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With almost 100 units and franchisees to care for, Gilad and his wife Tara had to work quickly

From Nation’s Restaurant News – Vitality Bowls, the San Ramon, Calif.-based health-focused acai bowl restaurant, has reached almost 100 units since its 2011 founding by husband/wife team Roy and Tara Gilad, and its 2014 leap into franchising. Inspired by their own daughter’s dietary restrictions, the Gilads founded Vitality Bowls to meet customers’ needs, and that didn’t change during COVID.

Read CEO Roy Gilad’s story about surviving the pandemic:

“It is safe to say that the past year has been a whirlwind for all of us, and over the last nine months of the pandemic, we have faced a great deal of doubt, uncertainty and disbelief.

As restaurant-industry professionals, we have learned to cope, adapt and redirect our efforts toward solutions that keep our businesses going, and through it all, we have learned that goodwill can bring people together to generate hope for the future in times of need.

At Vitality Bowls, we pivoted as soon as the pandemic hit to implement methods of engaging customers and helping our franchise owners make an impact in their communities.

Our franchisees began making frequent food donations to hospitals, emergency centers and city organizations, providing them with healthy meals to keep them energized throughout the day as they fought on the frontlines. The initiative was so well received that one of our locations quickly reached a milestone of donating over 250 smoothies and 50 bagged meals to area hospitals.

Through the donations, local residents and other frontline workers realized that Vitality Bowls is more than just a neighborhood café – we are a trusted partner of the community. Our franchisees provided local residents with a pathway to show their support, too, which resulted in a number of donation-match programs hosted by Vitality Bowls locations across the region.

As we face the new normal, there are practices our industry has adopted to weather the pandemic that we envision as long-term. We may not know what the future holds as we continue to navigate and cope, but we are certain that together, we can generate hope and make great things happen. Giving back to your community in times of need and providing outlets for others to make a difference are just a few of the silver linings that we can expect to remain present, no matter the difficulty of the situation or uncertainty of the future.”