Remember to Thank Small Restaurants and #DineSmall


A new campaign aims to encourage those shopping on Small Business Saturday to patronize small restaurants too when their shopping day is done. Small Business Saturday, now in its fifth year, is the Saturday after Thanksgiving specifically designated to promote shopping from small businesses and local merchants.

The campaign already has two hashtags. The first, #DineSmall, is helping to spread the word about the new campaign, officially called Small Business Saturday Night. The second, #ShowUsYourMenu, encourages owners and chefs at participating establishments to post special menus for the event via social media.

In a recent post on the Small Business Administrator blog, SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet explains:

“This year, America’s bars and restaurants are extending the hours on the daylong festivities by promoting Small Business Saturday Night. The SBA is partnering with the National Restaurant Association to encourage families who shop small to #DineSmall at local restaurants and watering holes in the evening. We’re also encouraging small business merchants to extend their hours so they can take advantage of increased nighttime foot traffic.”

Why Supporting Small Restaurants is Important

As in the case with other small businesses, small restaurants are important to local economies and employment.

But they also have an important impact on the careers of future restaurant entrepreneurs and, as a result, on the creation of even more jobs in the future.

Sweet adds:

“Nine out of 10 restaurants have less than 50 employees, and 80 percent of restaurant owners start their careers in entry-level positions. So the #DineSmall movement is this year’s important new way to support the proprietors who give Main Street its unique flavor.”

But more than that, small businesses represent a livelihood for many of those in the communities were we all live.

In a recent email in support of the event, John Frazier, Chief Entrepreneur Champion at BizBuzz America recounts the story of 62-year-old restaurant owner Carol Bates.

Frazier says Bates, owner of Dockside Dave’s Grill in Madeira Beach, Fl., tracked him down after a bad experience he had at her restaurant and taught him the value small restaurant owners place on their customers.

“Carol called my cell phone the next day after the event. She explained that her cook was new, apologized, and offered me a gift certificate that was twice what I had actually spent. I turned down her gift certificate and respectfully accepted a replacement meal. But then Carol explained, ‘my customers are important to me; because, if you don’t come back I will be unemployed and at 62 I cannot get another job’.”

Remember to support small restaurants on Small Business Saturday  and all year long and spread the word via #DineLocal. And small restaurant owners, take advantage of #ShowUsYourMenu to promote your special menu for the day.

Image: SBA

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Shawn Hessinger Shawn Hessinger is the Executive Editor for Small Business Trends and a professional journalist with more than 20 years experience in traditional and digital media for trade publications and news sites. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has served as a beat reporter, columnist, editorial writer, bureau chief and managing editor for the Berks Mont Newspapers.

6 Reactions
  1. Just at at a local main street eatery last night. Plan on doing it again. Great campaign.

  2. I agree. What I love about small restaurants is that they strive their best to meet the needs of their customers. Their food usually have more heart and is done with love.

  3. Small Business Saturday in the UK is on December 6th, I believe. I didn’t think to include small restaurants in that too, so thanks for the reminder.

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