Charitable Giving Supports Community, Attracts Customers

Throughout the economic downturn, restaurateurs have been forced to make difficult decisions in staffing, menu selections and charitable donations.  Determining the best way to balance the needs of employees, customers and the surrounding community with the financial demands of keeping a business solvent when times are tight is challenging to say the least.

Restaurateurs and Charitable Donations: To Give or Not to Give
For some, the answer has been to scale back on all fronts, including charitable giving. For others, charitable giving has become even more important. Those who have managed to continue supporting local and national non-profits have a few things in common:

  • Commitment: Restaurateurs who give regularly share a commitment to the community and a recognition that though business may be down, others are also feeling the pinch of the economic downturn. For some, this commitment extends to national non-profits whose donations are down.
  • Creativity: Another common trend among consistent givers is an ability to think creatively. Some restaurateurs raise significant capital auctioning meals for 10 in private homes. Others have created specialty drinks whose name or color is connected to a local or national charity and whose proceeds benefit the charity.

Return on Investment
Restaurateurs nationwide are coming up with surprising and inventive ways to support their favorite charitable organizations. And though the decision to do so typically did not start with a question of profits, many have found that working to strengthen the community has the added benefit of strengthening the restaurant.

Customers are attracted by the prospects of a fun evening out or a specialty item that benefits those in need. Gift certificate giveaways, private dinners and other donations promote the restaurant and allow the owner to highlight the facility, its food and its staff.

The Passion of Charitable Giving
The old saying that enthusiasm breeds enthusiasm seems true for charitable giving. Many restaurateurs have discovered that their passion for charitable giving is contagious as both employees and customers often promote the charity and the restaurant with abandon.

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