- Rikesh Patel, owner of 25 McDonald’s stores in Louisiana, responded quickly after Hurricane Laura hit the state.
- He called the corporate office of McDonald’s and the next day, the McRigs was sent to help distribute warm meals to people.
- McRig’s in the restaurant’s mobile kitchen and Patel, along with his team, have distributed over 10,000 food bags for free!
Just within 24 hours, after Hurricane Laura devastated some parts of Louisiana and Texas, Rikesh Patel, the owner of a number of McDonald’s restaurants in Louisiana, ordered a mobile restaurant on wheels to arrive and help feed hungry families.
Since 1856, Laura was recorded to be the strongest hurricane that hit Louisiana. Many people have lost their homes, their businesses, and their basic needs, and it has also caused the death of 6 people.
About 90% of the local residents still have no access to electricity and clean water two weeks after the devastation, says Patel in an estimate.
“Pictures don’t do it (destruction) justice,” he said. “It’s so much worse than what you’re seeing on social media.”
Without electricity nor water, that made it difficult for the residents to prepare their own food, fresh and warm.
That’s why Patel quickly acted and called the corporate office of McDonald’s to request for a mobile kitchen also known as McRig. The following day, the McRig arrived all the way from Kentucky!
For the following six days, Patel and his team served more than 10,000 food bags of cheeseburgers, fries, and water, all for free!
“It was just really neat to see the whole family aspect, of how we’ve always said we’re like a family and it just really came to life during such a tragedy,” he said.
Patel owns a total of 25 McDonald’s stores in Louisiana. Eight of which are located in Lake Charles — where the storm had caused so much damage. There were about 400-500 employees in those stores and they have fortunately evacuated ahead of time.
He offered those who wanted to go back a time off with half pay and housing for those whose homes were damaged!
Although they are not running the McRigs anymore, there are still a lot that needs to be fixed in the community.
“We know that the rebuilding process will take a lot of time,” he said. “But we know that Lake Charles is going to come through this and that we’ll be stronger than ever.”