On Thursday, August, 19, South Florida members of the local food club gathered in the parking lot behind the Smoke Inn in Boynton Beach to collect their share of White Castle sliders, literally putting their money where their mouths are with the purchase of the "Crave Pallet."
To date, no one has purchased the $6,199 order of individually wrapped burgers, says Palm Beach County resident Evan Darnell, the Red Meat Club's "Secretary of Steak."
In 2012, White Castle announced its palletful of burgers. According to Restaurant News, the "Crave Pallet" evolved from the fast-food establishment's menu offerings designed for feeding large groups. White Castle already offers its "Sack of 10," the 30-slider "Crave Case," and the "Crave Crate" of 100 sliders.
The natural progression, it seems, was to offer an even larger option that could feed hundreds of people.
But no one appears to have bitten.
Until this week, that is, when a pallet of burgers packaged in Crave Crate boxes of 100 sliders each was sold off the back of a white Ryder moving van for $125 per Crave Crate. (With fees, that's about $1.34 per burger for 50 cheese and 50 no cheese per crate.)
The effort was undertaken with one very specific goal in mind: Proceeds from the sale of each and every burger would be donated to hospital workers at Boca Regional Hospital and the Delray Medical Center.
"The motivation was that we knew White Castle has never sold a pallet, so we wanted to be first," Darnell tells New Times. "We chopped up the costs among members and passed them along so that the proceeds from the burger sales can all go to charity. In 39 months, we have raised over $500,000 at our events, so we knew this one would be spectacular, as well."
The pallet, divvied into 20 shares, sold out.
Its purpose, Darnell says, is simple: "to celebrate each other, to be united in supporting causes we care about, and to be epic in everything we do."
Miami foodies interested in joining can apply via the Red Meat Lovers' private Facebook page. Members have access to the club's announcements of regular "meetings," held both locally and around the U.S. New events are also listed online at rmlcamp.com.
For now, there's no membership fee to become a Red Meat Lovers "Partner in Prime," but new applicants are screened via a series of questions reviewed by the group members prior to acceptance.
"Anyone can be a member," Darnell confirms. "The only requirement is that you must like being philanthropic and be very hungry."
Charity-themed events include monthly dinners held at various locations across South Florida, and the club's annual luncheon, known affectionately as the Steak of the Union Address. Additional events pop up nationwide several times each year.
Every event serves as a vehicle for members to raise money for charity. To date, the club has donated to nonprofits, including the Selfless Love Foundation, Connected Warriors, and the George Snow Scholarship Fund.
While there are no plans yet to order a second Crave Pallet, Darnell promises prospective new members that there's always something "juicy" in the pipeline.
"I try to make every meating a one-off, because there isn’t much fun in doing the same stuff, different day," he says. "Our attendees come out for the food, the VIP experiences, and the philanthropic giving. There's always something for everyone.
"And plenty of red meat."