Foodservice operators are popular targets of organizations seeking sponsorship and support for their activities. Management should have a clear set of guidelines that determine if these requests should be granted. It becomes financially difficult to commit to all sponsorship proposals and some offer little benefit to the establishment. Rejecting all requests, however, may result in lost opportunities to increase revenues and expand the firm’s customer base.
Consider the source of the request. Supporting regular customers can strengthen their loyalty, and sponsoring organizations that include target customers among their members can promote new business. Make sure that the sponsorship provides mutual benefits. Simply providing an advertising opportunity is not enough, so ask the organization to host an event at the restaurant, guarantee exclusivity as the foodservice sponsor, or provide some other tangible reciprocal benefit. Providing gift cards instead of cash ensures that beneficiaries return to the restaurant and also lowers the actual costs of the sponsorship to an amount equivalent of the cost of sales.