Whether you give of your time, money, expertise, goods and services (or any combination of these), there is something to be said of the gratification received from giving back … and the example you set for staff and guests alike through Corporate Social Responsibility.
The restaurant and hospitality industry is no stranger to charitable work. In fact, according to the National Restaurant Association, 94% of U.S. restaurants make some sort of charitable donation annually to the staggering tune of $3 billion – those are impressive numbers that should spur thoughts of your own corporate giving.
Whether supporting local youth athletic teams, assisting in a community crisis with emergency relief donations of food & beverages or any other community project, our industry is willing to come together to help their communities – and VSAG is no different.
We work directly with local organizations in our region, where our impact can have the most benefit. We’ve partnered with Miriam’s Kitchen to aid in the fight to end chronic homelessness and hunger; VSAG Vice President Neil Neufeld sits on the advisory board of Sunflower Bakery, an organization dedicated to training and educating those with developmental disabilities and helping them to get jobs in pastry and baking; VSAG Vice President Scott Mowrey helped create Chad Blum Charities in his stepbrother’s name in order to raise money for the Make-A-Wish foundation. These are just a few of the many ways that individuals can be involved, where a personal connection matches the overall corporate parameters for giving.
Even though giving back to our local community is primarily about finding the best fit for our specific charitable criteria, the overall question of “How do I stand out in my community?” remains in the forefront as there are sure to be countless donation events and requests.
The key to answering that question is for restaurants to establish clear and distinctive giving parameters in order to set their brand and business apart, while also providing a sense of personal satisfaction and contribution.
For example, is your mission education? Then maybe offer a chef to teach healthy cooking in local schools/senior centers or develop a hospitality scholarship to a local college. Is your passion about giving back? We guided our client, Farmers Restaurant Group in creating a give-back program to show their thanks and respect for active duty/retired military personnel byintroducinga standard 50% discount (tax and alcohol excluded) policy for use on Memorial and Veterans Days. Or is your focus helping? Look into helping a local grass roots organization get off the ground by donating your space for their kick-off celebration.
Whatever your business’s charitable focus, the overall foundational corporate and community fit, mixed with the gratification of giving back, should prove your recipe for successfully steering your company’s social responsibility endeavor(s) – and annual business plan.