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5 Ways to Give Back During the Holidays

It's Thanksgiving in the United States tomorrow, marking the official beginning of the holiday season. From here forward, schedules will be full of events and merriment, shopping and spending time with friends and family. And likely, this means business will be booming for all of our restaurants. 

Of course there are ways to dress-up your atmospheres and menus with some holiday spirit; but this year, we say, focus on the real holiday spirit and determine to give back to your community. It is great for customer relationships to build into your neighborhoods and is also a responsibility as a thriving business to commit to where you are.

Here are five classic ways to give back to your community during the holiday season. 

1. Host a drive. As a restaurant, you have a wonderful common space to lend to customers and neighbors alike. Whether its cans, coats, toys, blankets, or some other item, encourage your community to come together to meet the needs in your town. 

2. Sharing over supply. There are many food banks that will take leftover pastries and unused produce, especially during the holiday season. Use this time as a springboard to form a lasting relationship with these services in your neighborhood. And get creative--perhaps there are places that need extra napkins and cutlery or other leftover materials.

3. Meals. If you can accommodate it, consider hosting a meal for those in need. It could be during off-hours so that it doesn't effect business, but a great opportunity to do some real good.

4. Community gatherings. This is the time of year when individuals, groups, and organizations are looking for space to host community gatherings. Consider opening up some of your space for groups in your community to hold special events--and it's a great chance to prepare some special menus too!

5. Sponsorships. If you don't have the means to hold a drive or gathering in your physical space, you can still find a way to be active in your community. Look for events and charities that require sponsors for the holidays, and participate in a donor capacity.