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Think Big When It Comes to Shopping Small

November 21, 2019

Original content c/o: National Restaurant Association

Take every opportunity to be a part of Small Business Saturday. Restaurants are big contributors to their communities.

On November 30 – between Black Friday and Cyber Monday – restaurateurs, retailers and consumers will have the opportunity to participate in Small Business Saturday to support the local businesses that support the neighborhood.

Small Business Saturday

Restaurants are important drivers of local business:

Of the more than 1 million restaurants around the country, more than seven in 10 are single-unit stores. Nine in 10 have fewer than 50 employees.

Restaurants are a significant factor in the every community’s economy. The industry’s direct sales this year are expected to be $863 billion nationally, and the industry’s overall economic impact is about $2 trillion. That’s because each dollar spent in restaurants generates an extra $2 in sales for other industries, spurring additional economic activity in communities throughout the country. See the restaurant industry’s sales in your state.

The restaurant industry is the second-largest private-sector employer in the country.

Last year, 104 million shoppers spent $17.8 billion on Small Business Saturday. The initiative may be rooted in retail, but restaurants are equally important. Here are five ways operators can use the event to increase revenue:

1. Put a Small Business Saturday special on the menu.
Customers will want to refuel and refresh from their local shopping excursions. Capture their attention and food dollars with a special prix-fixe lunch or by offering a special signature cocktail. Put up a sign to let shoppers know you’re participating.

2. Plan special events.
Kick off the day with a breakfast that brings small business owners and members of the community to the table before the shopping begins. During the day, offer food and drink samples outside and hand out coupons for a meal discount or toward a special item. Put your gift cards on prominent display and let customers know you cater, as well.

3. Team up with neighbors for cross-promotion.
Ask other neighborhood shops how you can promote your restaurant at their business to encourage visits. It could be something as simple as asking neighborhood retailers to set out a stack of coupons or menu specials by the register.

4. Appeal to your loyal customers.
Reach out to the members of your loyalty program to notify them about your special deals, promotions and events on Small Business Saturday. Show them how much you appreciate them.

5. Leverage social media.
Once your Small Business Saturday specials are in place, use the #shopsmall hashtag to promote them. Encourage guests to share photos and tag your restaurant with #shopsmall to ensure your restaurant is part of the national conversation.

Whichever way you choose to participate, make sure it’s a fun day for you, your customers and employees. Get everyone in the spirit for some holiday cheer.