Fundraisers Offer Impactful Restaurant Marketing Ideas - GroupRaise

Fundraisers Offer Impactful Restaurant Marketing Ideas

Posted by Steven Keely

Searching around for restaurant marketing ideas yields a seeming bounty of fruitful choices. But while they are easy to find, effective ones are scarcer… but not when you work with GroupRaise!


To be sure, one GroupRaise meal a week does amazing monetary things over the course of just a year for your restaurant, coffeehouse, bakery, and so on. A restaurant with just one location gains 2,860 customers! Read about your direct financial gains in this GroupRaise guide


But that’s just a direct benefit of hosting a fundraiser at your venue. The long-term benefit is that your restaurant brand blends with worthy nonprofit causes in the localities where your units operate. That means more profits over time.



  • Do you want new customers to feel excited about visiting for the first time? 41% of your fundraiser customers will be brand new!


  • Do you want to make sure that you’re tapping potential revenue in a 3-5 mile radius of a unit with under-utilized times? GroupRaise fundraising is geo-targeted, tying your empty tables to nonprofit groups networked to giving hearts & hungry guts!


  • And do you want a pleasant & easy time crafting content for your social media channels? If so, you clicked on the right link. We’ve got effective ideas for restaurant marketing. Let’s do this!


This GroupRaise article shows restaurant owners and marketers how a smartly selected restaurant fundraiser is fantastic fodder for fresh daily content. 


And if you really try to make your fundraiser meal content as good as you can, your content has the potential to go viral and appeal to people in other areas who can’t go in-person but will order online. 


If you want to keep learning about restaurant marketing ideas and how to excite new & old customers to visit, then keep reading this article. 


Fundraising ideas for restaurant marketing mesh meals & mutuality

Teeing up a meal for people who share a common cause or connection is a time-tested technique to better bind the bonds that build caring communities. Of all the marketing ideas for a restaurant, a fundraiser is the most natural, the most organic.


And you can set it up online, via the GroupRaise network. You can send a date & time request in a minute. Read on but you can check out how your local restaurant competitors are using fundraisers to further their financial objectives. Digital marketing for restaurants has never been this altruistic and profitable!


So meal, mutuality & movements mesh well, you’re thinking, but how does that relate to restaurant marketing? 


I’ll tell you how!


  • Fundraisers differentiate a restaurant’s marketing.


  • They also differentiate the “product” in a small but significant way. 


Interested in learning how? Find out below! 


But one thing to note. A restaurant fundraiser will never go out of style. It will never fail to appeal to hungry stomachs & giving hearts. The core elements – meals & missions – are as close to human nature as anything. 


Let’s start with meals. 


Digital marketing for restaurants  should come from the stomach

Suggestions on how to do digital marketing for restaurants? They include all kinds of random things! But let’s keep this simple. Because eat & drink experiences are simple. Sorry, they should be simple. 


The key: Focus first & foremost on the food & beverages. Then the seating experience & the service, where applicable. Essentially, pay close attention to the kinds of things that really make people enjoy going out to eat. 


When done well, restaurant marketing is making a different menu, modifying the product. You’re selling someone a food & drink experience. Better content creation puts anticipation in the heads of your audience. Good digital marketing for restaurants impact guests before they come and while they’re on the way, too. 


You can actually make people viscerally want to go to your restaurant. What happens when they arrive? You already have that down. You just need to fill tables. That’s where GroupRaise comes in. And when the guests come in, they’ll be excited to order off the menu. Because you picked up & applied good marketing ideas for restaurants


The marketing plan of a restaurant only works well when it appeals to why visitors visit restaurants.


We’ll be straight up in this GroupRaise article, below are 10 details that content could cover for good engagement.


  1. Smoke, steam & sizzle in the kitchen or off the plate.
  2. Distinct colors in the meal.
  3. The holistic rich appearance of combined ingredients.
  4. The seats. Yes, the seats. Are they comfortable? What are they made of?
  5. The tables. Indeed, tables! Are they sturdy, do they stick in place or waddle? Are they spacious, for all those revenue-generating orders?
  6. The utensils. Are they functional? Do they break easy? Are they eco-friendly? Do they have a nice look?
  7. The steady sounds of the kitchen humming away. 
  8. People reacting to the meal, including smells which you can’t (not yet) put into content directly!
  9. Guests chatting & laughing over food.
  10. Waiters helping guests find the best item for them off the menu, demonstrating expertise & friendliness. 


It’s good to make content, but only when it’s consistent. That way you learn what’s good and what’s not – for your particular audience & customer group. Ideas for restaurant marketing should always embrace experiment & failure. And daily content is amazing, but it can never be cookie cutter. Unless you’re selling cookies. 


You love the food & beverages that your restaurant offers. It makes guests happy. Spread the word with content that focuses on the important details. This way your content creation will be fun, it won’t be difficult. And you can do it daily, without trouble. 


A marketing strategy for a restaurant: Bonding, imbibing & benevolence

What four things have people mixed together since time immemorial? Eating, drinking, social bonding, and community involvement.


A restaurant fundraiser combines all four of these ingredients. It makes the marketing strategy of a restaurant a breeze. A gentle, refreshing breeze on a sunny day on the patio of a loved local kitchen. 


The fundraising element we’re discussing gives you good things to share with new customers and ones who could come back more. It makes them want to come for the meal, meeting people, and the mission. Dwell on these details during content creation. They’ll pay dividends!


Here’s a list of 6 restaurant fundraiser details, each category containing many possible unique pieces of content:


  • A testimonial from a fundraiser guest. Make sure the one you pick emphasizes the good experience they had, not things external to themselves like how important the mission is (which it is). But more like how helping that mission made them feel good.


  • Talk about how your ingredient sourcing coheres with the relevant mission. Do you make sure ingredients are healthy? That works with a mission for curing a disease. There is a brroader focus on well-being.


  • If a mission has been widely branded with certain colors, like the pink ribbons for cancer, place those icons with pink or closely shaded colored items like a close-in photo of medium rare steak.


  • Photo of RSVPs talking to each other over the table. 


  • Historical details of the restaurant that relate to the nonprofit cause.


  • Any small but significant similarities, even quirks, between the group’s cause and the physical aspects of your restaurant. For example, if the cause is about the environment, you could talk about how your bags for leftovers or food to go are eco-friendly.


The best marketing campaigns for restaurants build their brands

But what about your particular restaurant, which type of group should you work with? The one that blends with your brand! The best marketing campaigns for restaurants focus on synergies between the content and the overall experience of the guests.


Consider Lost Dog Cafe. The owners, Ross and Pam, are long-time dog rescuers. They combined the joy of rescue with the joy of restauranting, making restaurant fundraisers an easy extension for them. 


Lost Dog Cafe has been working with GroupRaise to make meals move missions forward. Just watch this clip from the manager of the Fairfax, Virginia & Washington, D.C. locations. The Lost Dog team is happy with the results, and it makes sense! 


Just check out this Instagram post from a dog lover & group supporter. Hanging out with a golden retriever with a cool sweet drink? Sounds like a nice time. 


Instagram post from a dog lover & group supporter. Restaurant Marketing Ideas

Screenshot from Instagram.


Looks like the Lost Dog Cafe marketing strategy is on point with the goodies & the giving. And if you’re located in Fairfax or D.C., you could do a Lost Dog Cafe fundraiser. Start here and check availability!


What if you don’t have nonprofit work tied into your restaurant brand yet? Then pick a big, current issue in the community. You have a unit there so the issue affects your employees and customers. And therefore it affects you. Helping out is natural. 


And not only does a GroupRaise meal make your content creation easier, we’ll send you promotional tools. The Lost Dog Cafe clip I mentioned is an example of how these tools can really rack up those RSVPS! If you’re interested in learning more, email


Fundraiser images in social media marketing for restaurants

The best way to promote a restaurant fundraiser includes a photo because we’re talking about happy faces & second helpings of food! So what kinds of images should you use? Social media marketing for restaurants can be difficult, but the key is to focus the viewer on important details… like the kind that make supporters salivate!


Lemonade knows how to present menu items, that’s for sure!


Instagram post from Lemonade. Restaurant Marketing Ideas

Screenshot from Instagram.


Here this restaurant emphasized two aspects of a food experience: colors and texture. This article covers words & text below, so wait until the next section to learn what Lemonade did right in that regard.


It’s not all about the lead-up, this restaurant produced great after-fundraiser content.


Instagram post from Brasserie On The Corner

Screenshot from Instagram.


The photos here emphasize the bonding & community aspects of restaurant fundraising. The happy smiles & beaming faces reinforce the good memories of RSVPs, and make people who missed out want to go to the next one.


Before we move on from images, one additional point. The same detail can be effective or not at all. Some restaurant fundraiser posts just copy a bland picture of the storefront. I know, boring! Others are more artsy about it, like this one!


Instagram post from Dancers vs Cancer. Restaurant Marketing Ideas

Screenshot from Instagram.


Observe that the cool-looking part of Oberweis’ storefront is cropped in, and the surrounding colors in the image blend with the colors that are part of Oberweis marketing strategy. That’s one way in which social media for restaurants can present well. 


We covered photo content, but what about words?


Using words: Restaurant social media marketing

Captions on Instagram, headlines on Facebook, and short tweets. There are various ways to use words to attract more customers. So how can you leverage language to make your restaurant social media marketing fill the bottom line?


Instagram for restaurants is mostly about the images, but captions still matter. Words matter even more on Facebook, and far more on Twitter. However you promote your restaurant brand, use these pointers to improve engagement.


Lead with benefits to RSVPs. Do not tell them just to help, or to join in, or that there is a restaurant fundraiser going on. 


  • Tell them to delve into some delicious dining! Tell them about why the most popular items draw a crowd.


  • Tell them to meet interesting new people at the meal! (Giving to a worthy cause is a socially acceptable excuse to chat & mingle after all.)


  • Tell them to be part of the community, to experience giving as part of a group that cares about the individual members. Identifying as a community member & a helper is a real emotional benefit to people. Just joining a fundraiser is not. 


Not every sentence or phrase needs to be flashy. Some text should be logistical or otherwise practical. 


  • Address of the restaurant.


  • Date & time of the fundraiser.


  • What supporters need to say in-person or type online to make their purchase count.


Just make sure this information comes after the viewer’s attention is first drawn to the benefits of RSVPing & attending! This stuff is necessary to get people in the door, but it won’t attract them to it. 


Finally, always call the viewer to action. Tell group organizers to apply to host a fundraiser with you & provide a link. People sometimes need a reminder to do something they’d like to do. Giving them a clear suggestion and a link will help them get them to point B!


As an example of a couple points above, notice in the Lemonade Instagram post above that this restaurant told the audience what to do (host a fundraiser) and the give back percentage (30%). It’s clear that the Lemonade marketing strategy uses many tools to turn empty tables into packed ones.


Let’s sum this GroupRaise blog post up!


Restaurant fundraisers fill tables and offer daily content

Social media marketing for a restaurant is done better when fundraising meals are a part of how guests come in the door. Direct financial benefits plus easy & effective content creation? Those are two big reasons to fundraise with GroupRaise.


Does one of your units have under-utilized times? 


Restaurant fundraisers solve your problem. Are you interested in getting guests in your restaurant doors?


Do you want to avoid dreaded discounts? 


20% off is not the same as 20% back to a nonprofit. With discounts applied during the first visit, customers expect discounts the next time around. Not so when they’re paying full price at a fundraiser.


Do you struggle to produce social media content


Struggle no longer. GroupRaise fundraisers let a restaurant owner or marketer hone in on important details and convey them to potential customers. 


If you’d like to learn more about how restaurant fundraisers work, how you might benefit from hosting some in your units, or see more restaurant marketing ideas, check out this FAQ. And feel welcome to contact to chat with a member of our team.