Connecting your restaurant and community

Would you like to connect your restaurant with your local community more? Being a positive part of the community is everyone’s responsibility and I can’t tell people enough how important it is for businesses no matter what size, to play their part. We can all do more to help those around us and it doesn’t need to always come at a huge cost to your business.

  • Schools & Colleges.

Local school and colleges are often looking for support from great local businesses like yours. Meet with school and college liaison officers to understand what support they may be looking for in the future. Could your business offer work experience or apprenticeship experience for students? Is there a recruitment or training opportunity for you to take part in? Colleges and universities that offer catering or hospitality courses can be a great source of local employment for your business. Also, dance and acting academies can have an endless steady stream of energetic and confident students who could make incredible assets to your front of house team. Sponsoring a prize at the annual awards ceremony can also showcase your business as one that cares about more than just profits to a room packed full of your ideal guest – the proud parents of teenagers! Stand out and stand up for the future, you could all end up winners!

  • Charities.

Supporting charities both large and small is very close to my heart and always has been. When working with charities in a business sense, it can often be successful for all involved. Understand which charities are in your local area or which national charities heavily align with your vision is again important. From sponsoring key events like Colour Runs or Moonlit Walks to having an item on your menu that will raise money every time it is ordered are a great way to communicate your passion whilst helping others. Often at Christmas, I will highlight a special on a menu and every time that is ordered we donate £1 to a local charity that feeds the homeless and the business matches the total by the end of December. The charity actively promotes the work we do and likewise everyone who is a part of our business does the same. Everyone wins.

  • Finding your cause.

Finding a cause that really makes you come alive can be incredibly inspiring for both your team and your guests. Maybe helping to solve loneliness in the elderly, connecting new mums or providing food for the hungry feels important to you. How can your business have an impact? Connecting with local organisations, church groups or local newspaper could be a great place to start to connect with elderly people and hosting a monthly coffee morning could really make a difference. Connecting with new mums on forums like Net Mums could be a great way of impacting those who feel isolated and giving them an opportunity to meet face to face. Or perhaps your business can help to support your local food bank? Either making your business a drop-off point for people to leave their canned goods or to committing to donating food yourselves, helping those who need it most in your community can be incredibly humbling and worthwhile for all. Alternatively offering your workforce to help make sandwiches for the homeless, hosting a coffee morning for those who are alone once a month, or donating leftover products are a great way to support your community. The more we can help each other, the more opportunity we have to grow and give more back, and ultimately everyone wins.

With effort from all sides, incredible partnerships can be formed that go on to make huge impacts for your community and may even generate revenue streams for your business.

*This is an extract from forthcoming book “The Five Star Formula” by Joy Zarine which will be available to purchase Summer 2017.

 

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