The restaurant industry donates $3 billion to the community.

“You really should give back to the community” Yeah, I’ve heard that one before. Before you come in with objections of time, money or the time-money combo deal, let me shed some light on a few of the returns giving back has that you may not have considered.

ROI on guest loyalty

The bond between you and your guests is what your whole business is based on. To start, think about your guests’ interests; what are they passionate about? The easiest way to find out is to ask. They’ll be flattered that you want their input. It’s just one step that starts a conversation, providing a tangible connection to deepen those relationships.

ROI through publicity

Find a cause you can own. For the sake of recognition and impact, it can be better to be a big fish in a small pond. At the end of the day you want your contributions (no matter what cause it goes to) to have a tangible, measurable impact on the efforts. If you opt for supporting a large, well-known charity, your restaurant can be a change agent at the local chapter level.

ROI on staff retention

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ tells us the quit rate in the restaurant sector was 50.3% last year. It’s no wonder morale is a major factor when it comes to managing and motivating your staff. One way to do that is by connecting with charities your team cares about. Initiating their feedback by putting out a poll or putting it to a vote, allows them to bring causes they care about to the table. The stats speak loud and clear, 72% of the people who are already employed by a company want their employers to be more involved in good causes. A little effort to get your staff’s feedback can make a world of difference on your retention rate.

Happy waiters and waitresses standing at the entrance of cafeter

The bottom line

You don’t need to hear from us how tough the competition in the restaurant industry is. That said- getting involved in the community can be a competitive edge to set you above the rest. But at the end of the day the biggest benefit return comes in the form of impact. The impact you’re able to have not only on the people you serve, the community you’re a part of, but the staff and customers that get to participate.

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Morgan is a restaurant veteran based in Providence. For nearly a decade, she has worked in the restaurant industry in server and bartender roles. As a graduate of Johnson & Wales University, Morgan has pursued her passion of exploring the intersection of hospitality, technology and of course, delicious food. Her favorite travel buddies are meal sharers who enjoy being adventurous and trying something different.