Creative Ways to Keep Giving When Times Are Tough

The economy is still rotten, in spite of what President Obama may have to say on the subject. Yes, we’re seeing growth, but it’s so anemic that it seems like there’s no growth at all.

However, in spite of the fact that things are tough and the restaurant industry is no different than many others, many restaurateurs are still trying to find ways to continue to give.

Focus on Long Standing Relationships

Some restaurateurs have decided that while they will not take on any new charity cases, they will continue to stick with the people they have worked with for some time. The idea is that the places that have counted on donations of food and money won’t have to go begging for new supporters just when they happen to need help the most.

Giving in Kind

Another idea that many restaurateurs have pursued is giving in kind. The idea here is that in addition to the donation of leftover food that they may have donated in the past, they are now offering to prepare food in their kitchens specifically for the purposes of the soup kitchens that they may support. This frees up the soup kitchens from the need to hire additional staff to prepare food in a tough economic climate.

Gift Certificates

Another idea that many restaurant owners have been pursuing is donating gift certificates to various charities which they can in turn offer as prizes in their raffles or as gifts to some of their most important volunteers.

This actually turns into a kind of free advertising from the restaurants in question since they may reach new customers who might otherwise never have set foot in their establishments.

Special Promotions

Speaking of advertising, another idea that many restaurateurs say they are trying is offering special deals where a portion of the proceeds benefits a local charity. One restaurant owner reported raising some $17,000 to benefit an organization he believes in by offering a deal for customers and then donating a portion to the charity. This way they both won, the restaurant owner got new customers and the charity got some much-needed cash.

Be Creative

The key we feel in this economy is to try and be creative in coming up with ways to continue to give in your community while watching the bottom line. This is after all what matters most – we can’t help anyone without earning a living ourselves! Think outside the box and you’ll still be able to help out with donations even when times are tough like they are today.

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