Serving Up Kindness: The Importance of Partnering with Nonprofit Organizations
3 Min Read By Durée Ross
While serving up delicious cuisine and extraordinary service is imperative to any restaurant’s success, there’s a very important factor that goes into a restaurant’s stature in the community: partnering with nonprofit organizations. Why?
Not only is it a great way to give back and make a difference; it’s also a wonderful way to showcase how much a restaurant cares about its community.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an ever-increasing major aspect of the food business. Restaurant owners want to do good for their employees, community and the environment. Plus, more and more consumers or guests are looking to support companies that support important causes.
Millennials, projected to be the U.S.’ largest living adult generation in 2019, which will continue growing until 2036 (according to Pew Research), represent an estimated $1.3 trillion in annual buying power (according to Boston Consulting Group). This group wants to see a positive community impact from the restaurants they frequent.
While there are many ways that a restaurant can partner with a nonprofit, following are a few ideas.
Dine to Donate
Dine to Donate during a specified and advertised time period to the organization. Encourage guests to donate by providing ample PR, check inserts, etc. about the organization and donation program, as well as servers describing what the cause is all about. Servers can also wear lapel pins supporting the organization. In addition, the nonprofit organization can be on site with an informational table to educate guests.
Donations in the nonprofit world are very important. When guests see that their donations are used for specific, positive purposes; they are not only likely to donate, but also to leave with an outstanding impression of the restaurant.
Provide in-kind support of the organization through donations such as gift cards and chef’s dinners. These can be used as raffle or auction items at fundraisers, helping to raise money for the organization’s cause.
Inspire restaurant employees to volunteer with the organization. Many nonprofits depend on volunteers to achieve their goals. This not only assists the organization itself, but it helps employees bond in their effort to be a part of the greater good.
Whether it’s a fundraiser dinner for the organization, an event to honor those whom the organization supports, speaking engagement, fashion show, etc.; there are many ways to show support for the nonprofit within the restaurant.
It’s important to create awareness of the event beforehand by utilizing public relations efforts. Through the partnership, public relations agencies can provide the organization with creative pieces, inviting the organization’s supporters attend the event. It’s also a great idea to ensure that someone takes photos at the event to submit them, as well as total amount raised, in a post-event press release.
Host Board Meetings
Host the organization’s board meetings and other meeting at the restaurant itself. It’s always nice for board members and other meeting attendees to feel extra welcome and comfortable.
In the restaurant business, there are few things that provide not only the economic ― but also the social ― benefits, than partnering with a nonprofit.
Nonprofits rarely have a large budget for PR and/or advertising. By partnering with a nonprofit, a restaurant can help the public become more informed about the organization ― basically free publicity, with many benefits regarding the credibility of both the nonprofit and restaurant. In the end, the partnership can help the nonprofit grow, while the restaurant is doing good things, as well as potentially gaining new guests.
In the restaurant business, there are few things that provide not only the economic ― but also the social ― benefits, than partnering with a nonprofit. Guests want to feel good about walking into a restaurant, and knowing that a dining establishment is working together with an organization that is making a difference ― whether it’s for abused and neglected children, the elderly, veterans, the disabled, the hungry, animals or more ― will give guests that feel-good attitude to choose one restaurant over another.
Frequency and commitment speak volumes. Partnering with a nonprofit organization is not just a grand opening initiative, but rather, an ongoing commitment to the community.
The bond of kindness and working for the greater good is powerful. A restaurant partnering with a nonprofit organization can help make a huge difference in the lives of many.
To maximize the effects of a partnership with a nonprofit organization, it’s highly advised to work with a PR agency that has extensive experience with nonprofits, special events and more. A well-planned and well-executed public relations strategy can make a world of difference in achieving the partnership’s goals, and reaching as many people as possible.