Ted’s Montana Grill aims to raise $150,000 for Dine Out For No Kid Hungry this year


George McKerrow, chief executive and cofounder of Ted’s Montana Grill, has found that helping others also can help drive business.

As a result of its participation in Share Our Strength’s Dine Out For No Kid Hungry campaign in 2011, the Atlanta-based casual-dining chain posted a weekly sales increase of 8.4 percent compared with the same week a year earlier.

In addition, Ted’s saw a 5-percent redemption rate on bounceback coupons that were presented to participating guests during last year’s event.

McKerrow was so pleased with last year’s weeklong event — Ted’s 44 units in 16 states raised $15,000 for the No Kid Hungry program — he decided to extend it to 10 weeks in 2012 and made a commitment to generate 10 times the amount raised in 2011.

“We only participated for a week last year,” McKerrow said. “This year we’re looking at $150,000. We’re going big or we’re going home.”

In 2010, the first year that Ted’s participated in SOS’ No Kid Hungry campaign, the chain raised $5,000.

Overall, restaurants across the country last year helped SOS raise a total of $2.4 million to help combat childhood hunger through its No Kid Hungry campaign.

RELATED: Dine Out For No Kid Hungry raises $2.4M, looks to 2012
SOS, industry partner to fight childhood hunger
Restaurants plan promotions for Dine Out For No Kid Hungry

“These restaurants raised nearly $1 million more in 2011 than the year before, and I truly believe that’s because the restaurants are seeing real business results,” SOS’s national program director Sheila Bennett said in a statement. “Restaurants reported a bounceback coupon redemption rate of up to 40 percent and sales increases as high as 11 percent.”

McKerrow, who cofounded Ted’s Montana Grill with media entrepreneur Ted Turner in 2002, has been involved with Share Our Strength for more than two decades — 15 years of which he has shared co-chair responsibilities with Atlanta restaurateur Pano Karatassos. Under their guidance, Atlanta regularly raises more money for the Washington, D.C-based hunger organization than any other city in the nation, McKerrow said.

Last year Atlanta restaurateurs raised $750,000 for SOS’ one-night annual fundraising event, Taste of the Nation.

For 2012, McKerrow said Ted’s 10-week No Kid Hungry event will be divided into three segments.

For the first three-week cycle the restaurant chain asks guests for a $2 donation, which is matched with a bounceback check redeemable at a future visit. Anything above the initial $2 donation is matched at $2 increments at the restaurant’s discretion.