Give Back and Get More: How Philanthropy Can Improve Your Bar Business

Whether it be clean water, fighting disease, or feeding children, there’s no shortage of organizations trying to do good in the world. For many, the idea of giving back is a positive one; one that makes them feel good. Piggybacking off of that is the inclination to support businesses who give back as well.

In fact, Medium quotes Nielsen as reporting that 66% of patrons are willing to spend more on brands that are socially conscious, with millennials, specifically, coming in at a higher 73%. Furthermore, a whopping 81% of people report wanting to generally support brands and companies who give back to the community.

With this information, we can see that patrons of a bar or restaurant are more likely to engage and support a venue that is dedicated to fundraising for a good cause. An excellent example is how Firebirds Wood Fired Grill drove a connection with its patrons through excellent social media marketing and support of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), which raises money and awareness for childhood cancer causes and 

research. The restaurant began donating a portion of all of their house-made lemonade sales to ASLF and featured the charity’s logo on their website and menu,  in addition to inspirational photos and stories of children battling cancer. It worked.

As a result, according to an article by SuperVox, Firebirds has raised more than a staggering $1 million for the nonprofit since 2012, continued to open new restaurant locations, increase overall store sales, and deepened engagement with customers. Today, it continues to be successful, with customers who remain loyal to the restaurant and its fight against pediatric cancer.

“We integrated this in our day-to-day business and we can tell it’s impactful. We have guests coming in and buying our lemonade every day and we hear many positive reviews [about our partnership with the cause],” says Stephen Loftis, Vice President of Marketing at Firebirds.

Additionally, every June, Firebirds partakes in Alex’s Lemonade Days by setting up lemonade stands at their restaurant locations and corporate offices, with glasses selling for $3 each. The company implements email marketing with 

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event-specific hashtags and an option to donate online to get people engaged. 100% of the proceeds go back to ALSF.

So it’s more than just local support and a good environment that creates a connection with bar-goers. A dedication to giving back to the community in some way or another tells people that you care about others and that you’ll care about them, too.

“For us, it’s about doing the right thing and I think weaving your cause into your company culture is the key to seeing impact. When you do that, it really makes a difference,” says Loftis.

Not only do people want to have a quality experience and support local business, but if they can give back to the community while doing it, it’s an opportunity often impossible to pass up.

By supporting philanthropic organizations, you say to your patrons that you are aware and actionable. Putting your efforts together with your patrons’ commerce to make a difference creates a bond that keeps people coming back to you as a vehicle for a cause. It’s just a matter of picking an organization to support and executing quality social media marketing that will get people interested, active, and staying loyal to your business.

For tips and ideas on finding organizations to support, check out the National Restaurant Association’s recommendations or partner with Last Call Trivia to #ENDALZ