MOD Pizza Partners With Best Buddies International to Champion Workplace Inclusivity
America’s Fastest Growing Restaurant Chain Focuses on Increasing Opportunities for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD)
SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–MOD Super Fast Pizza Holdings, LLC (“MOD Pizza”, “MOD” or the “Company”), a purpose-led fast casual pizza brand, today announced a nationwide partnership with Best Buddies International (“Best Buddies”), the world’s leading organization dedicated to providing inclusive opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Through this partnership, MOD will focus on raising awareness for inclusive hiring practices, along with funds to support the Best Buddies Jobs Program.
MOD will commit a minimum of $50,000 to Best Buddies to support the organization’s mission of inclusion – most notably the Best Buddies Jobs program which focuses on helping people with IDD find competitive, integrated employment opportunities within their communities. In turn, Best Buddies will provide development and training tools designed to support MOD store managers with hiring and developing individuals with IDD. Today, MOD has approximately 300 supported employees with IDD across its 455+ locations in the U.S. and U.K., and as they continue their expansion, are committed to strengthening their inclusive employment practice.
“At MOD, we often say ‘talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not’. And when we learned that 81% of adults with disabilities do not have paying jobs in their communities, we knew the platform of MOD could be used to address this social issue,” said Ally Svenson, co-founder and chief purpose officer of MOD. “Great partners make us better, and Best Buddies brings incredible programs to help us be a great employer for our Squad members with IDD. Our ultimate goal is to positively impact our employees and through them, the communities we serve – creating a more inclusive place for all, and hopefully an example for other companies to follow.”
“The MOD ethos is rooted in acceptance, opportunity and development – and we’re beyond grateful to have found a partner that shares our commitment to inclusion in the workplace,” said Anthony K. Shriver, founder, chairman and CEO of Best Buddies International. “MOD’s dedication to the Best Buddies mission of inclusion and integrated employment will help bring an even greater awareness to the infinite abilities people with intellectual and developmental disabilities possess, in addition to the resources needed to further expand our programs.”
The MOD and Best Buddies partnership will come to life in many ways:
Limited-Time Fall Seasonal Menu Offerings
- From September 23 – November 4, 2019, or while suppliest last, the Best Buddies “No Name Cake” will donate 20 cents from every cake sold to Best Buddies International, with a minimum donation of at least $25,000. The Best Buddies “No Name Cake” is a vanilla cake with a strawberry cream icing topped with white glaze and multi-colored sprinkles, retailing for $2.47.
- The “Jeffrey” – this seasonal pizza celebrates a very loved member of the MOD Squad. Jeffrey was one of MOD’s first employees with IDD who according to Svenson, “helped show us the positive impact of a diverse talent pool. Jeffrey has been with MOD for over six years and continues to be a solid contributor, providing great inspiration to many.” The Jeffrey pizza features an olive oil base, fresh house-roasted apple, Canadian bacon, fresh arugula, shredded mozzarella, crumbled gorgonzola, finished with a swirl of sweet balsamic fig glaze.
Regional Fundraiser Day
- On October 19th, at more than 100 locations across the U.S., MOD will donate 20% of all sales to Best Buddies International. Find participating stores HERE.
“Our World” Poem
- Acclaimed poet Andrea Gibson created “Our World” for MOD, a poem that imagines an inclusive world, welcome to all. The poem is recited by several members of the MOD Squad, and can be downloaded and shared by friends and customers of MOD. Gibson writes poetry focusing on social reform, gender norms, politics and the struggles LGBTQ people face in today’s society – and was the first poet ever to win the Women of the World Poetry Slam.
All Pizzas Welcome Book
- Written for MOD by Andrea Gibson and illustrated for MOD by Oscar Cauda, All Pizzas Welcome shares the unique stories of several members of the MOD Squad and the world they’re helping to create. Customers can Spread MODness by downloading and sharing this free e-book from the MOD website.
MOD Squad Support
- MOD will leverage Best Buddies’ expertise, best-in-class training programs, and resources to ensure that the entire MOD organization is best equipped to support their Squads and customers with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Materials include diversity and inclusion training, accessibility checklist, sensitivity etiquette, interviewing tips, onboarding checklists, and top 10 questions asked when hiring a person with a disability.
ABOUT MOD PIZZA
MOD’s individual artisan-style pizzas are made on demand, allowing customers to create their own pizzas and salads – unlimited toppings for one price. With 455+ locations system-wide* in 28 states and the United Kingdom, MOD is committed to creating not only a cool place to eat, but an inspired place to work. MOD recently earned a spot on Fortune’s “Companies Changing the World” list, for its purpose-led culture – committed to providing jobs to individuals with barriers to employment. The Company has also been named America’s fastest growing chain restaurant by Technomic for four years running, was recognized as the number one mid-sized restaurant chain in the US in Fishbowl Buzz Brands Report and named the most loved pizza brand by Foodable Network. MOD earned a spot on the Inc. 500 list and was recognized by Fortune as one of the “20 Best Workplaces in Retail,” a “Best Workplace for Women,” a “Best Workplace for Millennials,” and a “Best Workplace for Diversity.” For more information, please visit www.modpizza.com or connect with the brand via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
* The term “system-wide” refers to all company-operated and licensed store locations.
ABOUT BEST BUDDIES INTERNATIONAL
Best Buddies® is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development and inclusive living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver, Best Buddies is a vibrant organization that has grown from one original chapter to nearly 2,900 middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide. Today, Best Buddies’ nine formal programs — Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Citizens, e-Buddies® , Jobs, Ambassadors, Promoters and Inclusive Living — engage participants in each of the 50 states and in 54 countries, positively impacting the lives of over 1.25 million people with and without disabilities around the world. In many cases, as a result of their involvement with Best Buddies, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities secure rewarding jobs, live on their own, become inspirational leaders, and make lifelong friendships. For more information, please visit www.bestbuddies.org, www.facebook.com/bestbuddies or www.twitter.com/bestbuddies.
MOD, MOD Pizza, and Spreading MODness, are registered trademarks of MOD Super Fast Pizza, LLC.