The holidays are behind us, but that doesn’t mean the season of giving is over. As a restaurant owner you should always look at ways to give back to those in your community. By no means do you need to break the bank. There are several fun, unique and inexpensive ways to return the favor to your patrons.
- Purchase food from locals. This may seem like the obvious choice, right? But hesitation lies in how am I going to incorporate this into my menu? Don’t over think it! So many local farmers and regions offer everyday products like garlic, walnuts, lemons and honey. There are so many local farms that focus on ancient grains, milled-flour and whole-grain blends. By just purchasing these everyday staples from your neighbors, you are showing your support and investing back into your community.
- Link up with a charity. By hosting a pancake breakfast before hours, or allowing your store to be a drop off for an item in need, you are not only supporting those around you, but you are driving traffic into the store. Showing your support for others in a time of need will give your community confidence in your established restaurant.
- Social Media Promotion. Maybe you physically or financially cannot support your neighbor the way you would want, but you can certainly make your patrons and community more aware you care. By recognizing other local businesses in your area, you are showing the public that you are all about family. Don’t be afraid to showcase another event in town that week, or a new movie that premiered at the local cinema. If your budget allows, offer a discount if they attend your shop after the previous event announced by a social post!
- Hire from within. Those summer months will be here before we know it and warm weather is around the corner. Your restaurant will be busier, and help is needed! Offer high-school kids or college students that are home for the summer to go back to their roots and work just down the street from where they are raised. It’s a way to bring in old and new customers each day.
- Look for local manufacturers. Maybe your restaurant needs new tables and chairs, or you're remodeling and could use new décor. Check with local artists and furniture stores. You’d be surprised at what you can find…and save on shipping!!!
I hope this helps make you feel better about supporting your local area without breaking the bank. Don’t forget to check with your local chamber of commerce for other opportunities to team up in your neighborhood.