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  • Writer's pictureMaya

Restaurants Give Back: Does Charity Drive Sales?

Money has become a bigger concern for the restaurant industry than ever before, because of COVID-19. Customers are less financially secure, likewise for businesses, and the community as a whole hasn’t fared much better. When guests do spend money, they want to know it goes to a worthwhile cause. Because of this, as you get more involved with charity, sales will soar.

Why is that?

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Customers, Charity, and the Middleman

More fundraising organizations have cropped up in response to the pandemic, and a lot of people need help. Spread the word to your audience and they’ll get the resources they need, while customers feel better about where their money goes.

Given that funds are tight, people look for businesses that share their values. For example, environmentally-focused customers will want to align themselves with green companies. Your restaurant’s charity sets you apart as worthwhile. This boost to your reputation underscores how the company mission connects to your core values. This matters; according to Accenture, a consulting service, in 2018 two-thirds of customers reported that they would rather buy from businesses that share their beliefs. This leads to more customer loyalty which leads to more spending.

Bring customers and charity together in your restaurant. It fosters goodwill in the community and your reputation will soar.

What and How to Donate

Identify who your restaurant wants to help. It depends on your community. Perhaps there are a lot of families in need; if so, work directly with outreach organizations that take your leftovers at the end of the day. This has the dual benefit of giving restaurant-quality ingredients to those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford it, so they can feed their family healthy meals. Meanwhile, restaurants generate a lot of food waste. Eliminate some by donating your overstock so it goes to good use.

Alternatively, get food to those in need by hosting food drive events or partnering up with food banks directly. Keep visible collection boxes out so people can drop off cans the next time they visit or offer coupons for every donation to incentivize charity.

Money goes far for these kinds of organizations, too. Write on each menu that a portion of the check goes to charity, or host fundraisers to donate to third parties that distribute to the needy. People want to help their neighbors, and your restaurant can create avenues to do so.

Direct Charity for Restaurants

Don’t rely on third parties. There are things your business can do without help. For example, donate spare PPE to places that still need more, like hospitals or reopening schools. You might also host dinners for hungry community members. Team up with other restaurants in the area to cut down on costs. Open yourself up to donations to help fund these endeavors, too. If you can’t host in person because of the current labor shortage, or for some other reason, consider delivering directly to homeless shelters, schools and other organizations that can handle a gathering.


Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

As the pandemic continues, social media remains the most effective way to spread the word about new endeavors. As you become more involved with charity work, use your pages in creative ways, such as hosting polls to see what fundraisers your guests want, or promoting dinner events in advance.

Togetherness, flexibility and adaptability will get us through the next, tumultuous months. Restaurant recovery will not be easy. Lean on your network to find creative solutions to the ongoing problems plaguing your neighborhood. There’s no better way to show commitment to the community than by lending a helping hand.

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