For Buffalo Wild Wings general manager Nikki Smith, serving the large military community in Fayetteville, North Carolina, is especially rewarding. Her husband is a former military member and she looks forward to any opportunity to serve those at nearby Fort Bragg.
When more than 600 U.S. Army members recently returned home from deployments overseas, Smith’s original plan was to host a party on the Fayetteville sports bar’s patio. But this particular celebration required a different response, with the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak forcing soldiers into quarantine for 14 days. So Smith and her Buffalo Wild Wings team brought a taste of the local sports bar to the military base.
“With this pandemic, we weren’t sure when we could host them and we didn’t want to push it months down the road,” Smith said. “We wanted to do something immediately to recognize them because I’ve been in that position and understand what it’s like to celebrate when a loved one comes home.”
The Buffalo Wild Wings team at sports bar #73 packed up and delivered hundreds of Traditional and Boneless Wings, Potato Wedges and Salads, serving 612 military members as they waited out their two-week quarantine.
“They didn’t know we were donating until we arrived. They knew they were getting fed, but they were thinking it would be food served on base,” Smith said. “After being out of the country for so long, they were definitely very appreciative of the food.”
It’s moments like these that make Smith proud to represent Buffalo Wild Wings as one of many sports bar general managers continuing to give back locally to military members across the country.
“Our armed forces are a big part of our lives and our freedom,” Smith said. “So it’s a great opportunity for us to stand behind them and give back when we can.”