Tag Archives: share our strength

The 2012 Dine Out for No Kid Hungry Event Success

During the month of September, restaurants across the country, both large and small, participated in Share Our Strength’s Dine Out for No Kid Hungry. This annual event enables restaurants and their customers to work together and raise money for the No Kid Hungry campaign, which has a goal to end childhood hunger.

The No Kid Hungry campaign connects needy children to effective nutrition programs such as School Breakfast or Summer Food Service.  The campaign also teaches families healthy cooking methods and how to obtain affordable meals through the Cooking Matters program.

Each year, donations toward the No Kid Hungry campaign from the Dine Out for No Kid Hungry event continue to rise.  Restaurants helped raise $1.5 million in 2010, and $2.4 million in 2011.  So how did 2012 do?

“This year our goal was $5 million and we definitely surpassed that, and it looks like by a lot,” Jessie Sherrer, senior manager at Share Our Strength, said.

There were 8,283 participating restaurants this year compared to 5,611 last year.

Each year there is a designated week in September for Dine Out for No Kid Hungry, however Share Our Strength is open to and encourages restaurants to extend the campaign as long as they like during the month.

“We saw many different types of promotions, but the biggest difference is that we had restaurants that participated for longer than just the official week this year,” Sherrer said.  “Many participated for the full month of September, some for three weeks and some for two.  Denny’s actually extended their promotion at the last minute and participated for two months!”

Promotions restaurants ran this year included bounce-back coupons (customers are given an incentive to return upon making a donation)  and multi-tiered promotions (the larger the donation, the larger value there would be on a coupon).

Sherrer added restaurants were creative with non-traditional types of promotions, especially using Facebook and Twitter.  It’s all up to the restaurant and what they would like to do.

What’s so great and convenient for restaurants that participate in Dine Out for No Kid Hungry is Share Our Strength does all of the work.

“We do create tools to make participation easier: standard and customizable coupons, posters, menu cards, etc.,” Sherrer said.  “The restaurants are welcome to use them or create their own in-store POP.  We also create customizable pre-event and post-event press releases, employee training guides, talking points, etc.  We try to make the program as turn-key as possible so that the restaurants don’t have to do all of the heavy lifting.”

As an added bonus this year, independent operators (five restaurants or less), received a complimentary in-store marketing kit with two front-of-the-house posters, two back-of-the-house posters, 50 check stuffers, 50 sticks and a window decal.  Sherrer noticed this added bonus had to have paid off as there were many impressive donations from this sector–higher than in previous years.

Also, restaurants that participated in the event were given exposure on Dine Out for No Kid Hungry’s interactive search map.  This is very beneficial for restaurants because Share Our Strength makes September “No Kid Hungry” month and has a call to action for those involved with the event to search for participating restaurants and dine at them.

“Restaurants that commit to certain fundraising goals, get extra benefits such as logo placement on the restaurant registration page, interactive map page and partner page,” Sherrer said.  “We also conducted a Radio Media Tour in major markets.  Executives from the featured restaurant companies were able to be interviewed by radio stations to promote their participation and talk about why participating in Dine Out For No Kid Hungry was important to them, their employees, the communities they serve and the country overall.”

So what’s on the agenda for 2013?

“We have lofty financial goals for next year and hope to raise between $8 million and $10 million,” Sherrer said.  “We haven’t yet set a final goal for participating restaurants, but will likely need about 20,000 to hit that number!”

If your restaurant is interested in participating in Dine Out for No Kid Hungry 2013, registration has already begun. You can also make a donation to the No Kid Hungry campaign to help curb childhood hunger.

Last Chance to Sign Up for Dine Out For No Kid Hungry!

Share Our Strength’s Dine Out For No Kid Hungry, a national fundraiser that gives restaurants the opportunity to help end childhood hunger,  is literally just around the corner.  While the September 7 registration deadline is near, restaurants can still sign up.

Benefits of Signing Up

By signing up to participate in Dine Out For No Kid Hungry, restaurants are able to support a cause customers care about.  Restaurant size doesn’t matter–participants range from small independent restaurants to nationwide chains.

Dine Out For No Kid Hungry said past participants reported an increase in sales, 20 percent average coupon redemption rate and overall higher employee morale and customer satisfaction during the fundraiser.

Event Dates

The official week for the event is September 16-22; however Share Our Strength® welcomes and encourages restaurants to participate as much as they would like throughout the month.

It’s Not Too Late

Still on the fence?  It’s still not too late.

“There isn’t a registration fee or minimum donation amount (to participate),” Jessie Sherrer, senior manager at Share our Strength, said.  She added all independent restaurants that register will receive a free marketing materials kit that includes:

  • (2) Front of the house posters
  • (1) Back of the house poster
  • (50) Menu cards/check stuffers
  • (50) stickers
  • (1) Window cling decal

Getting Involved is Easy

Share Our Strength has made it incredibly easy for restaurants to become involved and run a successful campaign.  Upon registration, they provide all the resources restaurants need.  Share Our Strength also has a team of experts readily available for restaurants to speak with about successful promotions and best practices.

Registration and Assistance

By participating in Dine Out For No Kid Hungry, you will be joining forces with thousands of other restaurants, businesses, supporters, schools, chefs, celebrities and more to help put an end to childhood hunger.  There are only three steps to becoming involved:

  1. Register
  2. Browse through their resource center
  3. Get help from their team of experts

Share our Strength has done all the work.  All a restaurant has to do is sign up.

The Dine Out For No Kid Hungry Online Resource Center is a great tool for more information.  Jessie Sherrer can also be contacted with any questions at 202-478-6505.

Sign up by September 7 to help put an end to childhood hunger while increasing sales at the same time.  What are you waiting for?

Images from Dine Out For No Kid Hungry.  Visit their website, become a Fan on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter.

Foodservice Industry Week in Brief: August 17

Looking for some of the week’s top information? Check out these five stories from the foodservice industry from August 13-17.

President Obama Announces $170 Million in Federal Aid for Farmers

From Washington Post Politics, Read Full Story

In last week’s “Week in Brief,” we discussed the drought and how it is affecting America’s heartland, which will inevitably affect food prices worldwide.  Due to the harsh conditions, during President Obama’s stop in Iowa on Monday August 13, he announced the government would provide $170 million in aid to help farmers and ranchers.

In a Washington Post Politics article, they said “During the announcement, Obama repeated his call for Congress to pass a farm bill that includes short-term relief measures for the drought-stricken agricultural industry.”

Eggs… Dangerous?

From Huff Post Food, Read Full Story

The egg. “The incredible edible egg.” A breakfast staple that many restaurants now include in their menu all day long.  However according to a Western University researcher in London, eggs might not be as healthy as we think they are.

Huff Post Food reported the researcher “claims the cholesterol found in yolks is almost as dangerous as smoking.” Through studies, this researcher discovered consuming eggs speeds up plaque build up on arteries. But then again, there are others such as Nutrition Officer Karen Harvey which told Huff Post Food their “decades of clinical research demonstrating no link between egg consumption, and an increase of heart disease.”

Restaurant Industry May Slow for 2013

From NDP Group, Read Full Story

Over the last few years, in the midst of the the United States’ current economic situation, restaurants have been doing well.  However according to a recent NDP Group study, the restaurant industry may be losing its momentum.  Despite positive outcomes during the uniquely mild winter, the spring months only rose one percent, which was lower than expected.  With customers still struggling in the economic situation, which includes the high unemployment rate, NDP has adjusted growth over the next two years to only be one percent.

Diners at a Los Angeles Restaurant Get a 5 Percent Discount for Putting Down their Cell Phone

From EATER, Read Full Story

The cell phone is more than just a phone.  It’s practically a miniature computer that people are constantly on, perhaps maybe even addicted too.  Many restaurants have become aggravated with customers using cell phones while dining out.  It can be frustrating to wait staff trying to assist diners, or it’s a distraction to the other customers sitting around.  One restaurant owner, Mark Gold of Eva Restaurant, has come up with a solution.

In an EATER article, they reported Gold will give his customers a five percent discount if they give up their cell phone when they dine at the restaurant.  And even though it can be bothersome from the reasons stated above, Gold told southern California’s KPCC the new discount opportunity isn’t about bothering guests. He said, “It’s about two people sitting together and just connecting, without the distraction of a phone.”

Don’t Forget to Sign Your Restaurant Up for Dine Out for No Kid Hungry

Share Our Strength’s Dine Out for No Kid Hungry is just around the corner.  Has your restaurant signed up yet?  Dine Out for No Kid Hungry is an event for restaurants during the month of September to raise money to help end childhood hunger. The official week is from September 15-22; however Share Our Strength encourages restaurants to participate longer if they can.

In the past, the event has raised $2.4 million and has a goal this year to raise $5 million.  Signing up is easy and Share Our Strength makes sure restaurants have all the resources they need.  Check out our July blog for more information, and visit the Dine Out for No Kid Hungry and sign your restaurant up today.  Time is running out!


Dine Out for No Kid Hungry: Your Restaurant Can Help End Childhood Hunger

Have you ever wondered how your restaurant can help raise money for a cause? Share Our Strength’s Dine Out for No Kid Hungry is an excellent opportunity for all restaurants, both large and small, to help end childhood hunger in America.

What is Dine Out for No Kid Hungry?

Dine Out for No Kid Hungry is a national fundraising campaign for restaurants to help Share Our Strength end childhood hunger in America.

The official week for the event is September 15-22; however Share Our Strength welcomes and encourages restaurants to participate for as much of September as possible.  The event enables restaurants to help fight for the cause while increasing sales at the same time. 

Read how Dine Out for No Kid Hungry works on the Understanding Childhood Hunger page of their website.

Participation Benefits

According to Dine Out for No Kid Hungry, restaurants that have participated in the event have reported an increase in sales, 20 percent average coupon redemption rate and overall higher employee morale and customer satisfaction during the fundraiser.  Earlier in the year, we spoke with Jessie Sherrer, senior manager at Share Our Strength, to sum up other benefits for restaurants, which are:

  • Support a cause that customers care about
  • No minimum financial commitment; high potential return
  • Drive business objectives including sales, traffic, ticket price, repeat business, PR, etc.
  • Energize employees and encourage team-building, improving performance and job satisfaction
  • Engage guests with your brand
  • Turn-key activation: National PR from Share Our Strength and access to the online resource center of promotional materials, employee training guides, template press materials, social media guide and more
  • Platform for customer giving programs, bounce-back coupons, special menu items, etc

Becoming Involved is Easy

Share Our Strength has made it incredibly easy for restaurants to become involved with Dine Out for No Kid Hungry.  Upon registering for the event, Share Our Strength provides all the resources restaurants need to help them with their promotion, whatever that promotion be such as a bounce-back coupon, free item or percentage off.  They also have a team of experts readily available for restaurants to speak with about successful promotions and best practices.

Past Success

Dine Out for No Kid Hungry has made such progress since they started this event five years ago.  Just looking back over the last couple years, in 2010, participating restaurants helped to raise over $1.5 million. Then for 2011, they raised $2.4 million.  Sherrer told us earlier in the year they hope to have 10,000 participating restaurants and to raise $5 million during the 2012 campaign.  They’re on the right path because as of July 2012, 6,500 restaurants have signed up.

So What Are You Waiting For?

Ready to sign up? Registering is probably a little easier than you would think and Share Our Strength is ready to help with any issues or questions that may arise.

Not a restaurant or wondering about other ways to help?  Make a donation and check back to their zip-code search map to find participating restaurants in your area for when the fundraiser kicks off in September.

Also, check out a free webinar Share Our Strength is hosting on Thursday July 19 titled “Share Our Strength’s Dine Out for No Kid Hungry: Engaging Millennials as Employees & Customers” with Corner Bakery Café’s CMO Diana Hovey.



Images from the Dine Out for No Kid Hungry website.

Foodservice Industry Week in Brief: December 23

Looking for some of the week’s top information? Here are five stories from the foodservice industry for the week of December 19 through December 23.

Arby’s Raises over $2 Million for Share our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign
From QSR, Read Blog

Image: Share Our Strength

We’ve really enjoyed seeing how successful Share Our Strength has been this year with the “No Kid Hungry” campaign.  From events such as the Dine Out for No Kid Hungry or other promotions, they are truly working hard to achieve their goal to end childhood hunger in America.  Arby’s is one of several restaurants helping Share Our Strength meet their goal.  QSR reported Arby’s recent announcement that they have raised over $2 million in the fourth quarter for the cause.  Read more about Arby’s involvement here and visit Share Our Strength’s website for more information.

Top Searched Restaurants on Google for 2011
From FastCasual, Read Article

In a recent article from Fast Casual, they reported on Google’s Zeitgeist list that covered the top searched restaurants on Google this year.  It was a mix of all types of restaurants with some being McDonald’s, Starbucks, Buffalo Wild Wings, Subway and Papa John’s.  But who topped the list?  You’ll just have to check out the article for yourself and find out! Read the full article here.

Wendy’s Taking in the No. 2 Spot for Fast Food Chains
From Wall St. Cheat Sheet, Read Article

Image: Reverendb/MorgueFile

Normally the order of top fast food chains started with McDonald’s, then Burger King then Wendy’s.  But it looks as though Wendy’s is moving into second place.  According to a Wall St. Cheat Sheet article, Wendy’s will have $53 million higher sales than Burger King–but we won’t know for certain until the end of the fourth quarter.  Either way, Wendy’s has been working hard this year and even working on a few different redesigns of their buildings.  To read more about how they are possibly going to take the No. 2 spot, read the Wall St.’s article here, and to learn more about the redesigns, view this Huff Post Food article.

Airports Becoming More Nutritious
From USA Today, Read Article

It’s easy to slack off when it comes to eating healthily during the holidays, especially when traveling.  But it looks as though foodservice establishments in airports across America are providing healthier menu items for travelers.  USA Today covered a survey which reported 15 of the country’s biggest airports now offer healthier menu offerings.  According to the study, many airport foodservice establishments are offering more low-fat, vegetarian and cholesterol-free meals.  Read more about airports becoming healthier here.

Holiday Recipes
From Delish.com, Go To Website

Image: Cohdra/MorgueFile

And finally, 2011 is coming to a close and Christmas is just days away!  (So if you haven’t started your shopping, you  better get started.  And as a side note–restaurant gift cards make an excellent present).  We always are excited to see what kinds of recipes Delish.com has, so here are a few that you can bookmark and possibly cook up for the holiday weekend.

Central wishes you and yours a very happy holiday!


Dine Out for No Kid Hungry Success!

Last week, September 18-24, was Share Our Strength’s annual event, Dine Out for No Kid Hungry™ (formally known as the Great American Dine Out).  This national campaign for No Kid Hungry allows restaurants and customers to join together to help combat childhood hunger in America, which Share Our Strength is committed to end.

This year’s event was extremely successful.  There were over 5500 restaurants in attendance (which is up over 100 restaurants from last year), many of which in some way extended their campaign anywhere from a week to even the entire month of September.

To raise money, each participating restaurant has a promotion for their customers.  Each customer that donates to the cause then takes advantage of the promotion—which ranges from free items to bounce-back coupons.

Last year Share Our Strength raised $1.5 million and this year’s goal was $2.5 million.  While official numbers won’t roll out until mid to late November, Share Our Strength Senior Manager, Jessie Sherrer, keeps getting updates and it looks like they may have even exceeded the goal (but nothing will be official until final numbers are released).

“We had great companies this year, especially with some of the bigger restaurants such as Joe’s Crab Shack, Corner Bakery, Monical’s Pizza, Denny’s, etc.,” Sherrer said. “And it was Pita Pit’s first year and they just blew out of the water.”

This was Central customer Monical’s Pizza’s second time participating in Dine Out for No Kid Hungry ™.  They opened in 1959 by the Monical family in Tolono, Ill., and today have at least 66 restaurants in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.

“Our 2011 event was made up of Monical’s Pizza donating $1 from every 16” thin crust one or more topping Family Pleaser® (pizza, salad and soft drink) sold in our participating locations,” said Lisa Chidichimo, Marketing Technology Coordinator for Monical’s. “In order to benefit the Share Our Strength funds, we also offered a 20 percent discount on this meal combination.”

While Monical’s mostly participates in local programs and assisting the communities they serve, Chidichimo said this national program fit into their values.

“Their program is taking on childhood hunger through what they call a state strategy; launching state-and city campaigns across the U.S. Each campaign is dedicated to its specific geographic area and works by building private-public partnerships with local anti-hunger groups, government agencies, corporate partners and key political, education and business leaders,” she explained. “These partnerships focus on increasing participation in federal nutrition programs, in turn, unleashes millions of federal dollars to connect kids who are at risk of hunger to the food they need to succeed.”

Chidichimo also added the impact of this year’s campaign was better than their last—and it’s always a learning process. The support and promotion materials provided by Share Our Strength was very helpful to them.

While the total amount of Monical’s donations is still being calculated, Chidichimo says it seems as though they will contribute upwards of $7000. (Again, all numbers for both the Dine Out and Monical’s are tentative).

All restaurant participation for the No Kid Hungry campaign truly assists the over 17 million children in America that struggle with hunger. Their website points out this is nearly one out of four children.  They also add these children have trouble learning, are sick more often and aren’t able to develop as quickly or as soundly as other children.

To learn more about No Kid Hungry, visit the Dine Out website or read their blog. They are on Facebook and Twitter too.  There are events throughout the year and you can also make a donation to the cause at any time.  So if you missed out on the event this year but would like to become more involved in the organization, there are many ways on their website for you to do so.

Central will continue to follow the progress of Dine Out for No Kid Hungry™ and will pass along the announcement of this year’s total number once the information becomes available.  Also, check out our July blog about the event to see how successful Share Our Strength was over what their original plans were!

If you were a participating restaurant or customer, we’d love to hear your experience with this year’s Dine Out for No Kid Hungry!

Central’s Week in Brief: September 23

Every Friday Central brings you stories from the week that you might have missed, but that are definitely worth a look. We’ll feature food news covering everything from the weird to the wonderful in the world of restaurants, schools, the military and more. It’s our way to help you go into the weekend with a little extra knowledge and maybe even a project or recipe to try out!

1.) Don’t forget Share our Strength’s Dine Out No Kid Hungry is going on right now! This week long national event aims to end child hunger in America. Saturday September 24 is your last chance to participate.  Visit their website to find a participating restaurant in  your area.  And if you work for a participating restaurant, we would love to hear from you on how it’s going! Please comment below!

Image from Dine Out website


2.) Have you seen the new Heinz ketchup packet? According to this Time article, the company took three years to come up with this new design which allows customers the choice to tear off and squeeze or open and dip. Chick-fil-A has already debuted this new packet and other restaurants will be rolling them out soon.


3.) If you weren’t aware of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)’s announcement back in late August, we wanted to remind you that come November 14, practically all private-sector employers will have to post this notice at the workplace, which advises employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act. Read more about this on the NLRB website or download the poster. 


4.) Chartwells Dining Services and frozen yogurt brand Pinkberry sent out a news release (see here from the Sacramento Bee) stating they have partnered together on three college campuses: Radford University, Bowling Green State University and Valdosta State University.  This partnership will allow students to choose from Pinkberry’s large and healthy frozen yogurt selection, which fits right into Chartwells’ Eat.Live.Learn philosophy.


5.) Today is the first day of Fall! This means restaurants will begin to roll out their new products and LTOs (limited time offers).  Cinnabon has the Carmel Mocha Chillatta, Starbucks brought back the popular Pumpkin Spice Latte and Burger King recently announced the latest addition to their dessert menu–soft serve ice creamHappy Fall everyone!

Sign Your Restaurant Up For Dine Out For No Kid Hungry

Image from Dine Out Website

September is just around the corner, which means it is time to start gearing up for this year’s Dine Out For No Kid Hungry™ (formally known as the Great American Dine Out).

This year’s event will be September 18-24.

With childhood obesity being such a heavily discussed topic lately, we can’t forget the over 17 million children who face hunger each day in America.

Dine Out For No Kid Hungry™ is a national event and a great way for both restaurants and diners to combat child hunger together.  It is a part of  Share Our Strength’s national campaign to end childhood hunger in America.

Last year, over 4000 restaurants helped to raise over $1.5 million.

This year, Share Our Strength’s Senior Manager of Communications, Catherine Puzo, says their goal is to raise over $3 million by engaging 5000 restaurants around the country.

Image from Dine Out Website

“Restaurants that have participated in the past tell us that participating in Dine Out For No Kid Hungry—especially when they register early enough to plan a well-thought promotion around it, and market it to their customers—engages employees around a relevant cause, connects them to their community, and, depending on the type of promotion developed, increases sales,” she says.

Puzo also mentions many restaurants were successful in gaining repeat business by using bounce back coupons.  So even though we’re still in July, now is the time to sign up and start planning.

Restaurants participating, or interested in participating, in this year’s Dine Out For No Kid Hungry™ can go here to learn how to become involved.  They also provide detailed information for both multi-unit or independently owned establishments.

When planning, they advise restaurants to make a tangible goal such as a specific dollar amount, number of redeemed coupons or sales from the promotion. As Puzo said, bounce back coupons have been a great way previous participants have benefited.

They also recommend restaurants use both social and traditional media to help promote and educate both employees and customers.

Image from Dine Out Website

“Invite them to be a part of the solution, too, by supporting your efforts,” they say—followed by an extensive list of ideas to get a restaurant started, shown on this page.  There is also a Participant Resource Center, so your restaurant will not be left in the dark and you will have everything you need.

In-store materials will be available to order starting August 1.

Donations from Dine Out For No Kid Hungry™ have helped provide meals of nutritional value for after school programs, feed kids lunch during the summer, provide more access to school breakfast, help families meet nutritional needs and expand access to programs such as SNAP  (food stamps) and WIC (the Women, Infants and Children program). It has also helped teach families how to provide healthy and tasty food while on a limited budget.

If you are looking for other ways to participate, you can become a sponsor or donate to the cause.  Some of this year’s national sponsors include Sysco, American Express, Ecolab, USA Today and the National Restaurant Association.

A few restaurants participating in this year’s event, who are also Central customers, include Dave & Buster’s, Monical’s Pizza, Buffalo Wild Wings and Kona Grill.

To learn more, explore the Dine Out website, visit them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter and take the pledge to help end childhood hunger in American by 2015.

Image from Dine Out Website