Maggiano’s Little Italy is in its 15th year of partnering with Make-A-Wish, often hosting wish reveals and send-off dinners, where children celebrate their wish-come-true. Though the brand partners with Make-A-Wish on the corporate level for these events, as well as fund raisers, it’s the restaurant-level teammates who are some of the biggest proponents of this fruitful partnership. Over the years, these gatherings have grown to be much-anticipated events among the team.
“The wish reveals and send-off parties are definitely special, and teammates go above and beyond for the kids,” says Mary Machul, senior director of marketing. “If the child’s wish is to be a princess, we’ve had teammates rent costumes. We also have a general manager at one of our restaurants who is a concert-level pianist, and he does concerts to benefit Make-A-Wish.” Each restaurant has its own way of raising funds for the organization. Some locations even have full galas in large banquet spaces, silent auctions, and other events that can raise as much as $5,000 in one night.