By Nick Fosberg   |   November 27, 2017

Restaurant Christmas
Promotion Of The Year

During the holiday season, it’s time for bar and restaurant owners to shine and stand out from the competition. Today, I’m bringing you a restaurant Christmas promotion that will not only get your loyal customers excited, but get your entire community raving about you and the way you do business.

A friend of mine who owns Rascal’s Bar & Grill in Loves Park, IL helps run an amazing event called Christmas For Kids, a charity promotion that benefits low income children with gifts during the holiday season. I’m a firm believer that the more you give in life, the more you receive and I love what he’s doing.

To add to that, there’s no better feeling in the world then being able to help others who are in need. It makes you feel really good about yourself and when you feel good about yourself, it motivates you to keep helping, which ultimately brings you closer to your business and life goals.

Overview Of Christmas For Kids

The first thing you do is pick a day to host a big charity event at your bar or restaurant and then put a team of 5 or more people together who can help reach out to local businesses to donate their services or products in order to raise funds for the kids.

The way Rascal’s found these unfortunate kids was reaching out to the school board and getting in contact with the counselors who knew which kids were from lower income families. The counselors would then reach out to the parents and kids to see if they’d like to be apart of the Christmas For Kids program.

The day of the big event, the goal is to obviously raise as much money as you can through 50 / 50 raffles, raffling off prizes, and getting people into bidding wars for the bigger prizes. During this event, Rascals see’s hundreds of people who come in to win and support the cause. On top of this, the staff and supporters will also sell raffle tickets weeks in advance to friends and family in order to raise even more money. From what I remember, with those tickets, you don’t have to be present to win.

How The Donations Are Handled

After the big event, they divide all the money that was collect up among the kids. Each kid gets same amount to spend.

The Shopping Spree

The team for Christmas For Kids will then reach out to the community, friends, family, and sponsors to see who’d be interested in taking one kid shopping and letting them pick out any gift they want with their allowance.

Rascals worked out a deal with Wal-Mart where if they bought all the toys from them, Wal-Mart would then eliminate any sales tax.

The 6 Key Benefits To This Promotion 

Putting on a big event like this is a lot of work, but the benefits of this promotion far exceeds the work that is put in!

  1. Most important: You’re able to help less fortunate children who don’t have control over the living conditions they are under. Putting a smile on someone’s face, especially a little boy or girl who doesn’t get much, if anything for Christmas is priceless!

My wife and son went last year and took one little boy shopping and she said it was one of the most fulfilling and sad things she’s experienced. Running charity events and being able to help others really makes us appreciate what we have.

  1. You’ll get massive exposure from the media, for free, and gain credibility and respect from the entire community. If you want to build a loyal following, if you want thousands of people talking GOOD about you and your business, help others who need it more than you.
  1. You’ll create a big pay day for yourself with hundreds of existing and new customers in your business buying food and drinks.
  1. You’ll create future partnerships with other local businesses that you may want to use for other promotional ideas.
  1. You’ll create a tradition that people look forward to each and every year and as it grows, it becomes much easier to put on.
  1. You’ll reach thousands of people on social media from people sharing your event and taking pictures at your event. 


Few Tips & Strategies To
About When Running
Promotions Like This

  1. When it’s your first year doing something like this, keep a database of all the businesses that donated. Make sure you send them a thank you letter and let them know the total amount raised. Let them know you couldn’t have done this without their support. Then follow up with a phone call and ask if next year they’d be interested in participating again.

By doing this, it makes your life much easier the following year and you have a lot of hard work already done by getting their commitment.

  1. Make sure you organize a team and be a good leader to make your job easier. The hardest part of this is getting 50 or more local sponsors to donate to the cause. So get a team of 5 people and have everyone create a list of 20 local businesses. To make sure people don’t get the same companies on same list, each 5 could have dedicated types of businesses, such as salons, lawn care, chiropractors, etc, etc

Then you make each person in charge of contacting them by phone, email, and social media. Host a weekly meeting online or in person to see where everyone is at.

  1. Train your team that once you get someone to commit to donating or sponsoring, ask for the referral. “Thanks John, we really appreciate you wanting to help the lower income children in our school district. It means a lot and there needs to be more people like you in our community. John,maybe you know one or two others, like yourself, who you believe has the holiday spirit to help as well?”

It doesn’t hurt to ask and I guarantee they’ll give you more people to contact. The worst they can say is, “Yea, I probably do but can’t think off the top of my head right now?”  Then you say…. “Totally understand John, how about I shoot you a call tomorrow and maybe you’ll have someone in mind to help us out?”

  1. Use Facebook and Instagram ads to spread the word. In order to get the best response, use Facebook’s Power Editor platform and you’ll be able to target people based on whether they donate to charitable causes or not. You can click here to get a little more information about power editor targeting and how it can dramatically increase your sales and new customers.
  1. Use your e-mail list to send them a link to your Facebook page and ask them to share your event. By doing this you could easily get hundreds of people sharing the event. Multiply that by 200 people on average who will see that per share. It adds up! 


Don’t always focus on how much money you can make, but focus on how you can provide more value to the market, how you can give back in ways that in the long run it brings a far greater return and personal feeling to yourself.

What are your thoughts? Have you run successful charity promotions in the past? Do you have a yearly charity promotion you currently do? If so, please leave any remarks below and share with others.

Nick Fosberg

Nick Fosberg is known as one of the highest paid, marketing and promotional consultants in the bar & restaurant industry and he owns 2 bar / restaurants in the Chicagoland area. He's famous for creating some of the highest grossing digital marketing promotions in the history of the bar & restaurant business..... without spending a penny on marketing. All done through e-mail & Facebook posts. 

Click here to get a free copy of my latest book.

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