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  • Writer's pictureMaya

Get Your Restaurant Involved in the Community

A lot of business owners have the understandable mentality that they need to fly solo to best succeed. They take “competition” a little too literally when really local businesses need to work together. Getting involved in the community, both with consumers on a personal level as well as with other businesses in the hospitality industry fosters better relationships, draws in new guests, and strengthens your overall brand recognition.

Community engagement opens you up to a whole new world of professional opportunities, too; chances to collaborate on events, initiatives and campaigns which are gateways to as-yet-untapped sources of revenue. Networking works.

1. Link up with bars

Food and drink are made to go together. The more wines and cocktails you can pair with items on the menu, the bigger your intrinsic draw. While you can hire somebody to perfect happy hour specials, it can be just as advantageous to form bonds with bars in the area instead.

There’s a vast amount of events you can host when you’ve got another business running the show with you. Teaming up, you can cater dinner while they man the bar, and that’s a big draw that will get new customers for both of you. It’s also a chance for guests to interact directly with your cooks and their sommeliers, to learn about their favorite recipes in more detail. You can put a face to the name that made it. You can introduce your most loyal customers to each other, thus garnering new audiences for the both of you.

Events like these can be useful, especially when you make them a regular thing. It’s good for profit, good for brand exposure, and always a big hit with customers—the ones you bring in as well as the ones they have.

2. Positive relationships

It’s not just non-restaurant businesses that you should link up with; forming more positive relationships with other eateries in the area is a great source of new friendships, too. You’re not necessarily fighting each other for customers’ attention but rather forming an ecosystem within the community, one that can be mutually beneficial.

This, too, is a chance to extend professionalism and form new friendships. Simply posting some positive reviews about “the competition” can open up a dialogue, which may lead to a two-way street where you both share your loyal customers with each other to “spread the wealth” around. The more friends you make, the more practical and productive your operations can be. Simultaneously your customers will find you more favorable and professional, too.

3. Good deeds

On top of all the other ways you’re establishing yourself as a more trustworthy, forward-thinking business, nothing aids a cause like charity does. Helping people is the most overt way to show that you care about positive community action. It strengthens a positive reputation, generates better customer relations, and most importantly helps out the community where you live, work and spends your time.

Good deeds can be anything, whatever you think would fit. For example, some restaurants give out free lunches to schools; others donate their excess foodstuff to organizations that will distribute it to hungry families. As a general rule, freebies are better than discounts since discounts tend to make consumers think the product is worthless plus, people just prefer free. You don’t have to follow the rulebook and do something that’s been done before, though. Get creative and do whatever feels right, aligns with your brand and best helps your customer base too.

After that, don’t be afraid to advertise. Post about your positive community action on your social media and garner more shares, likes, and general respect. There’s no shame in reaping the rewards of your good deeds; it helps your social media reach, and might even encourage others to start outreach efforts too.

Community involvement is good for your reputation, bottom line and is just generally the right thing to do. Get involved today by connecting with local restaurants and other businesses in the hospitality industry, starting up mutually beneficial community events, and committing charitable actions that make the community itself a better, more positive place to be. Your restaurant won’t regrets it.


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