Here’s one good idea to give back to your community and at the same time promote your restaurant to the locals: school fundraisers.
Schools are constantly looking for ways to raise money, and your restaurant can get involved in a variety of ways. This kind of event, however, needs to be handled with a certain degree of caution. The activity can easily be seen as a sheer publicity stint and might damage both the donation proceeds and the restaurant’s reputation. But if you handle this well, the affair will generate great publicity in your local area, with the overall effect being just as good as having paid for local advertisement in your community.
Restaurant night fundraisers are known to be one of the most lucrative ways to raise money for a cause. This is perfect for business as it makes your place look good—giving back to the community has a way of enhancing a business’ corporate image. The event also introduces new diners to your restaurant—people who might not visit otherwise.
Choose one of your slow nights, and finalize with the organizers the number of hours that they can block your restaurant for the night. You can agree if you could facilitate dining through coupons (or tickets) and still open the place for other patrons, or closing the place entirely for their exclusive use. Decide on the menu, and the percentage that each party receives.
Bake sales is also one of the most popular ways to raise funds for schools, and you can participate in it. Bank on the idea that the community always finds ways to support schools, and they would want to support businesses that have the same cause as they do. You have two ways to do your Bake Sales Fundraiser—donate the baked goods entirely, or allow the school children, in their dainty kid’s aprons, to bake the goods at your restaurant.
If you donate the bake goods, you can set up the venue yourself, with a subtly-done signage that can discreetly let people know that you are the team behind those delicious pastries. If you choose the second option, you can also make use of a tactfully-made sign that says that the goods were baked in your restaurant, just to let people know that you are involved.
School Cooking Class
You can make arrangements with the school to promote the cooking class, accept enrollments, and hold the lessons in your restaurant. It could be held during your slowest hours, or could be done when you are closed. Allow the chefs to teach the children in kid’s aprons to cook simple menu items like customized pizza which they can top with anything they want. Make sure to invite local media to cover the event. The dishes that the children cooked could also be sold and added to the fundraising proceeds.
Another great way to get involved is to come up with a specialty dish and name it after the school’s cause. Arrange with the organizers that they shall involve everyone in their group to promote the signature dish, and you, in turn, shall donate a percentage of the food’s amount to the project fund.
DON’T FORGET PUBLICITY. For all your good intentions, you still want to do something for the business, and the presence of local media during the event would help a lot in generating good publicity for the restaurant as well as for the school’s cause. Interviews of the restaurant management and the fundraising organizers would resonate more with the local audience. Posters would be of extreme help, too.