On Giving Tuesday, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend show support for Ronald McDonald House. McDonald’s has committed $100 million to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities.

The restaurant industry is known for its charitable giving. Even this year, as restaurants fight to survive the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic, they continue to support (as best they can) their communities, their causes, and their employees, who have suffered job losses and financial insecurity due to COVID-19.

With the holiday season upon us, restaurants and retail businesses are joining Giving Tuesday, the philanthropic effort that kicks off today. It’s a global generosity movement celebrated every year on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving.

Created in 2012, Giving Tuesday encourages people and businesses to engage in charitable acts. There are many ways to participate.

McDonald’s is committing $100 million and launching a one-of-a-kind social media challenge to rally support and awareness for Ronald McDonald House Charities. RMHC provides vital resources to families with sick and injured children, helping them stay together without cost during treatment. To anyone or any business that posts the RMHC heart and hashtag #HereForRMHC on a public Instagram, Twitter, TikTok or Facebook accounts, McDonald’s donates $100 to RMHC in that person or business’s name.

In Delaware, SoDel Concepts’ 12 restaurants are holding a fundraiser to benefit SoDel Cares, the company’s philanthropic foundation. On Giving Tuesday, 100% of all proceeds from its in-house and carryout food and beverage sales will benefit the charity. The nonprofit, created to honor the legacy of company founder Matt Haley, a 2014 Restaurant Neighbor Award recipient, assists children, at-risk youth and adults, and the elderly in our communities. Haley died in a motorcycle accident that same year. To date, SoDel Cares has given more than $600,000 in grants to local and statewide nonprofits.

In Alexandria, Va., five restaurants are raising funds for five local charities. The restaurants—Mia’s Italian Kitchen, Sonoma Cellar, the Majestic, Vola’s Dockside Grill, and Theismann’s Restaurant & Bar—are donating between 5% and 10% of the day’s proceeds to Alexandria Tutoring Consortium, ALIVE, Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation, and Neighborhood Health.

Restaurants can:

  • Consider donating unused food or supplies to a local feeding program.
  • Donate a percentage of profits for a day to a local charity.
  • Host a fundraising event for an organization at your restaurant.
  • Organize a staff volunteer day with your employees.
  • Spread the word to encourage acts of giving. Use the hashtag #GivingTuesday to amplify your message when you post on social media.

Restaurant employees on the receiving end

This year, the National Restaurant Association and various restaurant companies are raising funds and awareness during Giving Tuesday—and beyond.

The Association’s Educational Foundation launched Change is on the Menu, a national campaign to raise funds to support programs and resources that help restaurant workers advance their careers. All donations go directly to the NRAEF’s education and training programs, which include:

Whether it’s helping our neighbors or sharing what we have with those in need, every generous act has an impact.