Are we in the midst of an economic recession? Maybe? Is there a soft landing on the horizon? It depends on whom you ask. The TL;DR answer is: we don’t know. Whether this is an “official” recession or not, we can all agree: Times are weird, food prices are high, and people are cutting back on spending. Not great news for the restaurant business.
However, if we look at history, all recessions come to an end. If the economy doesn’t recover, well, we have other problems on our hands. The question is, will your company be ready to bounce back and seize opportunity?
If you’re the type to boldly lean into the downswing and use it to find new opportunities, consider this recession-proof tactic that can drive sales, bring in new customers, AND support vital community causes. Yes folks, we’re talking about (you guessed it) restaurant fundraisers.
Here’s why restaurant fundraisers (aka “give-back events”) are a no-fail way to tell the recession to go suck one of its expensive eggs.
At first glance, one may think fundraisers cost restaurants money. How could a restaurant give away 20% of sales repeatedly and come out on top? Ask the big brands like Chipotle and Chick-Fil-A – they host fundraisers constantly. And the more, the merrier – these restaurants have figured out that by hosting these events and helping others, the drive in sales on slower nights of the week more than make up for the donation percentage. The average fundraiser brings in about $600 in sales – by automating the fundraiser process through Force4Good, these easy and effective events can be hosted on slower nights of the week when your restaurant needs the sales boost.
But sales are just one piece of the pie – which leads us to our next point.
Not only do fundraisers drive sales, they also help your business attract new customers. In fact, we’ve found that the average fundraiser brings in 20 new customers! People from all walks of life come out to support fundraisers, including those who have never visited your restaurant. Fundraisers are the perfect opportunity to put your best foot forward and score new customers for life (and giving back makes a great first impression).
Another consideration – these new customers are paying full price for your food during the fundraiser. You don’t have to discount your menu or get new customers used to paying a cheaper price like BOGO deals or other common promos.
While your restaurant may be feeling the effects of the economic downturn, it’s important to remember that tough times affect everyone. Local organizations like non-profits, sports teams, and school groups all need extra support when their communities cut back on donations.
These groups may be receiving even less support from their usual sources as budgets tighten – many rely on fundraisers to stay afloat. By offering restaurant fundraisers, you’re not only driving your own sales, you’re investing in your local community and establishing your business as a supportive pillar. People remember the good that you do.
There are numerous studies pointing to the ever-growing trend that customers love purpose-driven brands and prefer to spend their money at businesses that align with their values. According to the Havas Group’s 2021 Meaningful Brands study, “77% of Consumers expect brands to show support to people in times of crisis.” This also extends to employees, who enjoy working for businesses that do good in the world and uplift the communities where they work and live. And speaking of your staff…
Force4Good was created hand-in-hand with restaurant operators. We know how busy your restaurant teams are – our goal is to make fundraisers seamless with your restaurant experience without adding to your team’s workload. In fact, we’ve found that our software reduces fundraiser administration time by 97%. Gone are the days of napkin math and phone tag with organizers. We’ve automated complicated and nuanced tasks like tax verification and creating marketing materials so your restaurant teams can focus on the business and customers in front of them – which makes everyone’s experience better.
The cherry on top of Force4Good’s approach is that our service is incredibly simple to implement. You could sign up now for our Pro tier ($19/mo early bird pricing) and have your brand set up to host fundraisers in mere minutes. For restaurants that want more options and the best results, we also offer our full white-labeled enterprise service for $49 per month, which takes about 30 days of customization for features like branded emails and a customized fundraiser website.
If you’d like to give fundraisers a try, but aren’t ready to commit quite yet, check it out – we just launched our free self-service portal! You’ll get full access to ALL Force4Good Pro features for 30 days, and you can continue using our free tier forever. You can see the full list of plans, features and pricing here.
Restaurant fundraisers are the perfect tool to help your restaurant grow during the tough times and thrive once the economic pendulum swings the other direction. They effectively tackle the issue from two sides – while you grow loyalty and welcome new customers, you secure your place in the community and become part of the solution.
Hopefully we’re heading towards a “soft landing,” which means there may be a light at the end of this downturn’s tunnel. If this is true, now is the time to get the wheels spinning – and we’d love to help.
If you’re interested in creating a restaurant fundraiser program that:
…we’d love to talk with you. Contact us or schedule a demo with Force4Good today!
State of Fundraising Report