Donating time or money to charity is a great investment for your hospitality business. Not only does it give your team a worthy cause to unite together, but it also improves customer sentiment for your business. The “halo effect” shows a correlation between the overall impression of a business and how a service or goods are perceived.
Research by the Kellogg School found charitable giving can improve a person’s perception of a business, which makes them view goods and services more favourably. A poll by Fortune magazine found millennials are especially likely to place importance on giving back to society, being more inclined to buy products from a charitable company and at least somewhat more likely to want to work for a charitable company. Not only can you get more customers into your business, it can also help you attract better talent.
Showing support for the community can be easy, simple and fun for your employees, which reinforces the relationship you have with them. Here are four ways to give back as a hospitality business.
Host a Give-Back Night
Give-back nights require very little extra effort on the part of a restaurant but can make a significant impact. Converse with employees about a local charity or cause you’d like to donate to that has personal meaning – perhaps a youth sports program around the block, or a fund to help a family member of an employee who has a personal illness. Commit to giving a portion of each table’s bill to that cause.You can promote the night in advance to maximise attendance and give whatever organisation you partner with the opportunity to spread the word for your restaurant.
During the event, wait staff and bartenders can inform their guests about the give-back night. Besides allowing customers to feel good simply by dining with you, they might even donate extra funds toward the cause or order more than usual since their bill is going toward a good cause.
Donate Unused Food to a Local Food Bank
While some Australians experience constant hunger, 1 million tonnes of food waste is disposed of by Australian businesses each year. Your restaurant can cut down on waste and help those in need by committing to donate food you would otherwise dispose of to local food bank charities.
The great news for you is that most of these charities will come directly to you, so you can give without hassle. You can set up regular donations or get pickups within 2-3 hours with OzHarvest, or get in contact with other Australian food rescue charities here.
Host Events for Disadvantaged Communities
Many Australians will never have the opportunity to eat at a restaurant, and eating meals made with local or high-quality ingredients is a luxury for many. You can give groups that are disadvantaged the opportunity to enjoy a special meal at your restaurant. Your staff will have the chance to serve those in need, which can help them get more involved in charitable causes themselves and for your restaurant.
Some ideas include to partner with a women’s shelter or with a Big Brothers/Big Sisters program. Your guests and the organisation you partner with can become powerful referrers for your restaurant. Hosting disadvantaged youth may inspire an interest in hospitality and help to combat the current skills shortage the industry is facing.
Serve at a Soup Kitchen
Organising a volunteer event for your hospitality staff can have a profound impact on your team and on your business. Research shows volunteering has a positive effect on lowering blood pressure, which decreases risk of heart disease and stroke.
Participating in an event where you serve those in need as a team helps strengthen bonds among staff, which translates to better service for your restaurant. Food banks throughout Sydney, including AMMA Australia, need volunteers for both serving and cooking meals.
Come Up with Ideas as a Team
There are so many other ways to give back regularly as a hospitality business, from hosting a weekend footy game for charity, to going to donate blood together. Get more participation from staff by involving them in creating ideas for ways to give back. You’ll help your community, you’ll feel more grateful for your work, and you’ll ultimately improve your business.