4 Keys to Maximizing your Restaurant’s Social Responsibility


It’s human nature – people want to feel good about the places where they spend their money, including restaurants. So, how can restaurants operate in a socially responsible way that’s also in the interest of customers, employees, and suppliers? According to Fast Casual, 59% of consumers rate “socially responsible” as an important factor when deciding what restaurant they will visit. Here are 4 ways restaurants can build customer engagement and loyalty through socially responsible practices:

Happy Employees = Happy Customers

When someone visits your restaurant, the food you serve is only half of the experience. How people are treated by and interact with employees is the other half. When employees feel supported by their employer, they will have a positive attitude on the job which creates an all-around more pleasant experience for customers. Perception of fair employee compensation has been shown to create a 1.7% increase in customer wallet share, which can result anywhere from a 10-15% ticket lift. Customers are also willing to spend more when higher prices can be attributed to socially responsible motives, according to an article by AdAge.

Sustainable Supply Chains and Sourcing Locally

People feel better about visiting restaurants when they know where the ingredients are coming from and that the food is high quality. Sourcing food locally, and working with farmers to ensure an ethical supply chain show commitment to serving the highest quality food. Take sweetgreen for example, who list all of their ingredients and the source of each one. This ensures complete transparency between each restaurant and every customer – they trust that every ingredient will be fresh and quality.

Food Safety is King

With an increasing ambiguity of the safety and quality of food being served in restaurants, people are being more careful about where they choose to eat. Building trust and ensuring food safety must start from the ground up. All employees should go through training to establish the highest standard of food quality. sweetgreen implements a rigorous food safety training program every team member goes through to ensure that each bite is only the highest quality.

Being a Community Player 

Commitment to the community is also crucial for restaurants to build customer and employee loyalty. When a restaurant is doing right by the community, people are more excited about visiting on a regular basis and telling their friends and family to visit too. This builds a strong brand all the way around, by turning employees and customers into ambassadors and your restaurant’s biggest fans. One community program we love is Dig Inn’s partnership with local organizations to support the next generation of culinary leaders through education. Another is Starbucks’ college achievement plan, through which they fully fund eligible employees’ completion of a Bachelor’s degree in a partnership with Arizona State University’s online program. The gift of education builds a steadfast loyalty among employees and a brand, improving employee retention and fulfillment. And when your employees feel good about your brand, your customers won’t miss it.

Our partner Potbelly also values social responsibility. Click below to watch a short video on Potbelly’s customer engagement, loyalty and payment solution:

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Hannah Crary

Hannah Crary

Hannah Crary works on the B2B marketing team at LevelUp. When she's not splitting her weekends between Florida and Cape Cod, she's most likely exploring the city of Boston in search of her next favorite dinner spot. Her latest is The Beehive in the South End, yum!

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