Organization introduces new way to save at businesses that ‘welcome all’

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Aug. 31, 2015) - A local organization is rolling out a new way to help you score deals at shops and restaurants that welcome all customers.

Open for Service announced the new program Monday. The organization was founded in the wake of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act fallout, hoping to help support local businesses that welcome all.

"We’re helping show where safe spaces are for our inclusive community but also promoting local businesses that may not have the marketing budget to do it on their own," said Open for Service founder, Josh Driver.

The organization rolled out the program at Sub Zero on Mass. Ave., a business that has long shown support for welcoming all customers. Customers received $1 off regular ice cream by signing up for Open for Service promotions.

“Everyone that comes down to Mass Ave. always knows that they feel welcome. We didn’t necessarily need a sticker on our door, but we felt that by putting one on there, it’s just made a statement that says, we love our customers," said owner Melissa Albano-Barth.

Customers interested in receiving deals have to show up at select locations, enter their phone number, and follow instructions sent via text message. They can also sign-up for more deals on the Open for Service app.

Albano-Barth was excited to take part in the event. She said Sub Zero has always been a place for all customers to feel welcome. As a business owner, she said she never understood why anyone would turn away business.

“Everyone struggles to bring in business. You’re to make a living. You’re trying to pay your bills and make your business successful, so to turn away business based on somebody’s sexual orientation, I don’t think is a smart business move to begin with," she said.

Other locations for the deal scoring devices are still in the works. There's currently more than 5,000 businesses world wide, including places like Japan, the UK, Sweden, and Germany that are part of Open for Service. Driver said the organization is also looking to promote the new program in cities outside Indianapolis, like Carmel, that are still working out details for anti-discrimination ordinances.

“We’re trying to create an ambassador program for people to become an evangelist in their area, but we’re also leveraging systems like this that people can place in their business outside of Indianapolis," said Driver.

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