Solana CEO paying it forward to local restaurants

Published: Apr. 6, 2020 at 3:59 PM EDT
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Employees working for Solana have a chance to give a boost to local businesses, all thanks to the CEO.

The software company has locations in both Toledo and Wauseon. Doug Nafziger, CEO of Solana, is reimbursing employees up to $35 weekly for eating lunch at local restaurants.

Right after concerns of COVID-19 began, employees started working remotely. At the same time, Nafziger sent staff members a letter urging them to dine out locally and support area restaurants.

"It's just a really great way to pay it forward since we still have the ability to do our jobs," Solana employee Jessica Ritter said.

Since she can't grab a coffee or lunch with co-workers, Ritter is choosing a new spot to check out every few days, including a favorite, Balance Grille.

Balance co-owner and Chef HoChan Jang, or CJ, said anytime local businesses are supporting other local businesses it is a good thing.

CJ said in the past week, Balance Grille has seen a boost in business. It's not operating at full capacity; two of the four restaurants are closed. Right now, the Sylvania and Perrysburg locations are only offering curbside pickup, and CJ is grateful to be able to serve customers.

"We are just thankful and grateful that we have really loyal employees who are willing to work and put themselves out there with us and serve the community," said Jang.

For Ritter, the mission is simple -- spend money and help give local businesses a fighting chance. It is something she said Solana is committed to doing year round.