Tex-Mex Restaurant Owner Spends $2,000 of His Own Money to Promote Competitors Who Are Struggling

Business owners looking to get the most bang for their advertising bucks routinely devote their budgets to media buys. But for one Wisconsin restauranteur, his optimum return on investment came from an entirely different source—promoting the competition.

Adolfo Melendez, who owns the Tex-Mex eatery El Mezcal, knows firsthand the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the restaurant industry. Family-based local places—like his own—have been especially hard-hit.

It’s perhaps why he understands better than most that small businesses aren’t simply a source of revenue. They’re the heart, soul, vision, sweat equity, lives, and livelihoods of the people behind them.

People who are your friends and neighbors. People Adolfo Melendez believes in because he’s one of them.

To help stave off restaurant cutbacks and closures in his community, Melendez purchased more than $2,000 in gift cards to other neighborhood eateries and has been raffling them off to his customers via Facebook.

Olympia Family Restaurant owner Pete Ananiadis truly appreciates the selfless gesture. “In these COVID times, it’s very important to eat local, small mom and pop shops,” he told WKOW-27 News. “[Aldofo] understands that.”

In the best of times, the restaurant business can be competitive, but diversity is what gives a community its unique flavor. Adolfo Melendez appreciates flavor.

He appreciates his peers. He understands that their success is an affirmation of his own, and he encourages his community to join his efforts to ensure other restaurants continue not only to hold their own but to thrive.

“That’s part of what keeps us alive,” he told WKOW. “You can go to Applebee’s, or you can go to Pizza Hut but it ain’t the same like when you go to this little diner or pizza joint… If you help one person and another person helps another, that will help a lot.”