Iowa City's Devotay Receives Restaurant Neighbor Award for Benefit Sunday Program

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Iowa City's Devotay Receives Restaurant Neighbor Award for Benefit Sunday Program


(Des Moines, Iowa) October 17, 2012— Iowa City’s Devotay Restaurant has been selected the 2012 Iowa Restaurant Association Restaurant Neighbor Award winner and national award nominee in the small business category. Owners Kurt and Kim Friese accepted the award at the Restaurant Association’s annual awards ceremony and gala in Des Moines.

“More than 90 percent of hospitality establishments give back to their communities through philanthropic programs. The Restaurant Neighbor Award recognizes and celebrates those contributions,” said Jessica Dunker, president and CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association. “Devotay may be a small business by definition, but they are philanthropic leaders and a model for how restaurants can build awareness and support for important causes within a community.”

State and National Recognition

The Restaurant Neighbor Award honor was presented to the Frieses by the Chairmen of both the Iowa Restaurant Association and National Restaurant Association Board of Directors Mike Rastrelli of Clinton, Iowa and Phil Hickey of Atlanta, Georgia.  Devotay was also recognized with other state winners by the National Restaurant Association at their annual legislative event in Washington D.C.

More than $25K Given in Two Years

Each Sunday Devotay operates its Benefit Sunday Program. They donate anywhere from 15 to 35 percent of each Sunday evening’s sales to a different local charity. The higher the sales, the higher the percentage they give. In the two years since starting the program Devotay has given more than $28,000 to local non-profits including Shelter House, the Domestic Violence Intervention Program, and Table to Table Food Rescue.

 “Hospitality professionals are usually highly creative people with big hearts,” said Dunker. “The Devotay Benefit Sunday Program is an excellent example of a unique way a restaurant can support a cause.”

Iowa Restaurant Association

The Iowa Restaurant Association is an advocacy organization supporting Iowa’s hospitality industry with educational and promotional programs across the state.

Restaurant Neighbor Award

The National Restaurant Association and its partners developed the Restaurant Neighbor Award program in 1999 in an effort to raise awareness of the industry’s contributions to local communities throughout the country, and to inspire more owners and operators to get involved within their respective neighborhoods. Participating state restaurant associations select local winners and then nominate them to compete for national honors.
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Media Contact: Jessica Dunker,

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