7-Eleven Applauds Franchisee Heroes

Store operators take initiatives to feed their communities.

May 07, 2020

IRVING, Texas—Across the many 7-Eleven franchises, the company has been recognizing franchisees who have gone above and beyond to do what they can to serve their local communities during this time of need.

As the number of COVID-19 cases climbed in Dallas County, Raman Saini, a 7-Eleven franchisee, reached out to help frontline nurses and doctors working at Parkland Memorial, the county hospital. Saini knows the challenges they faced because his wife is a registered nurse at the hospital, and many employees are regular customers at his store just two miles away, 7-Eleven shared.

Saini coordinated with the hospital director to begin delivering lunch—100 7-Eleven pizzas—three times a week and, to date, has delivered 400 pizzas to the busy facility. Fortunately, Saini franchises four stores, because he had to use the ovens in all four outlets to produce the pizzas, a job that took about an hour and required help from all employees.

The medical staff loves the pizza, so much so that a group of nurses even made an “Oh Thank Heaven” video to thank Saini for his generous donation.

South Chicago franchisee Mujtaba “Muji” Baqir says he was taught “where one person eats, two can too.” So, when the COVID-19 pandemic caused many customers at his two 7-Eleven stores to lose their jobs, he posted this message on Facebook:

“If anyone is not working and runs out of food, please don’t go to sleep with an empty stomach. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to send me a private message. We will be more than happy to share whatever food we have. I will drop it and go.” Several residents have taken Baqir up on his offer and quietly received food from him.

His big heart and generosity drew the attention of the local newspaper and the Southwest Chicago Chamber of Commerce, which awarded him the “Community Champion” award for the month of April. When recognizing Baqir, the chamber said, “To be able to help the community during unprecedented times and offer food for people in need is completely priceless. Thank you, Mujtaba, for being a fearless and compassionate leader in the Southwest side of Chicago.” 

In Santa Maria, California, the number of residents facing financial uncertainty soared with the pandemic, and many turned to the local Salvation Army, which expanded lunch service from five days a week to seven. Ravi Chahal and wife, Harpreet, who franchise 7-Eleven stores in Santa Maria and Arroyo Grande, California, volunteered to provide lunch and give the regular cooks a much-needed break.

On April 14, the Chahals rose at 4 a.m. to prepare and serve a home-cooked lunch to 180 people at the Santa Maria High School shelter, and they had enough food left to provide dinner to 90 senior citizens at a mobile home park. Three days later, they did it again, this time serving 190 lunches. The couple also donated snacks, drinks, gloves and hand sanitizer to local law enforcement departments.

“Very few people will do something like this during the best of times,” said David Continente, field consultant, 7-Eleven. “I have been around Ravi for 18 years and have seen him do some amazing things. For me, this one tops them all.”

Coronavirus Resources

NACS has compiled resources to help the convenience retail community navigate the COVID-19 crisis. For news updates and guidance, visit our coronavirus resources page.