Beginning May 31, operators, chefs, and consumers are invited to eat and drink red as Eat (RED) Drink (RED) Save Lives returns to raise awareness and funds in the fight against AIDS.

After a successful launch last year, the campaign returns with special events and fundraisers taking place in 13,000 locations worldwide throughout June. Bringing together top chefs and brands in fine dining, as well as limited service, this year’s campaign will kick off with the (RED) Supper Sunday, May 31.

“Set on Pier 26 in New York City, the event is hosted by (RED), Mario Batali, and Outstanding in the Field [which organizes farm-to-table dining experiences], and brings together 10 of America’s best known chefs—including April Bloomfield, David Burke, Jonathan Waxman, and Michael Symon, among many others—to cook unforgettable (RED) dinners for guests,” says (RED) COO Zach Overton via e-mail. “Every ticket sold provides enough money to buy at least 100 days of life-saving HIV/AIDS medication.”

At $295, a ticket includes a four-course meal with wine pairings from Francis Ford Coppola Winery and pre-dinner hors d’oeuvres. While the menus vary by chef, options include Whipped Mortadella Bruschetta with pickled radishes, Grilled Angry (RED) Lobster Tails with summer corn salad, and Slow-Cooked Dry-Aged Strip Steak with ramps and morels.

Beyond this fine-dining experience, limited-service brands like Chipotle and Starbucks are also taking part in Eat (RED) Drink (RED) Save Lives. When customers purchase (RED) Chipotle gift cards of $25 or greater, 5 percent is donated to the Global Fund.

“In addition, to build awareness around the AIDS fight, celebrity chefs including Mario Batali and Andrew Zimmern will create (RED)cipes for dishes that will be available on Pinterest and other social networks using the real, whole ingredients in Chipotle kitchens,” Overton says.

Starbucks joins in the campaign with two (RED) items, the Raspberry Swirl Pound Cake and the Red Berry Cheese Danish. Between June 2 and 23, participating U.S. locations will donate 10 cents for each item sold.

Overton says that it’s “super easy” for smaller operators, restaurateurs, and chefs to become involved with the project. By registering at, operators can set a donation goal per location and start planning creative ways to bring the campaign to life on their premises, Overton adds. Eat (RED) Drink (RED) Save Lives also helps participating restaurants promote their involvement in the campaign.


By Nicole Duncan

Charitable Giving, Marketing & Promotions, News, Chipotle, Starbucks