Want to energize your staff, publicize your restaurant and contribute to a worthy charity in one fell swoop? Check out what ace Chicago chef Michael Kornick pulled off with his DMK Burger Bar’s 2011 calendar, proceeds of which are going to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Few who see it will be able to forget its over-the-top images, which match the spirit of the restaurant’s over-the-top menu.
Kornick made his reputation at his fine-dining operation, the well-reviewed and long-running mk, located in downtown Chicago. And he’s making his money at DMK Burger Bar, where the “D” stands for David Morton, his partner on the project. It’s located in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood.
DMK Burger Bar is burger/fries/beer spot where the grass-fed beef burgers go for $8 and the rest of the menu and accompaniments are also reasonably priced. Considering the talent of the guy doing the cooking and the quality of the ingredients he’s chosen to use, it’s a great deal. No wonder the place has been a cash generator right from opening day.
It’s made enough money so that Kornick and Morton can share the wealth. DMK Burger Bar makes multiple charitable donations each month as part of its 365 Days of Giving Program. But this serious commitment doesn’t mean that Kornick and company can’t have a little fun with their fundraising.
Thus DMK Burger Bar’s 2011 calendar features such images as April’s shower of French fries raining down on the heads of some DMK servers; June’s attention-getter, which shows owners Morton and Kornick locking eyes over a milkshake; and November’s mildly sacrilegious reenactment of The Last Supper, with Kornick and the rest of the restaurant’s staff stepping in for Jesus and the 12 Apostles in an updated version of Leonardo Da Vinci’s massive (the original measures 15 ft by 29 ft) 15th century painting.
This latter image alone is sure to get people talking about both the calendar and the restaurant, which is about the most any restaurateur can hope for when contributing to charity. Proceeds from the sale of the calendar are ticketed for the Great Chicago Food Depository, which annually distributes approximately 66 million pounds of food throughout Cook County.
DMK Burger Bar’s effort here is smart, stylish and effective. We hope other restaurant operators come up with something equally clever the next time they decide to help out a local charity.