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Yelp celebrates “Employee Appreciation Day” with a donation fund for local Texas businesses

Announces $15,000 in donations for businesses in Houston, Austin and San Antonio to treat their employees

In the past year, workers across the country have responded to changing demands in their jobs due to COVID-19 protocols, and dealt with a combination of labor shortages, understaffing and burnout. That’s why, this Employee Appreciation Day, March 4, Yelp is giving three Texas business owners the opportunity to celebrate their hard-working employees. Yelp will give $15,000 to three small businesses  for the benefit of their employees, who are the backbone of their businesses. Austin’s 1618 Asian Fusion, Houston’s Roostar Vietnamese Grill, and San Antonio’s Anchor Plumbing Services were selected as the recipients of Yelp’s Employee Appreciation Day fund. 

To determine which Texas businesses received these donations, Yelp used internal data to identify businesses with employees who routinely go above and beyond for their customers. We looked at businesses with the all-time highest ratings and reviews that frequently mention “friendly employees”, as well as those that shout-out the people who made their day with great customer service.  

“This Employee Appreciation Day, we’re thrilled to highlight and celebrate three outstanding businesses and the people who make them great,” says Katie Burbank, Yelp’s Senior Community Director, based in Austin. “These restaurants have kept our communities going with delicious food, and service providers like plumbers have kept our homes comfortable and safe, often during difficult weather conditions.”

Employee Appreciation Day Fund Recipients 

Business owners will decide how to spend their Employee Appreciation Day funds, with options including  unique experiences, a company paid event, and more. Anchor Plumbing, which has 16 employees, will celebrate their hard-working team by hosting a company-wide Employee Appreciation Day, followed by a formal evening at an event venue with catering, a DJ, and more.

“We’re honored to be chosen to receive Yelp’s Employee Appreciation Day fund. Our employees are the reason we’ve been able to build a loyal community of clients in San Antonio, and they have worked tirelessly through the pandemic and extreme weather to repair people’s homes. We’re thrilled to celebrate them,” said Paul Arguijo, owner of Anchor Plumbing Services.

Courtesy of Anchor Plumbing Services 

Boasting a menu spanning Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, and Singaporean cuisines, 1618 Asian Fusion has customers gushing about the impeccable service. Yelp user Elija C. raves, “The service here is unmatched. Our waitress, Linda, was phenomenal at her job. She was very attentive to our table and [had] great recommendations.” 

“These past few years have been tough on everyone, and our employees have been there with us through it all. They are truly the backbone of 1618 Asian Fusion. We are so grateful to have received the Employee Appreciation Day fund from Yelp and want to use this donation to celebrate our 1618 family. We will be letting our employees vote for how they would like to use the funds,” said co-owner Kevin Le. 

Roostar Vietnamese Grill owners Linda and Ronnie Nguyen say their employees care wholeheartedly about their community and the people they serve, which is apparent in dozens of reviews that say “thank you” to the teams at their three locations across Houston. Yelp user Jamie S. is one of the many people to show gratitude: “Thank you for making my family (especially my kids) feel right at home. Thank you for those sincere bright smiles, the way you treat us makes us feel really special. You made us customers for life with your delicious food.”

“We are thrilled to be recognized on Employee Appreciation Day! Our Roostar family wholeheartedly care about their community and the people they serve, and to receive recognition after overcoming a flood, winter freeze, and an ongoing pandemic, is an incredible feeling,” said Linda Nguyen. “Our business thrives because of our team, and we’re excited to treat them with something special using the funds from Yelp.”

Courtesy of Roostar Vietnamese Grill

If you believe employees at your favorite local business deserve some recognition and reward for their great service, be sure to thank them or give them a shout out in your next Yelp review.