Sometimes a holiday can bring people together around the table to enjoy good food and maybe even a frosty Corona. That special occasion could even involve going to a particular restaurant that has been part of celebrations year after year. In some cases, Cinco de Mayo wasn’t complete without a carne asada and freshly made pico de gallo from that little restaurant that has been a family affair.
In the past year, the restaurant industry has seen its robust, growing community cut to the core. That small location run by the same gentleman for the past 25 years struggled to keep the doors open. Other restaurants never turned on the lights even though they longed to serve those classic dishes again.
This Cinco de Mayo, Corona beer joined forces with Rick Martinez and Sohla El-Waylly on Cinco For Good (#CincoForGood). The focus of this program is to highlight and support local restaurants.
Coupling Corona’s additional $1 million donation to the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, Cinco for Good looks to celebrate those local restaurants that have been particularly struggling in the past year.
While many of these restaurants were the places where people celebrated birthdays, special occasions or just a drink with friends after a long week, those locations may not be as vivacious as previous years. It isn’t that the owners aren’t ready and willing to open the doors. Instead, the obstacles to create that welcoming table have been many.
This Cinco de Mayo, Corona, Rick Martinez and Sohla El-Waylly are hosting a live stream. Held on Corona’s Instagram channel, the event will feature favorite restaurants, tasty food and beverage pairings and more.
Ann Legan, vice president of brand marketing, Corona, said, “As the beer synonymous with Cinco de Mayo, we want to inspire consumers to celebrate the holiday how they traditionally would — with a Corona and delicious food — while supporting their favorite local restaurants. We’re thrilled to provide a livestream opportunity with a Corona twist, where fans can engage with notable chefs and enjoy time with friends while helping rebuild this essential community via the NRAEF.”
Recently, FoodSided had the opportunity to chat with chefs Rick Martinez and Sohla El-Waylly ahead of the special Corona event.
While Martinez and El-Waylly have guided foodies to exploring and creating delicious food through their expert recipes and commentary, they both appreciate that the local restaurant industry needs support. As Martinez shared, “many of those local mom and pop restaurants have become your friends and family over the years.” He shared that “they saw my face and they would know his order.”
For Martinez, it “breaks his heart” that “some of those places aren’t there anymore.” Those local restaurants are “part of the community,” “working hard to make people’s lives and neighborhoods a better place.”
At the same time, Martinez feels that “we are almost at the end of this.” While the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter, people need to keep supporting local restaurants and businesses. With a little more “frequency” and a little more support, many people will be back at their favorite table, eating that memorable meal and enjoying the moment with friends and family again.
For this Cinco de Good event with Corona, El-Waylly believes that it can be a delightful way to stay connected with people. She believes that people have found ways to make these events “festive.” The virtual connections still allow “people to share the cultures and experiences.”
With this event, she believes that people can support their local restaurants and share their experiences. Whether it is a Mexican dish, another culture’s food or whatever favorite restaurant’s food order, this community gathering satisfies in many ways. Particularly, people have “learned how to celebrate” and mark moments that matter.
Whether people have been “more social than ever” like El-Waylly or just appreciating that connecting with others doesn’t always have to involve the perfect head to toe outfit, the reality is that those celebrations need to come with the support of local businesses and restaurants.
Just like that friendship that needs to be nurtured to stay connected, guests need to continue to order from local restaurants to keep that relationship strong . If people want to satisfy that craving for the perfect barbacoa with a side of elote or that flavorful salsa with a secret ingredient, they cannot forget to place a food order.
This year, join Corona, Rick Martinez and Solha El-Waylly and Cinco for Good. Buy a meal, place an order and share some positivity that can last far longer than just one day in May.
How have you helped your local restaurants? What action can make a difference in your local community?