Whether donating food, time, and resources — or pledging a monetary contribution — restaurants often connect with their community and beyond through charitable and humanitarian work, especially around the holidays. Likewise, how these restaurants use their success to help others can be important in deciding where and how to spend your money. You want to know the businesses you frequent are paying it forward, that your support is going to businesses with altruism in mind. Hundreds of Rewards Network restaurants across the country participate in charitable causes each year, focusing on specific areas of giving that are important to them. Here are a few of their stories.
Nothing builds a community like coming together in support of a great cause. And offering to host fundraisers in the area is a great way to for restaurants to raise money for worthy causes. And no one knows this better than Flippin’ Pizza. Hosting community building events at their various locations in California, Virginia, and Florida, Flippin’ Pizza is able to give back to the community that has treated them so well. And schools, charities, and organizations that host fundraising night at one of the Flipping Pizza locations get 50 percent of the sales from the event to support their missions.
Besides fundraising nights, Flippin’ Pizza’s community outreach coordinator also offers gift card campaigns that can raise funds for a specific cause. During the campaign, 50 percent of every Flippin’ Dough $10 gift card purchased (for use at any of our Flippin’ Pizza locations) will be donated to the organization or school of choice. This means local community organizations are able to benefit from the pizzeria’s popularity and the community grows as a whole.
Focusing on sustainability
Community outreach doesn’t just mean donating money or goods. It’s also about restaurant owners making choices day-in and day-out that better the local environment we all live in.
Chicago suburban restaurant Blind Faith Café is all about being green and focusing on environmentally friendly practices, starting with how they run their business each day. A Certified Green Restaurant®, Blind Faith Café has implemented dozens of positive environmental steps, including recycling cooking oils and composting kitchen waste, conserving energy and water in the restaurant, and sourcing sustainable foods. A meal with Blind Faith Café in Evanston is an opportunity for diners to support sustainability close to home and reduce their own environmental impact.
Like Blind Faith Café, Sushi Samurai in Seattle is focused on providing environmentally-friendly food options to their guests. Located so close to the ocean that provides high-quality seafood to the entire area, the owners of Sushi Samurai are understandably very passionate about seafood sustainability in their restaurant. This is particularly important to them as buying responsibly can help the marine environment in their immediate waterways. Sushi Samurai avoids adding to the blight of overfishing by choosing sustainable seafood purchasing options instead. And best of all, guests can visit the restaurant and feel confident they are supporting an environmentally friendly restaurant.
Helping those far away…
For many restuarnts owners, giving to charity is very personal, even if the recipients of the good works are half a world away. The owners of Anthony’s Italian Kitchen in Alabama believe strongly in supporting The Master Cares, an organization offering supplies and aide work to communities in Uganda — including work done by the owners’ own son! Anthony’s Italian Kitchen sends a portion of its proceeds to support primary school tutoring, water and sanitation efforts, agricultural development, job training, and more. Their customers can see their money spent dining go toward a great cause and know their evening with Anthony’s Italian Kitchen has helped people in need on the other side of the world.
Born and raised in Morocco, Chef Youssef of Mia Bella Trattoria learned early about the good that a charitable organization can accomplish. Now in a position to give back, charitable giving is near and dear to Chef Youssef’s heart, and an important part of Bella Restaurant Groups. Organizations like United Africa for Public Health and Development work to provide educational resources in health and HIV prevention to under-served communities in Chicago and many countries in Africa.
…and close to home.
Community engagement a part of a restaurant’s DNA for the owners of Odori-ko in Honolulu. Maintaining a deep connection to the people in their community, they support local artists by letting them feature and sell their work on the restaurant’s walls. And by helping local artists thrive, the community can thrive. Every customer that walks through the door can see their greater community reflected in spaces all around them. Odori-ko is also partnered with three local non-profit community clubs. Junior Achievement mentors young people, Touch a Heart trains the homeless and disadvantaged of Hawaii in food service work, and the YWCA of O’ahu supports girls and women throughout the area. These are three very different oragnizations, but they all have one thing in common – helping Honolulu grow stronger.
Supporting many charities …
There are many different paths for restaurants to take when choosing which organizations to support. For instance, Frato’s Pizza in Schaumburg, IL, likes to donate time and money to a several charitable organizations found in the area throughout the year. These organizations vary, from the Schaumburg Athletic Association to Home for Our Troops, from local school and PTA fundraisers to Pets for Vets. Frato’s also hosts monthly community video game tournaments for free and is currently developing scholarship programs. Without a doubt, Frato’s is highly engaged with their charitable work, which is appealing for those in the Schaumburg community who see the effects of these organizations first hand.
… Or just one at a time.
In contrast, Kuma’s Corner in Chicago has established a charity-of-the-month program that donates proceeds to a specific organization each and every month. For instance, this month they’re donating to the Music Is Hope Foundation, whose mission is to assist children’s non-profit music and cultural organizations by producing and marketing music with children in concert with notable musicians, writers, and producers. The owners of Kuma’s Corner love the Chicago music scene, so Music is Hope is a fantastic fit for their charitable contributions. And choosing a different charity each month allows Kuma’s Corner to explore different causes that matter to them. They get the best of both worlds — variety and depth — as does every one that sits down for one of their nationally renown burgers.
One of the rewards of choice offered through Rewards Network is contributions to the school or charity of your choice. Check out all the benefits of joining eScrip Dining now: