Longtime Detroit food distributor will match $100k if people order carryout from their favorite local spots


Shield's Midtown Detroit location. - TOM PERKINS
  • Tom Perkins
  • Shield's Midtown Detroit location.

One of Metro Detroit’s oldest food distributors is stepping up to help restaurants by matching customer receipts with supplies up to $100,000 in total.

As Michigan’s COVID-19 restrictions continue, Atlas Wholesale Food Company hopes to help support locally owned restaurants by further encouraging metro Detroit residents to order carry-out and delivery.

Customers just have to take a photo of their receipt and post it publicly on Facebook with the hashtag #RescueMIRestaurant. All posts must properly tag the restaurant, and list the date of the order and total amount, including tax and tip.

Upon seeing the post, Atlas will match, dollar for dollar, the total amount of the receipt to the restaurant in the form of product credit.

For example, if a customer spends $100, that restaurant receives twice the profit in the form of $100 in supplies, at no cost, from Atlas.

The program runs Dec. 7-25 and Atlas will support up to $100,000 in total.

A sample of participating restaurants include: Ahmo’s Gyro, Detroit Wing Company, Fishbones, Kalamata, Kerby’s Koney Island, Kouzina, Leon’s, Lou’s Deli, National Coney Island, Pita Café, Red Olive Restaurants, Senate Coney Island, Shield's Pizza, and The Great Greek.

“Restaurant owners are proud people, who do not ask for help,” John Kohl, CEO of Atlas Wholesale Food, said in a statement. “Many of them have built their restaurant from scratch and have their entire life savings is invested in it. I have seen firsthand the look in our customers’ eyes, the tone in their voices, they are fighting for survival.”

He added, “Customers can play a role in saving these businesses. It is up to each of us to make a choice. Do we want to live in a community of chain restaurants, or one filled with a vibrant local food scene?”

Restaurants have been some of the hardest hit businesses of the coronavirus pandemic, which is now in its ninth month.

The National Restaurant Association sent a letter to Congress this week pleading for federal assistance to keep their businesses open.

In the letter, the restauranteurs detail the challenges they are experiencing including a drop, on average, of 36%. More than half of all operators say their operating costs have actually risen during the pandemic.

Sadly, the letter notes that as many as 17% of American restaurants have closed over the course of the pandemic and may never reopen.

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