Smart #DineSmall Strategies for Small Business Saturday

This is the week for restaurants to show what makes them unique as part of #DineSmall, an initiative associated with Small Business Saturday (SBS), held on November 26.

A day for communities to band together in support of their local businesses, SBS was founded in 2010 by American Express. Last year more than 95 million consumers shopped on the holiday and helped do their part to help businesses in their communities thrive. This year, American Express teamed with The Infatuation to explore ways any restaurant, bar, café or bakery can get in on the action.

Creating a signature menu item or exclusive promotion to draw customers are great ways for restaurants to stand out, The Infatuation co-founder Andrew Steinthal told Modern Restaurant Management magazine.

“Small Business Saturday speaks to the values of our company to help people discover new restaurants,” he said. “Running a restaurant is not an easy job. It never stops. This is an opportunity to have a unique special dish or collaborate with another local business to draw people in. You need to put in an effort, but good things will happen.”

The Infatuation also curated Dine Small activations at select restaurants in New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, DC and San Diego. A sampling of participating restaurants includes:

  • Pasquale Jones: The Nolita (NYC) restaurant will offer two to three exclusive 45-min tasting experience featuring customers’ choice of pizza from a curated menu and 3 wines to taste.
  •  Mr. Holmes Bakehouse: The Los Angeles-based bake shop will offer custom menu items for those who shop small, including: “Spiked Fruity Pebbles donut and a black cat expresso cookie.
  • Astro Doughnuts: The Washington, D.C. doughnut shop will offer a special, early release of its favorite holiday doughnuts including a Chocolate Peppermint Bark doughnut and more.  

American Express has several resources available to help restaurants capitalize on this week’s event and effectively promote their businesses. These include:

  • Shop Small Studio: In just a few clicks and after agreeing to terms of participation, small business owners can now create customizable print and digital marketing assets and download them for free to promote their businesses and Small Business Saturday events.
  • Small Business Saturday 101 or “SBS 101”: will also include a multi-media content hub, called Small Business Saturday 101 or “SBS 101”, featuring how-to guides, and tips and insights from small business owners and influencers. “SBS 101” is designed to educate, prepare and inspire small business owners to participate in Small Business Saturday through videos, articles, infographics and more.
  • Neighborhood Champions: The Neighborhood Champion Program encourages small business owners, individuals, and community organizations to work with their local small businesses to organize and host events on Small Business Saturday each year. Neighborhood Champions can get free Shop Small® branded merchandise while supplies last to help promote and draw attention to their Small Business Saturday events.

“Small Business Saturday is about supporting local businesses, the pillars of economic stability and job creation in communities all across America,” said Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of  the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). “This celebration helps bring vital activity into our nation’s 28.8 million independent businesses during the important holiday retail season. Now in its seventh year, Small Business Saturday is our day to express our economic patriotism and give back to the locally-owned enterprises that do so much for our communities. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the heart of our communities. These small businesses have been responsible for creating two out of every three net new jobs in the U.S.  According to the Kauffman Foundation’s 2016 Main Street Entrepreneurship Index, small business survival is up over the past year but businesses are staying smaller. That size difference can mean local shops rely even more on support from their communities. Shopping and dining small on November 26 and throughout this holiday season supports these men and women who are building and running America’s best small businesses.”

For more details visit and for a full listing of the Small Business Saturday Coalition members, please visit

Top photo: Elizabeth in Chicago participating in last year’s Small Business Saturday.  Photo by Jean-Marc Giboux/ AP Images for Amex.