Updated: Jun 21, 2020
As a restaurant, being involved in our community is crucial. It is not only essential that we serve the best food, or give the best service to our customers.
It is also necessary that we are aware of our influences to our community.
We must know how important it is to locate different business network meetings that happen within our local community for us to be part of it.
We did that when we started our restaurant, and we must say that it’s all worth it.
If you have not been attending business gatherings yet, better consider being part of one now.
You could be missing out on a lot of opportunities to increase your sales and influence.
Here are the top 3 benefits that you can acquire from joining business groups and community-based organizations:
1. Long term mutually beneficial relationships
It is crucial to develop a long term mutually beneficial business relationships with different groups within your local community.
For instance, we have a local daycare center called Brighter Futures that we do business with all the time.
They arrange field trips for their students, and we are always asked to set up "Build your Own Pizza Day" for the little kids.
These kids would come to our restaurant, and they had a great time. Hopefully, they go back and tell their parents, "Hey, we went to Mattenga's, and I got to make my own pizza, it was so much fun!"
In return, we would also think of ways on how we can help these organizations that seek our services. Maybe we can give them a shout out on our Facebook page, or possibly we can put their flyers at our registration area.
We always look into something that will lead to a business relationship that mutually benefits each other.
Now, you should also start thinking about who can you partner with.
Are you more in a healthy vibe of a restaurant? Can you partner with a gym? Would you like to join in with a smoothie place? What are the companies that you can connect with?
In our case, we want a family-friendly environment. We love having kids, so we are very kids friendly. We partner with groups who are family-oriented. Many times you can meet these people attending the local Chamber luncheon.
2. Catering opportunities
A lot of bankers, owners of different companies, heads of various organizations, etc. can be present at business gatherings.
By just being present on those occasions, you can somehow build your credibility.
Although merely shaking hands with these people doesn't build relationships, it could be a great start of a new one.
If they get to know a little more about you, for instance, the mission of your company, or what you do in the community, and they happen to like you, whenever they have a catering need, maybe they would reach out to you.
That has been tremendously beneficial for us because we don't even need to try so hard or to be pushy in offering our catering services.
Joining various business gatherings has opened a lot of catering service opportunities for us.
Catering needs usually come from people who work in the corporate sector.
These people are regularly hanging out on business meetings, like the local chamber of commerce, rotary club, lions club, etc. These are the different communities of business owners that you can be a part of.
3. Support of a business community
As a business owner, you need the support of other business owners in your community because they can usually relate to whatever you're going through.
When you need help, they can certainly help you.
This has happened to us so many times. We have multiple, very active Facebook groups that we joined in. When something comes up, whether it is positive or negative (because we do screw up sometimes), a lot of people show concern.
When our restaurant's name comes up on social media, maybe, because of a bad review by a customer, you have these advocates. They go in there, and they would defend you by saying good words about you like, "l know the owners, they are very nice."
If there's an issue, they will tag our name, and they will mention, "this is the owner, she will take care of you."
These kinds of gestures are so important.
To have a business community of support locally. When things are going rough, you know you can reach out to them.
They will be able to help you out in ways that it is not just money that matters. It may not directly translate into sales, but in terms of having those relationships with these concerned people, you have felt like a winner.
Above all, it's great to have friends in the business community, it is a wonderful feeling.
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