Friday, September 21, 2001

Remember 9-11-01

When bottom line
is not bottom line
for Hawaii biz

Hawaii businesses, facing uncertain bottom lines, are finding creative ways to drum up revenue and give it away.

Ryan's Grill at Ward Centre is among many staging fund-raisers, with an Oct. 18 benefit called "Hearts of Hawaii Unite." Local restaurants, chefs and suppliers will donate all the money collected to families of Hawaii ex-pats killed or missing in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.

"Everybody we've contacted, the chefs, purveyors, bands, (will give) 100 percent, we're not making anything," said General Manager Tanya Phillips.

Companies committed to the event include Ryan's sister restaurants Kincaid's Fish Chop and Steak House and Palomino Restaurant Rotisseria Bar as well as Donato's, Don Ho's and Mariposa and purveyors such as HFM Foodservice, Seafood Connection, Diamond Head Seafood, D. Otani Produce and Ala Moana Produce.

Organizers hope to sell 2,500 tickets at $50, entitling bearers to pupu and dessert tastings and two beverages.

There will also be a silent auction.

The event's exact location within the Victoria Ward complex has yet to be determined, Phillips said. "We've outgrown our rooftop and the old Pacific Cafe space."

Nationally, Restaurants Unlimited, parent company of Ryan's and its Hawaii sisters, has inspired the National Restaurant Association to launch "Dine for America" Oct. 11, a benefit for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

Local restaurateur Ed Wary is the Hawaii director on the association board, and he encourages other eateries to join his Dixie Grill and Auntie Pasto's locations in participating.

The plan is to get everyone to dine at participating restaurants on the one-month anniversary of the attack.

Wary said the percentage of proceeds to be donated "will be defined individually by restaurants.

"Many corporations may donate 100 percent, while most may subtract direct expenses and donate profits of 10 to 20 percent. It certainly means there'll be no profit from this."

Employees are also encouraged to donate at least a portion of the day's wages and tips.

"People underestimate the unity and size and value of the little neighborhood restaurant," he said.

"When we unite we put together a very strong front. Foodservice is the largest industry in the nation."

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin.
Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle,
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210,
Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached

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