Innovation: The Key to Keeping Utah Nourished During COVID-19

Pete CodellaArticles, COVID-19

This article is part of a series featuring Utah-based companies and what they’re doing during the coronavirus pandemic.

For one restaurateur based in Lehi, Utah, the coronavirus pandemic is giving her the opportunity to connect with her employees and customers on a more personal level. 

Shauna Smith, president and co-founder of Four Foods Group, who at one time owned and operated over 170 popular restaurants including Mo’Bettahs, R&R Barbeque and Swig.

“I will continue surrounding myself with good people who want to work hard, support their families and make a difference,” she says. “No matter what decisions I make, I always try to remember that it’s the people and the stories that are at the heart of it all.”

She is finding a whole host of unique ways to maintain connections and give back to those who have helped along her entrepreneurial journey.

Virtual Drive Thru’s and Curbside Pickup at all Locations

  • At each of the restaurants that didn’t already have a drive-thru, the company initiated virtual drive-thru’s where customers can drive up, place their order and receive their food without leaving their car. This modification is similar to curbside pickup; the difference is employees are in the parking lot, assisting customers with their orders. 

Corporate “Meal Relief Pack”

  • The company contacted local businesses and encouraged them to provide meals to their employees who are working from home and provide meals to individuals without jobs. 
  • The program is a “subscription” style service. A company might partner with R&R to feed one meal each week for the next four weeks to each of their at-home employees.
  • Family Meal Packs are offered at a reduced price.

Additional Employment Opportunities 

  • Four Food Groups sister brand, Swig, hires additional employees to manage increased demand. 
  • The company partners with Maceys Grocery stores to explore ways they can utilize R&R and Mo’Bettahs employees looking for extra work

In addition to giving employees, on and off the clock, free meals, Four Foods brands offer them hard to find items such as toilet paper and eggs, at cost, through its restaurant supply vendor.

”Tough times have a way of bringing people together, and that’s what it’s done for us,” said Smith. “We’re all in this together, let’s react in a way that we can be proud of when we are on the other side of this.”