our e-club member with a coupon. In the store, we have signs about the Breast Cancer Awareness Month promotion and our employees have a pink ribbon to denote our support for this”. Stephen spoke about how they “connected with the Marketing VP of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. We wanted to show that brands like Smashburger can be part of the community. This is not only a way that we can affect the community, but also help with breast cancer awareness”.
As we talked about my daughter Lindsay's fight with breast cancer, Stephen mentioned that “Our Breast Cancer Awareness Month promotion is a great way to reach out to our customers. Many of them have known someone who has been affected by breast cancer. Even some of our employees have known someone who was diagnosed with breast cancer. Our employees feel strongly about this month's promotion. It is the effervescence of community and not just work”. He continued, “As a franchise owner, you want to keep up your line and profit goals, but you also need to have compassion and a sense of community also. When you join the Smashburger franchise, they take the extra step that makes your sense of being and morale an awareness of how it affects the company and community”. He felt that “we are reaching out to a greater cause” as an integral part of the communities where Smashburger is located.
Finishing the last drop of the delicious shake, I looked around at the smiling facing of the employees of the new San Clemente location. “This is a younger area”, Stephen said, "and Smashburger is working out great here. Our employees pride themselves on giving great customer service and our manager, Arnold, works hard to ensure that every guest enjoys their experience here”. The San Clemente location has a nice outside patio area with tables for dining as well as tables inside. The outside, especially, provides a spot where guests can dine and say hello to their neighbors as the walk by the location in Gateway Village Plaza, helping even more to foster the sense of community that Stephen wants. With their unique, juicy and flavorful Smashburgers, chicken sandwiches, salads and more, the community can enjoy a delicious meal with friends and family. In addition, this month, the delicious Raspberry Sorbet Shake will help to save lives and educate the community through Smashburger's generous donation program. Make sure you try one; there is not a more delicious donation to be made!
Locations in San Clemente, Aliso Viejo and Mission Viejo