Industry News | August 1, 2011 | QSR Exclusive Brief

Cheeseboy Goes All In with Support of Hole in the Wall Org.

Cheeseboy: Grilled Cheese to Go, an upstart, Boston-based grilled-cheese concept, donated 100 percent of a recent day’s sales at its newest location to a family of camps for children with serious medical conditions.

Thursday’s sales at the new unit, which opened recently at Boston’s Prudential Center, were donated to the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps, an organization founded by the late actor Paul Newman.

Cheeseboy also held a silent auction to support the donation, which totaled more than $6,000.

Michael Inwald, founder and president of the four-unit Cheeseboy, says the donation is just one part of what he says will be a long-lasting relationship with Hole in the Wall.

“I wanted Cheeseboy to be connected with something more than just real cheese, more than just being a private, for-profit business,” Inwald says. “I wanted to get the word out about Hole in the Wall because it was something that meant a lot to me, and I also wanted my team to feel that they were standing behind something.”

Inwald says his family has been connected with a Hole in the Wall camp, the Double H Ranch, for several years. He says his sister encouraged him to get involved with the organization, and that once he did, he knew he would make it a major part of his business.

“I volunteered there for a summer, and I lost a little bit of my selfishness,” he says. “That experience was pretty powerful for me.”

To raise money for Hole in the Wall, every new Cheeseboy unit donates a day’s sales to the association, just like the newest unit. Instead of tip jars, the concept displays donation jars so “our employees, our team members, the Cheeseboy family can all partake in helping,” Inwald says.

Inwald, who now volunteers at a Hole in the Wall camp for a week every summer, says he wants to encourage Cheeseboy employees to volunteer as well, though he says he knows the camps have tight restrictions on who can work.

For now, he spends about 20 minutes of every new employee’s orientation discussing how important Hole in the Wall is to the Cheeseboy brand, he says.

“In partnering with an organization like Hole in the Wall, you are not only helping out an organization, but you’re also establishing a personality for the brand and culture for the brand,” Inwald says. “I see Cheeseboy as a group of people that care about comfort food and they care about providing comforting experiences.”

By Sam Oches