In today’s world filled with so many people just struggling to make ends meet along with so many people getting sick and terminally ill, it is becoming increasingly popular for restaurants to involve a particular charity organization with their food challenge. Typically, restaurants set the rules up so that the purchase price of the challenge goes to the charity organization along with any other proceeds that stem from having the challenge. As you learned in Reasons To Have A Food Challenge, an eating challenge can be an event opportunity for your customers, and therefore involving a charity with your challenge allows people to have a fun event while helping a charity out at the same time. A guy may not want to try to eat a 2kg burger on a normal night, but that man may be more inclined to try if he is also helping a particular charity by attempting the challenge. Involving a charity organization can be a great marketing technique to help your challenge grow, but it will definitely backfire if you are doing it for the wrong reasons. Here are five very important things to consider before making the decision to involve a particular charity organization around you with your restaurant’s new food challenge:

There should be a reason that “hits close to home” – One characteristic of successful challenges linked with a charity organization is that the particular charity has special meaning to the owners of the restaurant or to a significant member of the restaurant staff. If the owners have kids with special needs, they may link the food challenge to the particular charity that helps people with special needs. If a server that has been there for years finds out that she has breast cancer, then the restaurant may set up a challenge linked to helping to find a cure for breast cancer in her honor. If the charity “hits close to home” then the community will be much more likely to want to get involved. Many people want to help those in need around them, and they will want to help the meaningful people in their lives such as the owners of the restaurant or bar nearby that they frequently visit.

The reasons need to be genuine – Your charity challenge will completely backfire if the reasons for it are not because you genuinely want to help that organization. You can’t fake it either, so make sure you are 110% committed before you announce that you are doing it, which is why I recommend you choose an organization that is meaningful to you. If people feel that you are just doing it as a publicity stunt, you will be called out very quickly by your customers and your restaurant’s reputation will take a very unnecessarily damaging blow.

Don’t choose a large organization – If your plan is to involve a large organization such as Red Cross where the CEO of the “charity” makes more money than you and all of your customers, you should stop before you even start because it won’t work. People don’t want to donate money and help “charities” that use a majority of the money donated to them for advertising and salaries. Use smaller charities where everyone volunteers.

Don’t let your customers pick anything at all – Nothing screams that your charity challenge is a marketing and publicity stunt more than asking your customers which charity you should use or letting them choose which charity to give the proceeds from their challenge to. Your customers will see right through this poor and inconsiderate effort and you won’t get much positive feedback. People will only get involved if they really feel that they are helping the charity through doing your challenge. They definitely won’t get involved if they feel that you are using a charity to gain more from the situation than the charity that you are supposedly helping.

Your goal should not be to make money – Almost all charity challenges are set up so that when people fail the challenge, their money gets donated to the particular charity, so the actual money donated comes from the customers while the food is donated by the restaurant. At the very most, a few restaurants keep a little bit of the money to cover some of their food costs. If your goal is to still make money even after “donating” a portion of the proceeds to the charity, then your challenge will not work, because you are doing it for the completely wrong reasons and customers will see right through that, and they will probably call you out on it. Please note that this only involves the actual challenge, and this does not include the restaurant making money off all the people that came with the actual customer taking the challenge to eat regular meals, which is encouraged.

If you follow these guidelines when deciding whether or not you should involve a charity with your challenge, you will definitely choose the correct answer. If a particular charity fits your restaurant and food challenge, working with the charity will definitely be beneficial to both of you because you will be able to help the charity financially while establishing a great name and reputation for your restaurant around the community. The charity that you are helping will more than likely want to help you too, and they will steer people towards your restaurant because you are helping them, and then both parties definitely benefit and will grow together. If after reading these guidelines, you don’t think that involving a charity will work for you, then don’t do it. A charity food challenge for the wrong reasons will backfire and damage your restaurant more than help, and so therefore you are better off just setting up a regular food challenge for your restaurant. Charity challenges can be very beneficial for your restaurant’s marketing if set up correctly for the right reasons, and hopefully this article helped you decide whether or not a charity food challenge is right for you and your restaurant / cafe.

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