It's All Good.
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!
More than 7,000 multi-unit operations ran fundraising promotions in September during No Kid Hungry month 2012. They reported exceptional business results—increases in sales or traffic, incremental transactions from above-average coupon redemption rates, great social media buzz, and unprecedented employee excitement.
How brands leveraged Dine Out For No Kid Hungry to achieve business objectives while raising funds and spreading the word about a compelling cause: ending childhood hunger in America.
Bruegger’s Bagels (Burlington, Vt.)
Bruegger’s CEO has stated that the brand participates in Dine Out For No Kid Hungry because no child in America should ever go hungry, and restaurants are a logical source of help. The company leaders converted their passion into an ambitious fundraising goal: to quadruple its donation to $100,000 in 2012 from $25,000 in 2011. The brand ran a month-long customer donation program in September, and gave customers a coupon booklet valued at $20 in exchange for a $3 donation at the register. They also drove Facebook activity in September: Every “Like” triggered a $1 donation to the No Kid Hungry campaign. In the end, Bruegger’s blew past it goal and raised $122,000 for the No Kid Hungry campaign.
Ted’s Montana Grill (Atlanta):
This 44-unit brand has participated in Dine Out For No Kid Hungry for three years, and during that time, experienced sales increases (2011), repeat traffic through coupon redemptions (2011 and 2012), and in 2012, a 10th anniversary celebration aimed at channeling employee enthusiasm into raising $150,000—10 times what they'd raised in 2011. The company ran four different guest-donation promotions during the year, employed a full battery of employee training techniques, and beat their goal: They raised $159,300. Read How »
The promotion had four phases:
- Spring: Customers who added a donation of $2 or more to their check received a Ted's $2 bill to use towards a future entrée purchase.
- Summer: Guests rounded up their check, and Ted's donated the rounded up portion.
- September (No Kid Hungry month): Guests made a $1, $5, $10 or $20 donation by circling the donation amount on their receipt. During Dine Out For No Kid Hungry week, guests who donated $5 or more received a voucher for $5 off a future purchase of $20.
- Summer through December: Paid online and social media ads invited the public to donate in exchange for a Ted's $2 bill. Donations of $5 or more made during Dine Out For No Kid Hungry week received the $5-off voucher on a future $20 purchase.
Promotional materials and meticulous crew training instilled confident execution:
- Emails to guests about the restaurant's support of No Kid Hungry for its 10th anniversary.
- Posts on the company's social media accounts.
- Flyers for managers to distribute locally with business cards and to-go menus.
- In-store posters, check toppers (presented on top of the guest's check portfolio), and specific donation amounts printed on receipts for guests to select before closing out their check.
- Paid online ads encouraging online donations.
- Employee cheat-sheets, cards and stickers to reference in their order books, posted near phones, and inserted in new-hire packets.
- Step-by-step waitstaff instructions on what, specifically, to say and do during each phase.
- Mandatory training videos for crew to view pre-shift, and e-learning modules with quizzes!
- Employee contests (with prizes) to reach specific fundraising thresholds, and system-wide recognition of the high-achievers.
- Motivational messages about the program's progress from top management to all store employees. The entire effort built on the company's culture of Big Sky spirit—hospitality in its most expansive sense.
Corner Bakery Cafe (Dallas, Tex.):
Over the past five years, 151-unit Corner Bakery Cafe has donated nearly $1million to No Kid Hungry by participating in Dine Out For No Kid Hungry. Each year, the company’s employees embraced the program as a way to give to those less fortunate through a cause that made sense for their business and to their guests. That, in return, drove repeat guest visits. Last year, Corner Bakery donated $300,000—its highest ever—and benefitted from additional guest traffic with an average 25% redemption rate on a tiered coupon promotion. More on how they did it »
Between September 1 and 23, 2012, employees encouraged guests to donate $1 or more to No Kid Hungry. Guests who donated $1 to $4.99 received a voucher for a free Whoopie Pie on a future visit, and guests who donated $5 or more received a booklet of offers worth $45+ on future visits. Guests wrote their names on donation cards that employees posted in the cafes to show support for the cause. Many even created eye-catching displays with the signed cards that attracted additional attention to the cause and the promotion.
Corner Bakery promoted the program with in-store signage and table sleeves, its guest e-newsletter and through Facebook and Twitter. They also helped guests understand the importance of the cause by including local statistics about childhood hunger in the materials.
Joe's Crab Shack (Ignite Restaurant Group, Houston, Tex.):
This 118-unit casual dining concept surprised everyone last year, its fifth as a Dine Out For No Kid Hungry restaurant partner, by raising more than $1 million for the No Kid Hungry campaign—a 44% increase over 2011. It did it by building on what had worked well in 2011: Running a tiered guest-donation promotion for all of September (No Kid Hungry month), donating a percentage of merchandise sales during September, creating 400+ special events at the local level to foster employee ownership and build guest excitement, and incenting GMs, directors and regional VPs to outperform each other. What happened? »
Employee enthusiasm and incentives fueled patron passion and record results:
- Coupon redemption rates played a critical role in meeting the promotion's objectives: drive traffic and sales, and increase transactions and donations
- 10% redemption on a $1 coupon (get a coupon for a free order of Key Lime Pie on your next visit with a $1 donation)
- 23% on a $5 coupon (donate $5, get a coupon for a free order of crab nachos),
- 59% on a $10 coupon (get a coupon for a free Classic Steampot with a $10 donation)
Joe's also boosted its social media activity: 404,000 new visitors to their website and 9,391 new Facebook fans in September. Joe's tweeted throughout September about its No Kid Hungry activities and promotions, and the stores used check inserts, posters and table tents to tell patrons about No Kid Hungry and encourage them to donate.