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Comeback Cuisine: Box lunch program encourages employers to support neighborhood eateries

Milwaukee Downtown BID #21 kicked off the Comeback Cuisine challenge on June 3 to encourage downtown companies to support nearby restaurants by purchasing box lunches for their returning employees.

The effort was designed as a “welcome back” gesture to thank those workers who have remained on the frontlines during the pandemic. The goal of this gratitude campaign is 3,000 lunches in 30 days. As employers begin to staff return to their office space, downtown restaurants remain poised to serve the long absent workforce.

“Our downtown restaurants have done a phenomenal job in serving downtown’s day and nighttime populations, but now it’s our turn to return the favor,” said Beth Weirick, CEO of Milwaukee Downtown BID #21. “We’re calling upon the downtown business community to support their neighborhood eateries in these challenging times, as well as show appreciation for employees who have remained on the frontlines or welcome back a committed workforce.”

The Comeback Cuisine campaign includes 14 participating restaurants that will offer box lunch options. They include: 600 EAST Café, AJ Bombers, Benihana, Bento Xpert, Blue Bat Kitchen & Tequilaria, The Capital Grille, Coaches Restaurant and Bar, Cubanitas, Flannery’s, Hidden Kitchen MKE, Marco Pollo, Meat On The Street, Onesto, and Smoke Shack. Box lunch options range from $8 to $21. Order lead times vary by restaurant, but range from same-day to several days’ notice. Delivery is also offered by some restaurants for orders over $300.

“Comeback Cuisine is the perfect win/win. It is a great way for companies to continue to welcome their employees back to the office and to support our coveted downtown restaurants that add so much vitality to our city,” said Lyle Landowski of Colliers International. “As the first company to participate, committing to 100 lunches, we encourage other downtown companies to join us in showing gratitude to our employees and restaurants that have served us all so well.”

Momentum from other downtown businesses has been slowly building. In addition to Colliers International, Crestlight Capital, Madison Medical Affiliates, PK2 Group, Reinhart Boerner Van Dueren and U.S. Bank Commercial Real Estate have also made commitments to participate in the Comeback Cuisine campaign.

As other downtown restaurants reopen, they are encouraged to join the Comeback Cuisine campaign. Menus can be found at comebackcuisine.com and are updated weekly.

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