There are a lot of different reasons why bar and restaurant owners first go into business. Some simply have a passion for food and drink that they want to share with others. While some are looking to create a place where friends and family can gather and have a memorable experience. Whether you went into business looking to become an integral part of the neighborhood or you just wanted to practice your craft, when your bar or restaurant does become more involved in the community, everyone benefits.
Hopefully, you are motivated to become more involved out of the kindness or your heart, but if you are also looking for some practical reasons, here are just a few of the benefits you will experience if you put more effort into connecting with your community:
1. Customer loyalty
Whether you sponsor a local softball team or you use your space to host charity events, customers are more likely to visit and revisit businesses that are giving back in some way. People are conscious about where and how they spend their money and if supporting your establishment also makes them feel like they are supporting the community, they will become regulars. Ultimately, people want to have a positive impact on their community and by providing opportunities to give easily give back, even in small ways, you will be doing everyone a service.
2. Helps you stand out from the competition
Whether you are competing against large chain restaurants or you are part of a thriving community of local restaurants, getting people through your door can be a challenge. Hosting and sponsoring events can be a great marketing tool that helps get your name out and show that you are more than just a place to eat and drink. It also helps to turn eating and drinking into more of a social experience where people with a common interest can gather and connect. Hosting run clubs or weekend bicycle groups will turn your location from a place to eat and drink into a place to gather and spend time.
3. Allows you to become a more established and recognizable destination
When visitors from out of town come to your city and start asking around about where they should go to get a drink and have an authentic local experience, you want your establishment's name to be at the top of the list. Community involvement can provide you with that local connection and make you a prime destination. There is nothing better for your reputation than getting involved with the community and becoming a leader.
4. Supports sustainability
Great food and drinks can get you pretty far, but having a true vision of how you want to contribute to the community and what you stand for will help you grow with the community. As an employer and business, you already provide an important service to individuals, but taking things one step further and actively participating in how the community is shaped will help ensure that you are able to effectively remain a vital part of the neighborhood. Taking on a leadership role means that you won't get left behind as the city changes and grows.
There are no downsides to becoming more involved in your community and it doesn't have to mean investing a lot of money. Simply hosting events and participating in local councils can be enough to increase visibility and customer loyalty. If you do decide to go big and create your own special event or sponsor a team, you will enjoy a significant return on your investment, so start looking for more ways to connect.