This Agency Saved Jobs by Bringing Restaurant and Grocery Clients Together

Republica Havas helped hundreds of employees find temporary work

Sedano's was able to offer temporary work to restaurant employees at Versailles and La Carreta Restaurants who otherwise would be out of a job.
Headshot of Erik Oster

They say crisis brings people together. For one agency, that meant linking up two clients to save hundreds of jobs.

Seeing the inverse impact the coronavirus pandemic was having on the grocery and restaurant sectors, Republica Havas decided to connect its clients to help save jobs. With Miami’s Versailles and La Carreta restaurants, owned by the Valls family, transitioning to pickup, takeout and delivery only, they needed to reduce staffing. Independent Hispanic grocery chain Sedano’s, meanwhile, was looking to add about 400 full- and part-time employees to its more than 30 locations across South Florida.

So Republica Havas brought the two parties together, and Sedano’s was able to offer temporary work to restaurant employees who otherwise would be out of a job. After the restaurants recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, they can go back to their old jobs.

To the agency, the effort illustrates the importance of looking beyond advertising when finding solutions for clients during this crisis.

“We’re in a creative industry, and I think creativity goes beyond the arc many times. It can act in effecting change when you bring clients together,” Republica Havas CEO Jorge Plasencia said. “We’re all creative. How do we use that creativity to help our clients through tough times, not only through great spots and social media content but true business solutions?

“We are hyper-focused to come out of this stronger as a team and as an agency. That’s what I wake up every morning thinking about. Keeping our eye on the ball, making sure our clients feel the connection to us, that we’re here more than ever, have solutions their business needs today but also as we turn the corner.”

Republica Havas CCO Luis Casamayor added that the client teams were tremendously receptive to the idea and helped bring the idea to fruition quickly.

“Something like this in normal times might take six months,” he said. Instead it came together within a couple of days.

Within 48 hours of discussing the idea, Casamayor and Plasencia said, the first employees from the restaurants were going through the HR process at Sedano’s. Ultimately, the grocery chain offered temporary employment at the grocery chain to over 400 individuals, according to the agency.

“This collaboration reflects who we are as companies in our community,” Sedano’s Supermarkets CMO Javier Herrán said in a statement. “During difficult times, local businesses and communities need to support one another.”

“Much like Sedano’s, our employees are like family, and we want each of them to know that their jobs will be waiting for them once this crisis concludes,” Felipe Valls Jr., owner of Versailles and La Carreta restaurants, added. “We look forward to welcoming them back, but we can rest easier knowing they are being taken care of.”


@ErikDOster erik.oster@adweek.com Erik Oster is an agencies reporter for Adweek.
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