- Reduce food waste by passing unwanted items on
If you have a local homeless shelter or food bank then you can enquire about whether it will be possible to pass on any unwanted food items so that they don’t go to waste. Restaurants can be some of the most wasteful businesses, both in terms of raw ingredients and prepared dishes that don’t get used. If you’re able to pass this on so that it can be used to feed someone in the local community then you can make a real difference to another’s life, as well as reducing the food waste within the business and making your restaurant a more sustainable one.
- Host a fundraising event for a local cause
If there’s a cause close to your heart – such as a children’s home or an animal shelter – then look into hosting a fundraising event at your restaurant to support it. From dinners and drinks events, to quizzes or a charity auction, there is a lot that you can do, both as a venue and in terms of encouraging those who come to give to the local cause that you’ve chosen to support.
- Donate what you don’t need
From food mixers and plates, through to tables and chairs, it makes sense to give unwanted items to anyone in the local community who might be in need of them, instead of taking them to the tip. Perhaps you’re about to go through a refit and will be throwing out everything, from light fittings through to couches – or maybe you’re refreshing the kitchen equipment and need to get rid of old pieces to make way for new. Whatever the reason, before you throw anything away, think about whether there is someone living nearby who could make use of it.
- Partner with a local charity
Local partnerships are a great way to give something back to a community and there are lots of different ways to do this. For example, you could agree a night a week when profits are funneled to a local charity, as opposed to back into the business. If giving away profits seems intimidating, it’s worth noting that many restaurants that have done this have seen an increase in sales as well as in the number of customers returning after the promotional charity event.
- Source your ingredients locally
There’s probably no better way to support your local community than by doing business with its suppliers. Restaurants can have a huge impact on the local economy simply by purchasing from nearby farmers, bakers, dairies and food producers, many of whom are often working on a very small scale.
- Give your local customers discounts
Special treatment for local customers and businesses is a smart way to establish a local customer base, increase footfall and give back to your community. You might offer perks for staff of businesses in the immediate vicinity, or discounts on events, functions or special meals for local business people. Loyalty cards and discounts for nearby non-profit staff can also make a difference to those who live locally.
Socially responsible business is where it’s at today – across the restaurant sector, as well as every other industry. There are many benefits to making your business more responsible for its impact on the local community and encouraging everyone to get involved with those who live nearby. As well as attracting more local customers you’ll also be able to contribute to the restaurant’s local profile and nurture the feel good factor among staff who want to give something back. These are just some of the ways in which any restaurant can give back to its local community to make a real, positive difference.