Business and Operations
From the Editor’s desk: April-May 2015
By Collen Cross
Reasons to give
By Collen Cross
People like to feel good about where they spend their dollars.
Last year, a Culinary Visions Panel study collected data from more than 1,200 U.S. consumers and found 73 per cent of respondents would patronize restaurants that support their neighbourhood or causes they believe in.
Canadian millennials, in particular, are moved by outreach efforts.
A recent IPG Mediabrands study surveyed 10,000 millennials aged 25 to 34 in 19 countries. The study prompted an interesting response from young Canadians, who were deemed the most likely of all markets to agree that brands should get involved in donating to good causes (68 per cent). What’s more, 55 per cent agreed brands have potential to be a force for good and 57 per cent said they believe brands should be active in worthy causes such as improving health and education.
But we know you don’t need research to convince you to launch another round of giving. This industry gives because it has boundless heart. Independent pizzerias, in particular, really shine when it comes to getting involved in broad charitable campaigns, fundraising for local projects and donating their own time and money to causes they care about.
We know this because of the worthy entries we received for the Saputo Foodservice Pizza With Purpose Award. We offer our heartfelt congratulations to the latest winners of the contest, Dave and Kathryn Kitchen, owners of The Pizza Mill in Salisbury, N.B. The Kitchens and their family have made giving back to their town a key part of their business.
After experiencing tremendous unsolicited support from their town of 2,000 while their youngest daughter faced serious medical problems, the Kitchens were spurred on to give some of that love back to their community and customers in myriad ways. Their many projects include offering gift cards to charitable organizations, organizing a basketball game to raise money for minor sports and recreation, and underwriting a high school award that is based on community spirit.
We hope our cover story about this motivated and creative family, on page 12, will inspire you to get more involved in your community and to have fun doing it.
If you’re not sure how to start giving, one good way is to follow your own interests and instincts, suggests Dave Kitchen in the story.
“There are opportunities everywhere to make people’s lives different and make people’s lives better,” Kitchen says. As he and his family demonstrate, helping others needn’t have a big up-front price tag. Offering your time, your location and your neighbourhood connections can go a long way toward creating awareness or raising money for a good cause.
And when you find your groove, don’t be shy to promote your efforts.
Customers can’t support your good works if they don’t know about them. This is especially important for independent pizzerias that lack the resources of the bigger chains to promote their causes and get their names out there. Marketing is crucial for independents, and the more creative you get with your promotions, the more good you’ll be able to do – for others and for your business – on a limited budget.
If you continue to make giving a part of your business plan, you’ll be giving your customers one more reason to keep coming back.