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Being a Community Leader


Unlike most other businesses, restaurants rely on the very community in which they operate to be successful.  Restaurants are truly local businesses, so if you’re a restaurateur, it would be a smart move to involve yourself locally and help improve the community.

Some of the best ways to make a difference in your community includes forming a special interests group, bringing an issue to light, or spearheading a community project.  You don’t have to be elected or awarded the title of a leader.  All you have to do is to be a good citizen and take responsibility for a specific part of your community.

Being a leader in your community can be extremely beneficial to your business.  You’ll be well known, respected, and trusted.  Your involvement in the community will help you build strong friendships with the locals.  Also, newspapers and reporters will be likely to name-drop your restaurant whenever they discuss your local projects!  Best of all, contributing to the improvement of your community will help you grow and expand your life.

As a restaurant owner, you might want to choose a project or an issue that’s related to the hospitality industry.  For example, you could open a food pantry and host food drives with the help of students from a nearby high school.  If you keep it up and make food charity your niche, people will eventually look at you as the “go-to” person for any projects or concerns related to food-related community outreach programs.

Before you take any responsibility for anything in your community, you might want to do your research first and find out what your community lacks or needs to improve on.  The best way to do this is…

Attend town hall meetings.

People go to town hall meetings to voice their opinions, vote on issues, and propose solutions to improve the community.  If you attend town halls regularly, you’ll get to find out what some of the most common issues are, and you can start coming up with different ways to solve them.  You can also have a chance to talk to some of the concerned locals and find out whether or not they’re willing to help you with your community project.  Once you have a plan, you can announce it at the next town hall meeting and invite people to volunteer.


Find an issue that pertains to your business.

It isn’t just so you can act in your restaurant’s best interests.  By finding an issue that pertains to your restaurant, you can improve your business and the community at the same time.  Also, newspapers and reporters, as well as the locals, will link your restaurant to your name whenever they discuss your community project.  For example, if your restaurant is located in a high-crime area and you put together a crime-watch organization, you’ll be seen as this restaurant owner who’s concerned about her customers’ safety as they enter and leave your establishment.  If you chose a completely unrelated project, you’d be referred to as a concerned citizen who just so happens to own a restaurant.

Becoming a community leader

If you’re not quite sure how to stand up and take action, you can check out the in-depth tips on becoming a successful community leader on The Community Tool Box.  Some of their tips include creating a personal vision, setting goals, and taking a class or workshop on leadership.

by: Chiara Fucarino


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