Good for your Business, Good for the Cause
In 2012, more than 8,200 restaurants supported Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry® campaign by participating in Dine Out For No Kid Hungry. Together, they raised $5.9 million! Hundreds of independent and single-unit restaurateurs took part during No Kid Hungry month last September.
Dine Out For No Kid Hungry is a turnkey fundraising program that's easy for restaurant entrepreneurs to execute, and brings employees and customers together around a cause that touches every community: ending childhood hunger in America.
Fresh Ideas for Your Promotion
Participation in the Dine Out For No Kid Hungry offers complete flexibility. The best way to raise funds is whatever fits your operation best. Here are some of the most popular (and successful) ideas, shared by past participants.
Provide guests with a discount coupon in exchange for a donation.
- Donate $5 and receive $5 off your next dinner purchase of $25 or more.
- Donate $10 and receive a complimentary dessert with your next meal purchase.
Donate a set amount for specific items purchased. This is a great way to introduce a new menu item.
- [Restaurant Name]will donate $1 for every bowl of soup purchased in September.
- Try the NEW Spicy Chicken Pasta Bowl and [Restaurant Name] will donate $5 of the purchase price during September.
- [Restaurant Name] will donate $15 in the name of each guest who orders from the prix fix menu during the week of September 15, 2013.
Ask guests for a set donation to participate in a special food-and-drink event instead of charging an entry fee. These connect the community to the cause.
- Speed dating event or mixer
- Wine dinner or craft beer tasting
- Champagne brunch
- Themed kids parties
- Catered block parties or neighborhood carnivals
How’d they do it?
Here's what a few restaurateurs have done to rev up their staffs, raise funds and spread the word about the No Kid Hungry campaign:
Bellizzi Restaurant, Mt. Kisco, N.Y.
This local favorite participated for the first time last year (2012). They wanted to raise awareness around the issue of childhood hunger, and motivate their community to make a difference by supporting the No Kid Hungry campaign. Employees, owners and customers all made contributions, raising $3,200 in one week.
- The owners donated 10% of all sales during Dine Out For No Kid Hungry week.
- Waitstaff asked guests to make a donation, and gave those who did a discount coupon equal to the amount of their donation (up to $10) to use on their next visit.
- Employees donated the equivalent of one hour’s wages.
Bellizzi used materials available from our Online Resource Center — including downloadable point-of-purchase materials and templates for social media posts, employee communications, and emails to consumers—to market their promotion to the community.
Benchmarc Restaurants (Landmarc and Ditch Plains), New York City
Last year (2012), chef-proprietor Marc Murphy tripled the amount of money he raised during Dine Out For No Kid Hungry to $1,230 by running a menu promotion with special kid-appeal in his three restaurants: For every ice cream cone, Ditch’wich dessert or kids meal purchased, he donated $1. He also donated $1 for every online purchase of a jar of his signature caramels.
- On Facebook, both his personal page and his restaurants’ pages.
- Tweeting reminders about the promotions to his followers.
- Servers talked to guests about the promotion, that it was raising money to help end childhood hunger in America, and asking if they’d like to add a donation with their check.
- Placing cards on each table to tell guests about the promotion and the No Kid Hungry campaign it supported.
Says Murphy, "In the restaurant business, we feed people every day, so it's very difficult to imagine that one in five children in this country doesn’t get the food he or she needs."
Marc is also the official spokesperson for Dine Out For No Kid Hungry, helping to drive consumers to all registered restaurants across the country with TV interviews and public service announcements on Food Network and radio in early September.
Baker's Restaurant, Elkton, Md.
Wendy and Robert Matthews are third-generation owners of this Cecil County landmark. The family restaurant is normally closed on Tuesdays, but in 2011, they decided to open for business on Tuesday, September 22 and donate 100% of the day's proceeds to the No Kid Hungry campaign. In effect, they made that Tuesday "No Kid Hungry Day".
Wendy sent out a press release about their promotion and landed three-day coverage in the local paper, before, during and after their No Kid Hungry Day. She also posted information about the promotion on their Facebook page and used their Fishbowl account to email customers about the event. Business was brisk on the 22nd and the 190-seat full-service restaurant raised $4,040 that day, to the pride of the entire staff who donated their time as well as all their tips for the day.