At Strategic Funding, we encourage small business owners to create opportunities to engage with their customers and employees.
One of the best ways to build engagement with both customers and employees is to support charitable causes. The month of November is a great time to do that by creating a Movember promotion to raise awareness about health problems that affect men specifically.
The Movember Foundation is dedicated to ending the early death of men from preventable conditions. The ‘Mo’ refers to mustaches, called ‘mo’ for short in Australia, where the idea originated. Every year in November, people (including women) wear mustaches to call attention to health problems, including prostate and testicular cancers and mental health conditions that can lead to suicide. Instead of wearing a colored ribbon to promote men’s health, the Movember Foundation uses the mustache.
Movember is an especially good project to take on if you own a restaurant, where employees are in close contact with customers in a relaxed, often festive atmosphere.
Here are seven ideas for creating a Movember promotion that can build relationships and deliver long-term benefits for your business.
1) Wait staff wear fun mustaches
Real or otherwise—and invite customers to sign up to grow or create their own “mos”. Employees will have fun coming up with humorous mo styles. A waitress might sport a painted-on Groucho, for instance, or a man could dye his ‘stache bright purple. These will elicit questions from customers and help get people on board.
2) Have a Mo Drink & Dish contest for employees
Have employees invent a special dish or a cocktail to mark Movember. Give the winner written credit for the invention on the menu.
3) Give customers a Movember Pledge card
This can be given along with their check. Ask them to commit to making a donation to one of the highly rated men’s health charities listed on the pledge card. (See the vetted charity list below.)
4) Sponsor a Mo’ Bro and Sistah Night
Give a free dessert or cocktail to every customer who comes in wearing a mustache and signs a pledge card.
5) Sponsor an athletic competition
This can be between your restaurant and several others in your community. Have players raise money for the Movember Foundation by getting family and friends to sponsor their team. Host a celebration party in honor of the winners.
6) Make your event social
Invite customers and their friends to upload photos of themselves and their mo’s to your restaurant’s Facebook page. Have page visitors vote on the best mo and give a prize to the winner. The prize could be something “healthy,” like a gift card for athletic gear, or it could be humorous, such as a can of shaving cream. Link to the page or website of the Movember Foundation and encourage people to make a donation directly on the foundation’s site. This relieves you of having to act as a middleman.
7) Sponsor a Thanksgiving Mo’ event
This can be a place where customers and employees give thanks for the special men in their lives. It can also be a happy hour event at the bar or it could take place as part of your regular Thanksgiving dinner service. Give customers paper mustache cards and ask them to write the names of the men they’re grateful for on the card. Post the cards on a wall of the restaurant where people can read the names. Alternately, collect the cards and then have drawings for door prizes.
Charities to Support
Not all charities are created equal. The organizations listed below have received top grades from the three main charity rating organizations—The Better Business Bureau, Charity Navigator, and Charity Watch.
With more than half of November left, there’s still time to support these great causes while becoming ‘mo engaged with your employees and customers.