Local communities large part of fast casual culture


More than 10 years ago, Ralph Rubio and his wife Dione founded Cabo Café, a San Diego-based, non-profit casual dining restaurant with proceeds benefiting California’s Monarch School. The Monarch School is an educational facility for homeless children living in San Diego.

Cabo Café opened in 1999 on Monarch premises and provided job training to students through part-time employment opportunities. In 2002, the restaurant began operating at a profit and helped to fund programs specially suited for Monarch students.

Even though limited classroom space led to Cabo Café’s closure, its development by Ralph and Dione Rubio speak to the community mindedness entrepreneurs – specifically, fast casual operators – have brought to their operations.

While large QSRs are reaching out to consumers across the country with national charitable promotions, fast casual operators are gaining customer loyalty through their focus on community efforts and organizations.

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