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

By

Continued from page 1

The restaurants’ initial fundraising cycle currently is underway, he said, and will culminate around April 12 — the date for Atlanta’s Taste of the Nation event.

So far, the first cycle — which has generated $30,000 in the initial two weeks — is on target to reach its goal.

For the second three-week cycle in May, guests will be asked to round up their checks as a way of donating to No Kids Hungry. “For example, if the guest check is $46.12, we ask them to add 88 cents to it,” McKerrow said. “Then we match the amount dollar for dollar with a bounceback coupon redeemable at a future visit.”

The final cycle will extend to four weeks in September. “We’re not positive what we’ll do yet,” he said. “But it will be a bigger, better deal than the first two cycles.”

To make the event work smoothly, however, McKerrow said it must resonate with the restaurant staffs. “[Before launch] we held store meetings, showed the staffs a video and discussed the childhood hunger problem,” he said. “We ask everyone to get involved.”

Employees are excited about the fundraiser, he said.

“They believe in No Kid Hungry. A lot have even taken the pledge to help wipe out childhood hunger in the United States by 2015. It’s a good morale builder for the company.”

To help keep employees motivated, the company runs several contests with prizes. For example, one of the prizes for the server who raises the most money might be an iPod, McKerrow said.

And while employees get involved, guests appreciate such efforts, as well, he said.

“I think it just shows that you’re a good member of the community,” he said. “Consumers have personal relationships with their favorite restaurants. Young people also think companies should do more than they do. Being community-minded just helps to improve your reputation.”

At the same time, McKerrow said the chain’s participation in SOS’ annual fundraising events “strikes close to my heart. It’s appalling how these bright minds are not being nourished properly. This program finds ways to make sure kids get fed all year — during the school break and all summer long.

“It’s a great public/private partnership,” he said. “True, it can be a traffic generator. But it’s also just the right thing to do and the right cause for restaurants to be involved in.”

For more information about Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, read more about it at http://nokidhungry.org/

Contact Paul Frumkin at paul.frumkin@penton.com.