Kindness Wins: These Restaurants Are Donating Meals to Hospitals 

Our frontliners need all the help they can get.

( When the going gets tough, we like to remember a quote from that timeless children's show, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” Well, we've found a few more helpers in The Standard Group, the company that brought Ippudo and Elephant Grounds over to Metro Manila.

All smiles from Team Ippudo!
PHOTO courtesy of The Standard Group

"We actually saw what Karla Reyes had initiated," says Catalina Altomonte, senior brand communications manager for The Standard Group. "She was cooking for [the] frontliners, and [we were inspired]."

In an industry that constantly faces uncertainty on a normal day, it can be hard for restaurants to navigate their next move full stop; it's exacerbated when there's an "enhanced community quarantine" underway and an unfamiliar virus—for lack of a better term—on the loose. "At the end of the day, we all just want to cook for people and give them strength and nourishment for the brave work they do," Altomonte said in a message to

The team at Yabu packed katsu sets, to be sent out to hospitals around the metro.
PHOTO courtesy of The Standard Group
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On the evening of March 15, The Standard Group made the decision to halt operations for the benefit of their employees and diners alike. Yet, at the same time, they initiated a small community-kitchen setup, involving all of their brands: Yabu produced packed katsu sets while Ippudo provided pork buns; Elephant Grounds, their newest concept, packed coffee, rice bowls, and sandwiches—all for the hospitals working dawn to dusk to fight the pandemic.

Katsu sets for Medical City!
PHOTO courtesy of The Standard Group
Elephant Grounds prepared meals and coffee for the frontliners. 
PHOTO courtesy of The Standard Group

Together, the newly formed commissary and existing shops sent out 970 meals to the following hospitals: East Avenue Medical Center, Philippine General Hospital, Philippine Lung Center, Medical City, Manila Doctors, Childhope Philippines, Tondo Medical, UERM, Capitol Medical, Cardinal Santos, and Philippine Heart Center. As of writing, they are preparing yet another round for sending out.

"Long story short, those people need to eat, too," says Altomonte, "and we're just happy to cook."

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