Small Business Saturday Ideas for Restaurant Members

While everyone is out shopping and supporting small businesses this Saturday, they are going to get hungry. And when they do, you want your member restaurants to be just as involved in Small Business Saturday as the stores. There are several unique ways restaurants can participate in Small Business Saturday:

Sidewalk Samples

Encourage your restaurant members to offer samples of food in various places within walking distance of their restaurant or along the street near the chamber.  They can hand out business cards with their location at these spots. Encourage people to refuel before moving on to their next store. Member restaurants can also work with other small businesses around them to offer samples inside local stores for free.

Use Reciprocity: Give Out Coupons for Restaurants at Local Stores and Vice Versa

Encourage members to partner with stores that are willing to hand out a coupon or a recommendation to come to a restaurant in exchange for handing out their business flyers.  You could also consider sending some portable product (Christmas cookies, anyone?) to their store to go with a coupon or flyer. Restaurant members can encourage shoppers to visit the stores, and then store owners can encourage their patrons to visit the restaurants.

Scavenger Hunt and Other Fun

Organize members businesses and partake in a scavenger hunt.  Restaurants can give away a free dessert (with purchase), a dessert sample, or some other prize for people that collect items in several stores. Another idea is to offer a free dessert with purchase for shoppers who show receipts for buying local. You can create discount “Restaurant Cards” for patrons shopping with members or surprise a lucky few recipients who are out shopping.

Small Business Saturday is a great opportunity for restaurants to build partnerships with other local businesses. Encourage restaurant members to keep the relationship going by implementing these tips and planning events with local businesses year-round.