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Yelp and San Diego Restaurants Team Up to Feed Government Employees During Shutdown

Yelp teamed up with Cali Comfort BBQ and other local San Diego restaurants to host a free lunch for federal employees impacted by the long government shutdown of January 2019.

There were around 500 people who were fed during the big Jan. 23, 2019 lunch feast of local food flavor, representing some of the best community-focused San Diego area businesses out there. As a part of the community, Cali Comfort BBQ always tries to show its support to the community by giving back however the staff can.

With many of the government workers preparing to miss their second round of paychecks since the government shutdown began, it’s a perfect time for Cali Comfort BBQ and the hospitality community to lend a helping hand.

Even the government employees who couldn’t get out of work – those who ensure our safety and way of life – are not left out.

Yelp San Diego Senior Community Director Brad Bohensky, who helped bring this event to life in less than a week, said the team is also packing up 100 meals for delivery to those who are missing paychecks, while still working for the good of us all.

“They’re still going to work and they can’t even enjoy free lunch,” Yelp’s Brad Bohensky said in a Jan. 23 FOX5 San Diego broadcast live from Cali Comfort BBQ in Spring Valley, California. “So we’re going to bring it to them.”


As the smell of slow-smoked Cali BBQ wafted in the air, Cali Comfort BBQ owner Shawn Walchef told FOX5 that he loves the San Diego area because in little time at all, 10 restaurants agreed to help Yelp with its mission to feed the out-of-work employees. Being a part of that charitable group was an honor, he said.

Along with Cali Comfort BBQ, businesses who gave back by serving food at the lunch also included: Valley Farm Market, El Pollo Grill, Donut Bar, Lucha Libre Taco Shop and Coop’s West Texas BBQ.

“One of the great things about San Diego is it’s just a great hospitality community,” Shawn said on the FOX5 morning news broadcast before the lunch at the San Diego Air and Space Museum in Balboa Park. “For us to be a part of the event, we’re just honored to do it. We’re going to have a great time today.”

In a statement, Yelp said helping band together generous local businesses to feed people in the midst of the longest government shutdown in US history was one way they could lend a hand. “…with hopes that a free meal might help 500 of you that are in need at the moment,” Yelp wrote.

“We found the group of people we want to help serve today,” Brad Bohensky from Yelp San Diego said at Cali Comfort BBQ in Spring Valley.

Are you in need of BBQ catering for your special event in San Diego? Order Cali Comfort BBQ online and experience the taste of the West Coast BBQ Movement.

Go Behind the Smoke with FOX 5 San Diego President and General Manager Scott Heath by clicking the audio player below. Listen to the great conversation on the San Diego business podcast and learn about how FOX 5 San Diego has thrived with leadership that embraces digital marketing.

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