Posts Tagged ‘charity’

Cause Marketing in the Restaurant: Charitable Strategies for Growth

August 6, 2013

The degree to which a business makes the world a better place has a major impact on the purchasing decisions of its consumers. In fact, research has shown that nearly half of U.S. consumers are already making a monthly purchase from an establishment that supports a cause while 64% say they would switch their loyalties to a similar brand if the company decided to support a cause they care about.

What does this mean for you, the restaurateur? Put simply, doing good is good business and charitable strategies are well worth the time and effort of implementing if you are not already doing so.

The Difference between Philanthropy and Cause Marketing in the Restaurant

Whereas philanthropy is given purely through the desire to do something good in the world without any expectations for return (other than perhaps a ‘thank you’), the goal in cause marketing is to do the most good while simultaneously creating measurable business benefits.

In cause marketing, you build relationships with your customers by supporting causes that both appeal to their values as well as align with the values of your business.

The idea is to build your establishment’s reputation as a business with strong morals and ethics that make your customers and employees feel good about supporting it.

Selecting the Right Cause to get Your Restaurant Behind

Given the high number of donation requests that restaurants get each year, it’s critical to set parameters for giving and charitable participation. Rather than taking a broad-wash approach, restaurants have found it far more valuable to focus on supporting issues which tie to their brand identities, leverage their currently available resources, and appeal to their target audiences.

Providing your customers and employees with the opportunity to select causes that they care about is one way to keep them engaged and involved in your efforts.

Keeping your charitable giving at the local level is another way to ensure that your efforts are maximized and that the results can be easily seen. Focusing on building long-term partnerships with the charities you select is also a savvy approach, and helps your program build momentum and notoriety over time.

The bottom line is that you don’t have to give to anyone and everyone to benefit from the cause marketing model. Instead, focus on building relationships and harnessing the power and energy in your local community by selecting strategic, meaningful causes to get behind.

Keep an Eye on Your Restaurant’s Return on Investment for its Charitable Efforts

Keeping an eye on and being transparent about the success of your charitable efforts is the final ingredient to cause marketing success. Not only do you want to ensure that your efforts are worth the while, but you also want the consumers who have participated in your campaign to see the results of their efforts.

Being transparent about the success or failure of your campaign builds confidence in the integrity of your establishment and allows your followers the opportunity to help you improve your program. This creates a collaborative experience that will continue to build loyalty and participation for years to come.

Everyone likes to feel like they are doing something good and to feel like their money is going towards a worthy cause. There are a number of easy and creative ways that restaurants around the country are utilizing this basic truth to improve their bottom line while simultaneously improving the world we live in.

If you’ve been looking for ways to build your business and inspire people to help you do it, cause marketing is an extremely effective method of doing so.

Creative Ways to Keep Giving When Times Are Tough

December 3, 2010

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.