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National Restaurant Association - Anything but square: White Castle, others honor grandparents

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Anything but square: White Castle, others honor grandparents

The organizer of Grandparents Day is asking restaurants to help celebrate the occasion, and some companies, like White Castle and Olive Garden, are already answering the call.

Grandparents Day, traditionally held on the first Sunday after Labor Day, this year falls on Sept. 13.

White Castle is celebrating the occasion with Castle Shares, a promotion throughout September where 10 customers will win a total of $5,000 in savings bonds by sharing favorite memories of their grandparents through social media. The money will help pay for education.

The company is asking grandparents and their grandchildren aged 13 and older to submit memorable moments, photos and videos on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #WCGrandparentsContest.

“As a family-owned business, we value the special bond grandparents and grandchildren share, and we understand the key role grandparents play in our lives,” said White Castle vice president Jamie Richardson. “Grandparents pass many valuable life lessons onto their grandchildren, from love of the Crave to the importance of a good education. At White Castle, we're committed to celebrating grandparents and investing in our younger Cravers' futures."

Olive Garden is recognizing Grandparents Day this year with a special section on its website that offers tips on how to celebrate the occasion.

Donna Butts, executive director for Generations United, which helped create Grandparents Day, is encouraging all restaurants to help younger customers honor their grandparents.

“Today there are 70 million grandparents in the United States, and the ranks are continuing to swell,” she said. “Grandparents Day offers a terrific opportunity for them to connect with grandchildren and other young people. Eating out together is a great way to do that.”

Butts added that a study Generations United and MetLife Mature Market Institute commissioned in 2012 found that dining out in restaurants is one of the most popular intergenerational activities. According to the study, 67 percent of the more than 1,000 grandparents polled said they visited restaurants with their grandchildren and that going out to eat was in the top three activities they did with them.

“This is the perfect time to shine the light on our grandparents, who set examples and foster commitment to community and country,” she said. ”Restaurants, which are great supporters of the communities they serve, are excellent venues in which to bring those generations together.”

For more information about Grandparents Day, go to Generations United.

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