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5 Ways Restaurants Can Support Their Local Communities

By: Caroline Cox Posted on August 30, 2017

As a business, it’s important to be thinking about ways you can give back — and not just during the holidays. No matter your company size, there are plenty of options for ways you can support your local community all year round. Below, we break down a few of our favorites. Got another idea that’s worked for your business? Comment and let us know!

Partner with nonprofit organizations

When it comes to partnering up with local nonprofit organizations, there are a lot of avenues you can explore. In Gather’s hometown of Atlanta, eateries work with the local chapter of Share Our Strength’s Dine Out for No Kid Hungry project, a national organization working to end childhood hunger in the United States. For a night or a week, a percentage of the business’ proceeds will go towards the charity. Along with raising nearly $46M nationwide since 2008, restaurants saw an average of 9 percent increase in sales during the promotion and a 32 percent post-promotion coupon redemption rate. Win-win!

 

Source ingredients locally

As we’ve mentioned before, there are plenty of merits to offering a menu that features locally sourced ingredients. Not only does it show your community that you care enough to support local growers and offer the freshest dishes, but finding local sources for pricey, hard-to-transport ingredients is also beneficial to your bottom line. Additionally, using seasonal, local ingredients helps keep your menu fresh and allows your kitchen to whip up exciting new dishes that may become future staples at your spot.

 

Offer event deals for local businesses

Your private events program is a great place to team up with local businesses and show support for your community. Options for these partnerships include offering event discounts for nonprofit organizations, or adding in some perks or amenities (like carving stations or valet parking) if a big-spender event client hosts another event in your space. Not only will this show community support, but these events often bring new patrons into your establishment, effectively growing your potential client base in an organic, effective way.

 

Bring extra food to shelters and food banks

Donating excess food and other restaurant items to local shelters and food banks is an easy, effective way to give back. There are plenty of resources online to help make sure you’re following the guidelines of what is safe and legal to donate. (The Huffington Post reports that “There is no available public record of anyone in the United States being sued ― or having to pay damages ― because of harms related to donated food.”) You can learn more about the laws here, and the EPA has great ideas for where to donate here. Another idea: some restaurants host holiday dinners for underserved or food-insecure families that are often funded by donations.

 

Highlight the local arts community

Want to add a themed night to your restaurant, or just spruce it up with some flair? Reach out to local artists and musicians about displaying their artwork or hosting live music events. You can have the artwork for sale, and the music genre can dictate if you want to host a rowdy Friday night patio concert or a more low-key brunch soundtrack for diners. This is also a great marketing promotion opportunity for your establishment and the creatives you’re featuring. You’ll get twice the exposure, and hopefully, some new faces walking through your doors.

 

Now that you know the best ways to support your community, why not request a live tour to see if Gather’s cloud-based event management software is right for you?


Caroline Cox
Content Marketing Manager

Caroline Cox is Gather's Content Marketing Manager. She spends her time crafting blogs, thought leadership pieces, case studies, social media content and more, helping empower restaurants and other event venues to streamline their planning process and grow their events programs with success.

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