How Chain Restaurants Can Incorporate a Local Feel

When it comes to supporting the local community, consumers aren’t afraid to spend a few extra dollars. In fact, more than half of all diners are willing to pay up to 10 percent more for dinner at an independent restaurant that leaves a positive impact on surrounding homes and businesses.

Despite often being scattered across the country, chain restaurants have an opportunity to play an equally active role in local communities – and boost business in the process.

Feature local décor

From paintings to hand-crafted furnishings, making room in your restaurant for local décor can help shed light on talented artists in and around your community. Consider using social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, to get the word out about your willingness to spice up your restaurant’s atmosphere with decorations from community members.

The more local pieces of art you highlight, the better the chances that diners will consider your restaurant one that cares about the nearby community. You can even swap out décor every few months to ensure plenty of local artists get the exposure they deserve.

Host community events

It’s often said that the family who eats together stays together. The same applies to your local community. By hosting a wide variety of events, such as book signings for local authors and fundraising events for local charities, you can transform your restaurant into a go-to destination for diners of all ages. Soon your restaurant will be considered a focal point in the community – a place where everyone can gather for a night of good food and even better company.

Following a few events, sit down with diners to discuss any suggestions they might have. They’ll appreciate you taking the time to make changes that cater to the specific needs of the community.

Sponsor youth sports teams

Coaches and parents are always on the lookout for help covering the cost of equipment and travel throughout the upcoming season. Show your restaurant’s support for the local community by sponsoring a team or two. On top of making youth sports more affordable for families in the surrounding area, your contributions will also help raise awareness of your restaurant, as your restaurant branding can be featured on the team’s uniforms or where local teams play. Since many teams are registered as nonprofits, you may even be able to take advantage of tax breaks offered in exchange for charitable donations. If you’re not sure where to find a team, talk to diners about potential sponsorship opportunities.

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