I had always supported the big national charities, until I bought a pub, they always appeared to be doing an incredibly worthwhile job, some do, but how do you tell the difference?
Since buying a pub, many have come under scrutiny for a variety of reasons, the directors salaries, how much money goes to good causes, political persuasions, the amount of money spent on advertising, legal disputes over money left to them, the list is substantial and a minefield.
I’m not saying do not support them, but check them out, I now have a very simple rule, I only support local charities, like Hospice and Children’s Hospice, the work that they do is amazing and is funded in the main by donations.
A very close relation went into the local Hospice, what they did for her was incredible, I then looked at Children’s Hospice and changed my whole view on supporting charities.
I initially spent money on advertising, which is like pouring money down a bottomless pit, with minimal result, I thought it would be better to give the money to charity.
I was then approached by both Hospices, to see if they could leave a collecting box in the bar, which I agreed, then a thought crossed my mind, why not have a free food night in aid of Hospice, all donations will be collected in a bucket, all drinks will be paid for.
The result was amazing, we had a lot of fun, raised a lot of money, the long term result was staggering, people loved our food and came back and turned our local business around.
I stopped wasting money on advertising, customers were delighted that we supported local charities and we all felt that we had done something worthwhile for a good cause.
Now, I advise people, if their operation is food based, once you have your food quality right, to have a free food night in aid of your favourite local charity, the charity will always advertise the event, their advertising and mailing list is far more effective than whatever you have access to.
I would suggest one, a few months after you have taken over a new business and then twice a year, do not put out inferior food, it is a showcase for the quality of your food, the better it is, the more money you raise for charity.
There are research charities, who do amazing jobs and need the money, but sadly most are hardly known by the public and the local response can be limited, you want to raise money for charity and cut out advertising money, local charities need it more than big charities.
We did it regularly, bringing in many people that would not normally eat in a pub, who became regular customers and part of our core business.
We also raised a lot of money for the two local key Charities, we also stopped wasting money on advertising.
We and the staff thoroughly enjoyed the evenings.