In this era, where social responsibility and community engagement are more crucial than ever, restaurants are stepping up to the plate. From organizing local fundraisers to supporting global initiatives, restaurants are proving that they serve more than just food—they serve hope, resilience, and unity.
Interested to join the trend? Ahead, we’ll uncover the step-by-step guide to running restaurant fundraisers in the restaurant industry for a better tomorrow. Let’s dig in!
What are Restaurant Fundraisers?
Restaurant fundraisers are special events where a group of diners eat at a specified restaurant on a particular day, and the profits are divided between the organization and the restaurant. These are often organized by non-profit organizations, community groups, and schools to raise funds for a charitable cause or to help cover the costs of various activities.
These fundraisers are typically formulated through an agreement between the fundraising group and the restaurant, with both parties benefitting from the event.
Some well-known restaurants that participate in these fundraisers include BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse, Blaze Pizza, Applebee’s, and Chipotle, among others.
Step-by-step Guide to Running a Restaurant Fundraiser
The steps to running a restaurant fundraiser are quite detailed. Follow the step-by-step guide below!
Set Up a Fundraising Committee
A well-organized committee is key to a successful fundraiser. Their responsibility includes planning, organizing, and executing the event.
To establish a fundraising committee for a restaurant fundraiser, identify passionate individuals with relevant skills, then assign roles such as chairperson, treasurer, marketing lead, and logistics coordinator.
Set clear goals for the fundraiser, including fundraising target and number of attendees. Then, develop a detailed plan and hold regular meetings for progress checks and adjustments.
Choose a Partner Restaurant
After a proper committee has been established, start choosing a potential partner restaurant. This involves identifying a restaurant that aligns with your cause, has the capacity to host your event, and is willing to collaborate on terms beneficial to your fundraising goals.
Factors to consider may include the restaurant’s location, reputation, menu, and willingness to donate a portion of the event’s proceeds. Plus, ensure that the partnering restaurant has ample capacity to accommodate all the expected customers.
Arrange a Meeting With the Restaurant Manager
Arranging a meeting with the restaurant manager provides an opportunity to discuss your case, your goals for the event, and how the restaurant can contribute to its success.
Topics for discussion might include the date and time of the event, menu options, the percentage of proceeds that will be donated, and any promotional support the restaurant can provide.
Select a Fundraising Period
Decide on the event duration, whether a single day, a week or even a month, depending on the restaurant’s policy and your fundraising goals. Factors to consider include the potential attendance, the restaurant’s capacity, and how long it might take to reach your financial target.
The selected period should provide enough time to maximize donations while maintaining the interest and engagement of your potential donors. It’s also important to consider the timing in terms of any competing events and the availability of your target audience.
Decide How the Proceeds Will Be Split
Agree on the percentage of the event’s revenue the restaurant will donate to your cause. The specifics of this arrangement can vary widely, from a flat fee for use of the venue to a percentage of the total sales made during the fundraising period.
It’s essential to negotiate a deal that both supports the restaurant’s business and allows you to reach your fundraising goals. It is common for a 10-20% split, though it is also possible to negotiate a higher percentage.
Promote Your Restaurant Fundraiser
To ensure success, promote your restaurant fundraiser. This involves creating awareness and generating excitement about your event among potential attendees. You can use various channels for promotion, including social media platforms, email newsletters, flyers, local press, community bulletin boards, and word-of-mouth.
Your promotional materials should clearly communicate the purpose of the fundraiser, the date, location, and time of the event, and how the proceeds will be used.
Consider a Reservation System
Implementing a reservation system can help manage the flow of guests, ensuring that the restaurant doesn’t become overcrowded and that attendees have a pleasant experience. Reservation systems also allow you to anticipate the number of guests and accordingly prepare staff and food supplies.
It could be as simple as a sign-up sheet or an online booking platform.
Thank Your Supporters After the Event
Thank your attendees, volunteers, and the restaurant staff for showing your appreciation for their time and contributions. This can be done through various means, such as personalized thank-you notes, emails, social media shout-outs, or even a public acknowledgment at a follow-up event.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are restaurant fundraisers worth it?
Yes, restaurant fundraisers are generally considered to be worth it. They are an efficient way to raise funds for many causes, including schools and non-profit organizations.
Is fundraising just money?
No, fundraising isn’t just about money. It also involves relationship building, raising awareness, fostering community engagement, and sometimes includes in-kind donations.
Which are the 4 main categories of fundraising?
The four main fundraising categories are individual giving, corporate giving, foundation grants, and special events.
Restaurant fundraisers are more than just about raising funds. They are about unity, community engagement, and paving the way for a better tomorrow. By stepping into the world of restaurant fundraisers, we’re not just supporting the individual beneficiaries but also helping to build stronger, more resilient communities.
These events create a domino effect of positivity, fostering a sense of camaraderie and mutual support that ripples out into the wider community. Through our collective efforts, we can make a notable impact, turning small steps into giant leaps toward positive change.