Extended: Brontosaurus Burger Challenge Kickstarts Ford Employee Donations to Local Dearborn Restaurants

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No, Brontosaurus burgers are not on the menu, nor have they been available to eat for more than 100 million years. Instead, ordering a brontosaurus burger at local Dearborn eateries is the code message to donate to small businesses hurting during the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative was started by the Ford design organization, but has spread out to the larger Ford employee base to help raise more donations.

Robert Nino, Ford seating design specialist, is a member of the Ford design team building events committee, which created the challenge to help Dearborn’s ailing restaurants. The committee is a small volunteer group that coordinates quarterly events for the design staff and a year-end holiday event that incorporates donations to charities, senior assisted-living homes and orphanages. Nino is one of the few employees who currently make the commute to Dearborn every day amid the pandemic. He and other Ford commuters order takeout most days of the week to support Dearborn eateries, but noticed the emptiness and wanted to do something.

“Those who are here every day witness it, but those who work from home have no way of noticing what these restaurants are going through,” said Nino. “When we reached out to a handful of restaurants, they offered to give us a discount. We said that’s out of the question, that we’ll pay full price and then some since they are hurting.”

Ford Seating Design Specialist Robert Nino is the driving force behind the Brontosaurus Burger Challenge.


The Brontosaurus Burger Challenge is highlighting one Dearborn restaurant each week for employees to support. It is recommended that employees who are commuting to Dearborn order takeout from the restaurant of the week, where they can order a Brontosaurus Burger, which is the code message for a $10 donation. Each participating restaurant will feature a Ford #FinishStrong sign on its respective week, and employees are encouraged to take photos with the sign and share with rnino@ford.com or @Ford.

For Ford employees working from home who want to donate to their favorite Dearborn restaurant on the list, they can still make the donation by ordering a Brontosaurus Burger.

So why the name Brontosaurus Burger?

“We wanted to create a name that’s different and memorable, so restaurants know exactly what the order is for and who it is from,” said Nino.

Below is the weekly restaurant schedule for the Brontosaurus Burger Challenge:

  • July 12-July 18: Dearborn Italian Bakery

See the new listing of restaurants here! Plenty to choose from until the end of the year. 

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