Angry Crab Shack Turns Dining into Donations

Giving back has been crucial to the restaurant’s growth

by Tyler Butler

Since 2013, Angry Crab Shack has provided a vibrant, memorable dining experience. With a focus on high-quality seafood at an affordable price, the unique concept originally launched in Mesa. Created by former NFL player Ron Lou, Angry Crab Shack is the culmination of many entrepreneurial endeavors, this one combining bold Asian flavors and Lou’s knowledge of seafood while creating a distinct perspective on more than just food.

Angry Crab Shack’s main feature, aside from the buckets of delicious seafood, has been an attitude toward giving back. Ingrained in the company’s core values, giving back has been crucial to the restaurant’s growth. In only 10 short years, Angry Crab Shack has grown to be a multi-state operator with plans for international locations on the horizon.

The company’s commitment to the community started small through donations to local organizations, schools, youth sporting leagues and grassroots campaigns. As the restaurant expanded, the company was able to broaden its philanthropic capabilities, and with that it formed partnerships with Phoenix Children’s Hospital and the Arizona Housing Coalition. As new Angry Crab Shack locations open, they are asked to identify and invest in similar like-minded causes, creating a bond between the community and the restaurant chain with each new opening.

With 19 locations now open, Angry Crab Shack contributions’ to various local charities has surpassed one million dollars. To fund these efforts, Angry Crab Shack has turned toward corporate giving with a nod to the traditional round-up-for-charity program. Instead of asking customers to contribute the funds for the round-up, Angry Crab Shack does so, taking from its own profits. Through this initiative, the company funds good work in the community based on patronage from those it serves, showcasing just how integral community giving is to the company.

One way Angry Crab Shack activates this giving is through customer purchases of fries or root beer. Angry Crab Shake donates $1 for every order of fries or root beer to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. This organization was selected as a charity of choice because of its alignment to the restaurant’s ethos and its commitment to caring for kids. Since January of 2018, Angry Crab Shack has donated more than $750,000 to Phoenix Children’s Hospital alone.

Steve Schnall, senior vice president and chief development officer for Phoenix Children’s Hospital, shares, “We are so grateful for our continued partnership with Angry Crab Shack. Their support has been invaluable to Phoenix Children’s and has made a significant impact on our patient families and programs at the hospital.”

First responders and veterans’ causes are also focus areas for Angry Crab Shack. The restaurant chain believes in supporting people who’ve enabled so many opportunities for citizens and so many communities to flourish. Donations and recognition for military veterans, local first responders and nurses are a regular occurrence on appreciation days and during new location openings. Assisting veterans has been a priority for founder Ron Lou, who believes in “helping the people who made it their job to protect our country, who should never be forgotten.”

Through this commitment, Angry Crab Shack has assisted veterans in a multitude of ways. For the last six years, the franchise has partnered with Arizona Veteran Standdown Alliance, a program of the Arizona Housing Coalition that provides supportive services to veterans who are experiencing housing instability. With its annual “You Dine, We Donate” campaign, Angry Crab Shack donates 25 cents for every guest who dines at one of its restaurants during the entire month of July. The campaign has raised $75,000 dollars to help veterans’ housing needs, putting the restaurant chain over $250,000 in donations to this organization.

Andy Diamond, president of Angry Crab Shack, shares, “One of Angry Crab Shack’s core principles is to be an active community participant wherever we open. It is also an honor for us to uplift our veterans in their time of need as a thank you for their sacrifice.” 

The company recognizes that money matters and through these donations is answering that call to action. With a vision to never be satisfied with what has already been achieved, Angry Crab Shack will continue placing importance on giving back, providing new franchise partners with a proven business model that has community ingrained within its ethos, and creating paths for the communities it serves to reach new heights while helping one another.  

Support the Arizona Housing Coalition, home of the Arizona Veterans Standdown Alliance

Donate: Every contribution supports efforts to end homelessness and advocate for safe, affordable homes for all Arizonans; and funds work to connect veterans and their families to critical assistance. 

Dine: This July, dine at Angry Crab Shack locations for its “You Dine, We Donate” campaign. For every guest that dines-in at any of the Angry Crab Shack Arizona restaurant locations during the month of July, the restaurant pledges to contribute 25 cents. That means a table of four automatically adds a dollar to these donations! Guests can also add another 25 cents just by ordering a drink from Angry Crab Shack’s “You Dine, We Donate” cocktail menu. 

Tyler Butler is a chief social impact officer for a publicly traded corporate portfolio where she leads programs that positively impact humanity. She is also the founder of 11Eleven Consulting, and she is often cited as a subject matter expert by Forbes, SHRM, Entrepreneur, U.S. News & World Report and more.


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