Easy Steps To Run A Restaurant Fundraiser
So you’ve decided your not-for-profit’s next fundraiser is going to be at a restaurant. Here’s how to set up the event and get the best results possible.
Restaurant Food Drive Charity Event
Hosting a food drive for a local food bank at your restaurant is a relatively easy and effective way to give back to your community. These are popular around the holidays, because people associate this time with seasonal giving.
Set aside a visible space for your collection boxes and use flyers, social media, and word-of-mouth to let customers know what youre collecting and what youre donating to. If youre looking to provide more motivation, you could offer coupons or incentives for anyone who donates.
The Most Charitable Chain Restaurants In America
Many of today’s restaurant chains have some sort of charity or, at the very least, make donations to special causes. And hey, the restaurant industry in the United States really rakes it in per Statista, it made $283 billion in 2020 so, it’s a no-brainer that there’s plenty of money to spare. And, let’s face it: It helps that being charitable usually results in excellent press coverage for each company that decides to go the donation route.
One of the more recent ways that restaurants have helped their local communities is through hosting fundraisers for schools and other nonprofit organizations. GroupRaise lists Papa John’s, Applebee’s, and On the Border as a few chains that donate up to 40% of sales to their partnered organization.
While we appreciate every cent that restaurant chains help distribute to people and organizations in need, we also love recognizing the restaurants that go above and beyond to help their communities. Let’s look at some of the most giving restaurant chains in America.
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The Benefits Of Giving Back
As mentioned above, CSR is one of the keys to attracting Millennial customers. However, there are many other benefits to giving back to the community, including:
- Boost Your Reputation: Showing the community that your restaurant is giving back helps to build a favorable reputation for your brand and increase customer loyalty.
- Increased Employee Satisfaction: Giving employees opportunities to support community causes will help to boost engagement and job satisfaction.
- Save Money: Some initiatives can improve operational efficiencies and boost your bottom line.
- Attract New Employees: With many restaurants facing labor shortages, a strong CSR policy can make your restaurant more appealing to passionate young job seekers.
- Invest in the Local Community: This one is pretty general, but the community you operate in is your business home. Any actions that make your community stronger will only benefit your restaurant!
Does Burger King Do Fundraisers
The BK Benefit Night program is designed to promote fundraising for local not-for-profit organizations. The fundraising event takes place at local BURGER KING restaurant on specified evenings. BURGER KING will provide hot, fresh, high quality food while the organization members are present promoting their cause.
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Oil And Energy Donation Requests
ExxonMobil ExxonMobil contributes to organizations that theyve worked with in the past. They focus on helping local organizations, as well as nonprofits across the world with education-, healthcare-, and environmental-related causes.
Valero The Valero Energy Foundation contributes an average of $16 million to support local organizations of various causes, including education, healthcare, arts and culture, and basic needs.
Chevron Chevron helps nonprofits with causes related to education and healthcare. Theyve invested over $80 million in education worldwide with their Fuel Your School program that helps teachers and schools receive the funds they need for supplies.
The Marathon Petroleum Corporation believes in promoting and investing in the health and vitality of the communities they operate in. They help local organizations in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, and Texas.
Conoco Phillips Conoco Phillips accepts donation requests from April 1 to July 31 of every year. This oil and gas company will support organizations that align with one of their four giving categories: education, health and safety, natural resources, and civic and arts.
Chesapeake Energy Chesapeake Energy partners with organizations that focus on four core areas STEM education, environment, emergency and disaster response, and community development. Organizations can request financial contributions or in-kind donations.
How To Get Restaurants To Donate Food
Here are six easy ways:
- SHOW ROI FOR THE RESTAURANT. Restaurant owners view donating to not-for-profits as a trade for marketing. …
- DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Stalk the restaurant owner. …
- KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. Restaurant owners take home 4-10% of gross sales. …
- MAKE IT EASY FOR US. …
- BE A GOOD PARTNER. …
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Longhorn Steakhouse Fights Hunger In Communities
One of the best ways for a restaurant to help out its local communities is to donate excess food. LongHorn Steakhouse has done just that with all of its locations across the United States. Each restaurant gives food to nonprofit organizations and the company, as a whole, partners with Feeding America and the Darden Foundation. According to LongHorn Steakhouse, the Darden Foundation has secured 15 trucks that deliver food to food banks, such as Forgotten Harvest in Detroit, Michigan, and Feeding the Gulf Coast in Theodore, Alabama.
The Tribune reported in 2019 that in Houston alone, LongHorn Steakhouse donated over 230,000 pounds of food. On a weekly basis, one of the Houston locations preps leftover food to donate to the Light of the World Christian Fellowship. The chain also participates in several other charitable endeavors, including donating to the Salvation Army, per News 5 Cleveland. And in April 2022, the restaurant raised money for the families of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, police officers following a shooting, according to LebTown.
Bonus: Dinner Fundraising Ideas
Dinner fundraising is a great way to raise some extra money for your cause. You could be a church, school, nonprofit, or political group, and still make the most of such events.
To leverage its full potential, you need strong planning and amazing advertising skills. In fact, most nonprofits tap into the momentum that can be created through social media, email marketing, and word of mouth.
Here are 4 unique and interesting dinner fundraising ideas to help you get started.
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Make Sustainability A Priority
Making your restaurant a little more sustainable can be great for the planet and for your local farmers. By purchasing ingredients directly from local farmers or foodie entrepreneurs, you can provide a valuable source of income for those who might otherwise be left out of large, corporate sourcing agreements.
One way that restaurants are connecting with local farmers is through platforms like Farmd. Farmd is a B2B marketplace that connects food buyers like restaurants with local food growers. The creator of Farmd is actually a former restaurateur who started the business after he was unable to find an economical way to buy local produce. Today, the Farmd marketplace has more than 400 restaurants and retailers on the platform, and more than 70 farms.
If marketplaces like Farmd arent available in your area, organizations like REAP Food Group work to connect the agricultural industry with the food industry. Through the program, restaurants can secure fresh, in-season ingredients to create sustainable menus, while local farmers secure a stable source of income.
Donation Fatigue Is Real Be Prepared To Explain Yourself
So lets start with clear communication. I fell into a whispered discussion with a group of chefs, including Jennifer Carroll and Kerri Sitrin, who made the leap from restaurants to starting her own consulting and marketing company during the pandemic. Everyone expressed donation fatigue. This letter sprung from our collective mindset. If youre a chef searching for a response to all the asks, this is yours to copy and paste.
Dear event organizer,
Yours sounds like a truly worthy cause and one that I would gladly support with the following stipulations. If you would like me to cook at your event, I will require the following.
If you would like me to donate food, please bear in mind that I can only do so in a way that ensures my small business remains viable.
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Restaurants No Longer On The List
To keep this site up to date, I remove the links to restaurants when they no longer show a fundraising page. If you see a page for any of these drop a line in the comments section, and I’ll update it. Thanks.
- Chevys – Removed August 2017
- Go Roma – Removed May 2019
- Moe’s – Removed May 2019
- Lone Star Steakhouse – Removed October 2019 – Ceased operation in 2017.
- Soup Plantation and Sweet Tomatoes – Removed June 2020 – Impacted by Covid-19 and closed all restaurants in May 2020. States were not allowing buffet and self-service style restaurants to re-open amid the current pandemic.
- Buffalo Wild Wings – Removed September 2022 – Removed information regarding fundraisers.
Pizza Hut Rewards Kids For Reading
You might know Pizza Hut for its super cheesy pizza and stuffed-crust pies, but behind the scenes, the popular pizza chain is also very charitable. Back in 1992, the company became the first of its kind to start a food donation program using surplus ingredients and items that its stores didn’t need. Over the years, the program has resulted in over 94 million pounds of donated food to charities across the United States.
Pizza Hut also has a strong connection to students of all ages. As reported by QSR, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the company offered $500,000 in grants to educators to use for resources for their classrooms, including books. The company also launched The Literacy Project and created BOOK IT!, a program that gives kids pizza for reading. Throughout 2022, Pizza Hut committed to donating $1 from every sale of a BOOK IT!-themed meal to First Book, a nonprofit that gets books and school supplies to kids.
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How To Give Back
Its clear that giving back to the community is good for business and for the local community. But before you start organizing a fundraiser for the local animal shelter, think about the causes that are the right fit for your restaurant. This might mean revisiting your mission statement and company values to figure out which causes align with your business.
Whether your focus is on sustainability or tackling a tough social issue, there are many effective ways to give back without breaking the bank and many great organizations doing impactful work. While this list is in no way comprehensive, weve highlighted some favorites to give you a few ideas of whats out there.
The Cheesecake Factory Launched A Foundation
The Cheesecake Factory started as a family-operated cheesecake shop, and eventually grew into a popular restaurant chain with a seemingly never-ending menu. One of the ways The Cheesecake Factory thanks local communities for turning the eatery into the famous dining spot it is today is by giving back. The Cheesecake Factory Oscar & Evelyn Overton Charitable Foundation was founded in 2001 to help a number of efforts, donating millions of dollars to causes like hunger relief and cancer research.
As Cleveland.com reported in 2020, to celebrate National Cheesecake Day that year , The Cheesecake Factory gave a dollar to Feeding America for every piece of cheesecake sold. To sweeten its gift, it continued donating $0.25 per slice for a year. The eatery also created the Nourish Program to donate unsold food to food banks and other organizations.
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Can Restaurants Donate Leftover Food
Food waste is a problem around the world, and restaurants play a large role. Lets see the legal ways businesses can donate unused food.
Each year, 40 million tons of food is wasted in the United States thats over 25% of the total US food supply. With so many people going hungry across the country, it is often wondered if restaurants can help give away unused food. After all, estimates indicate that the food industry spends $162 billion every year in costs related to wasted food.
So, can restaurants donate leftover food?
Simply put, yes restaurants can donate unused food. However, businesses must adhere to a few guidelines to ensure safety.
Starbucks Has Donated Over Five Million Meals
The giant coffee chain has equally giant goals: By 2020, they want to give away 50 million free meals, according to a representative. In partnership with Feeding America and City Harvest, Starbucks has been rescuing 100% of food available to donate from all of their US stores including breakfast sandwiches, paninis, Bistro Boxes and salads through Starbucks FoodShare. To date they have donated more than five million meals, according to Starbucks.
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Asking Businesses For Donations On Facebook Step By Step
Want more? You what restaurants donate food to schools get some automated responses right away, and most businesses will respond within one business day. For the best results: In your email or letter, include a short note that refers to your Facebook query, e. I contacted you all on Facebook and John said I should send this to you. The small cost of including a SASE, especially when contacting museums, theaters, and other attractions, will be pay off many times over because you will get more responses from busy donors than you would otherwise. Yes We consider donations for school fundraisers please use our Web request form Many business chains and large companies only accept donation requests through Web forms, but a growing number of smaller businesses are using these too.
Chipotle Makes Its Mark On Food Sustainability
Chipotles vision says it all: We believe that food has the power to change the world. The food chain sticks by its values by crafting Mexican-inspired quick meals with real ingredients and organic produce. It even makes sure its materials are as good for the planet as its ingredients are for your body by reducing plastic waste and recycling. Its Chipotle Cultivate Foundation focuses on improving food sustainability through innovative processes and donations to family farms, research, education, and other efforts that target sustainability.
The company continues to change the world through not just its food and sustainability efforts, but also its philanthropy. One way it does that is by hosting events with local organizations, such as schools and sports teams, and donating a portion of its event revenue to the organizations. According to Chipotle, the company gives back a whopping 33% of event sales and has hosted more than 303,000 community events as of April 2022.
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Which Restaurants Do Fundraisers
There are thousands of restaurants that do fundraisers! From fast food fundraisers atKrispy Kreme,Chipotle, andChick-fil-A to fundraisers at casual dining restaurants such asApplebees andTexas Roadhouse, youre sure to find a place for your group. You can find restaurants that allow fundraising on the GroupRaise website.
Jersey Mike’s Raised $20 Million In One Day
Compared to other national restaurant chains, Jersey Mike’s is on the somewhat smaller end in terms of locations and revenue. To illustrate, Jersey Mike’s earned $255.4 million in revenue in 2020, according to the Franchise Times per Macrotrends, McDonald’s earned $19.20 billion the same year. Despite its smaller earnings and fewer locations, Jersey Mike’s holds its own as a charitable organization. One of its most well-known programs is its Day of Giving, which it holds annually on the last Wednesday of March. The Day of Giving is when 100% of the company’s sales go straight to nonprofits. In 2022, the company raised $20 million for the Special Olympics USA Games just from its one-day charity event.
The New Jersey-based restaurant chain doesn’t stop with its Day of Giving, from which it’s raised more than $47 million since its start in 2011. Jersey Mike’s also partners with Wreaths Across America, an organization that raises funds to place wreaths on all Arlington National Cemetery gravesites. When Jersey Mike’s customers donate to the charity, the company matches up to $500,000 of donations.
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