Me: Tell me about how Bike to Work Month for Crescent City Grill came about?
Dusty: When we originally started talking about a Bike to Work week. I wanted to get some of our employees excited about biking to work and around town. Robert suggested the whole month, and we thought that the nice weather in October would lend itself to more participation.
Me: You're right, the month of October is a perfect time to ride a bike in south Mississippi. How has the feedback from your employees been?
Dusty: The employees have been excited about the concept. Of course, a lot of them are working really late into the evening and don't get to participate as much as they would like to. We have a great staff that really believes in community, so they usually jump at an opportunity like this. They have already remarked on how much more invigorated they feel when they get to work. So, we are already seeing benefits. We have around 150 employees, so we have a great opportunity to really make an impact.
Me: So what has your participation been like and what is your overall goal?
Dusty: Halfway through the month we have had about 50 employees that have participated and logged between 450 and 500 miles with our goal being 1,000 miles by the end of October. Our overall mileage is getting help by one employee who is biking a round trip of 21.7 miles. Obviously we are really proud of her dedication to the cause.
Me: Man, that's great participation! What are some other benefits your business has provided for employees? What about for the public?
Dusty: Well the big three goals were to cut down on fuel emissions, create a healthy lifestyle, and promote community interaction. However, we feel that we should at least provide some incentive for our staff to start biking. So, we have an iPad up for grabs for our employees. The more miles you accumulate, the greater chance you have to win the iPad. As for guests, we have a promotion that gives a free Yazoo beer to anyone that bikes to the bar. We are really excited about the possibility of having people pull up to the Mahogany Bar on bikes and enjoying the bar or courtyard. Again, we were willing to give up a beer to give some incentive for people to get on their bikes.
Me: I know I've certainly taken advantage of that. Have you seen any benefits to your business by doing this campaign? Can we expect to see CCG do anything like this in the future?
Dusty: I think the benefits are going to be big, but in a way that might not show up immediately. We really hope that it creates an overall feeling of community connectivity. It has certainly opened up that opportunity for me. I am talking to people in the Corner Market parking lot, because they stop me as they are walking to their car and ask about our renovation. I would not have that opportunity if I was commuting behind the wheel of a car. Also we are a mile away from the university, but its easy to feel disconnected from it. I have a lot of faith in Hattiesburg and feel like great things are going to continue happening here and we want to be a part of that future. We are hoping to do another Bike to Work month in March with more businesses participating.
Many thanks to Dusty for the interview and free Yazoo beer. If you want one, you have Monday through Wednesday to get one. Be sure to pedal fast, once November hits the promo is over. Cheers!