DALLAS, May 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The eighth annual Maggiano's Little Italy® "Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish®" campaign begins today in restaurants nationwide. The program runs through June 29, giving guests several delicious ways to support a great cause. The campaign benefits the nonprofit Make-A-Wish Foundation®, which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.
Aiming to grant at least two wishes per each of Maggiano's 44 U.S. restaurants this year, guests will have the opportunity to contribute to the "Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish" campaign in restaurants through a variety of ways:
- The "Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish" menu – featuring six chef's special dishes – one pasta, two entrees, two desserts – as well as a non-alcoholic beverage. When a guest orders any item from the special menu, Maggiano's will donate $1 per food item and $.50 per drink to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
- Make-A-Wish Star cards – these inspiring decorative star-shaped cards adorn restaurants throughout the campaign – proudly displaying the names of patrons who have donated to the program. Guests can make a direct donation for an amount of their choosing to purchase a star card; 100 percent of the funds from star card sales will go directly to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
- Facebook it – New fans who "like" Maggiano's on Facebook, in addition to existing fans, will receive a coupon redeemable in-restaurant when they order any of the Eat-A-Dish specials. For each Facebook coupon redemption, Maggiano's will donate an additional $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Guests can either print the coupon from the Facebook tab or present it to their server on their smart phone.
- Maggiano's retail sauces – Maggiano's will donate $1 from the sale of each of the brand's four pasta sauces, which are all-natural and gluten-free.
"In the eight years we've supported the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Maggiano's has been able to raise more than $1.5 million to help make wishes come true, thanks to the dedication and generosity of our guests and teammates," said Steve Provost, president of Maggiano's Little Italy. "This year we've extended the campaign from six to eight weeks in an effort to grant more wishes for these inspiring children."
In addition to the campaign, Maggiano's restaurants continually support the Make-A-Wish Foundation throughout the year. Restaurants organize events to honor Make-A-Wish children, such as send-off parties before their wishes are granted or welcome-home parties after their wishes have come true. Additionally, Maggiano's donates $1 from the sale of their featured dessert all throughout the year.
"Each year, we are proud to work with organizations like Maggiano's that are committed to helping us improve the quality of life for so many wish children," said David Williams, Make-A-Wish Foundation of America president and chief executive officer. "We look forward to the start of the "Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish" campaign each year and are eager to see what this year's campaign will bring."
The May "Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish" menu, which runs May 5 – June 1, includes:
- Bowtie Chicken with Aglio – tossed with asparagus, fresh spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, Calabrian chiles and Parmesan
- Chicken & Sausage Spiedini– grilled chicken and Italian sausage served with roasted peppers, onions, crispy potatoes and an herb vinaigrette
- Alberini-Style Shrimp with Risotto Milanese – Jumbo shrimp grilled with aglio olio and paprika. Finished with a roasted red pepper sauce, fresh chives and saffron risotto.
The June "Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish" menu, which runs June 2 – June 29, includes:
- Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage – Chicken sausage, sun-dried tomatoes and Swiss chard in a white wine sauce
- Grilled Chicken with Tomatoes and Orzo – Grilled chicken with a balsamic glaze, topped with bruschetta tomatoes and served with a side of tender orzo
- Lobster and Mascarpone Crusted Fish – Sautéed fish topped with lobster and mascarpone, served with grilled vegetables, balsamic and fresh tarragon
Both May and June menus will also include two decadent desserts and a non-alcoholic beverage:
- Fresh Berry Tiramisu – A new twist on an old favorite! A slice of heaven layered with fresh blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, orange-soaked lady fingers and sweet mascarpone cheese
- Flourless Chocolate Cake – A decadent flourless chocolate hazelnut cake served with hot fudge sauce and fresh strawberries
- Leslie's Lemonade –A refreshing Peach and Pomegranate lemonade. Leslie's Lemonade is named after eight-year-old wish child Leslie from the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Leslie's wish is to go to the tropical Hawaiian Islands, and this June, thanks to Maggiano's support of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Leslie and her family are headed to Hawaii, where her wish will come true!
About Maggiano's Little Italy
Maggiano's Little Italy specializes in Italian-American cuisine served in a warm and friendly atmosphere. Maggiano's menu features both classic and contemporary recipes -- authentic pastas, signature salads, prime steaks, fresh seafood, regular chef specials and specialty desserts. Maggiano's 45 locations worldwide offer lunch and dinner, delivery, carryout service and banquet spaces for special occasions. Maggiano's is owned and operated by Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE: EAT), one of the world's leading casual dining restaurant companies, with more than 1,500 restaurants in 31 countries and two territories. Brinker wholly owns and operates Chili's® Grill & Bar and Maggiano's Little Italy®. Brinker also holds a minority investment in Romano's Macaroni Grill®. For more information, visit www.maggianos.com.
About the Make-A-Wish Foundation
The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Founded in 1980 when a group of caring volunteers helped a young boy fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer, the Foundation is one of the world's leading children's charities, with 64 chapters in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and nearly 25,000 volunteers, the Make-A-Wish Foundation grants a wish every 40 minutes and has granted more than 200,000 wishes in the United States. For more information about the Make-A-Wish Foundation, visit wish.org and discover how you can share the power of a wish®.
SOURCE Maggiano's Little Italy