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Casino Rama Gives Back To Their Community

Meet executive chef John Cordeaux and Jeff Mustoe, director of procurement at Casino Rama Resort, Orillia, Ont.

Rather than using their Brand Points PLUS rewards for kitchen upgrades, Cordeaux and Mustoe turned their focus outward. Casino Rama Resort, which served more than 1.6 million meals last year, decided to donate kitchen equipment and supplies to Orillia’s Lighthouse Soup Kitchen and Shelter.

Please tell us about your business, especially the foodservice element.

Mustoe: Casino Rama Resort creates the perfect entertainment experience, blending hot casino action, big name concerts and sporting events, luxury accommodations, along with a variety of delicious dining options. As one of the province’s premier entertainment destinations, the casino features over 2,500 of the latest slot machines and more than 100 gaming tables including a 12-table poker room and 11 different foodservice outlets to suit almost any culinary desire.

How would you describe your cuisine?

Cordeaux: Casino Rama Resort mixes a blend of everything from fine dining in our St. Germain’s outlet to authentic Asian cuisine in our Willow outlet, to our main buffet, Couchiching Court. We offer casual dining and late night treats in our Cedar outlet.

How do you use the Brands Points PLUS program?

Mustoe: We are happy to participate in the program through our business partnership with Flanagan Foodservice. We monitor the sponsors and have made some changes in the SKUs we purchase in order to obtain more points.

We intend to continue to leverage the opportunities that the Brand Points PLUS program offers

How did you come to the decision to donate your points?

Mustoe: Casino Rama Resort is fortunate to be well funded with top-of-the-line kitchen facilities. Our culinary team wanted to reach out to our community to see if we could donate to another facility that could use a boost of quality kitchen equipment and food offered by the Brand Points PLUS program. We made a donation to the Lighthouse in Orillia as a gift from our culinary team to theirs through our charitable arm Casino Rama Cares.

We thought: What could we do to make an impact on the community? We really wanted it to be from our culinary team to someone else’s culinary team and when we found out what the Lighthouse was doing, it just seemed like a perfect fit.

Cordeaux: I am very fortunate to work in an amazing kitchen, but not everybody has that kind of facility. If there’s an opportunity to help those less fortunate than ourselves and we can give them a helping hand, then that’s what we want to do.

What have you donated to this point?

Mustoe: So far we’ve donated a KitchenAid Pro Line Series 7-Qt Bowl Lift Stand Mixer, Zwilling Twin Professional S 6-Piece Knife Block Set, Browne-Halco Full Size Clear Rack Cover, EFI Full Size Front Load 20-Tier Bun Rack, JA Henckels Twin Four Star II 8" Chef's Knife, JA Henckels 10" Diamond Coated Knife Sharpener, Vollrath Tribute 14" Stainless Steel Fry Pan, and various food products.

What has been the response to the donation both inside and outside the organization?

Mustoe: It’s been very positive both internally as well as externally. We are planning to do this again next year once we accumulate enough points to make another meaningful donation.

What is on your radar for your points in the months ahead?

Mustoe: We intend to continue to leverage the opportunities that the BPP program offers and we are intending to reach out to some of our key business partners to see what we can do to strengthen our ability to provide meaningful donations to others in the community in the future.