Shop Small? We Say Dine Small!
Break the chains this year and dine small on Saturday, November 28! A day set apart for the entrepreneurs and restaurateurs among us, Small Business Saturday puts the spotlight on those who flavor our local communities with culture and personality.
How do shopping and dining small have a big impact? According to a Civic Economics Study in Grand Rapids, Michigan, $0.68 of every dollar spent at a small business stays in that local economy, whereas only $0.43 of that same dollar stays when spent at a large company.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather my dollars stay put! Above is a visual representation of what I like to call the “circle of pie”…even one slice of pizza helps!
So, what can we do to help small businesses in our neighborhood succeed? Dine at a local restaurant on November 28, 2015 (or any other day, for that matter!). Dish out some dough. Write a review. Type a tweet. Whatever you can do to help perpetuate the ingenuity, tenacity, and vision that make your neighborhood great!
Five Tips on Dining Small on Small Business Saturday
1 – Get Off the Beaten Path
Most people work, play, and dine within a five-mile radius of their house. As creatures of habit, we visit the same familiar restaurant and order the same familiar menu item. Sometimes we willingly forfeit an opportunity to have an amazing experience in exchange for security. This Small Business Saturday, I challenge you to break out of your mold and try something new! Ask a friend (or us!) for a restaurant recommendation – then ask them to come along! What’s the worst that can happen? You have an OK meal in great company. Or, you just might find your new favorite place to dine!
2 – Order the House Specialty
The cool thing about most local restaurants is that they almost always have a unique dish that sets them apart. Find out what this is, and then order it! Here in Colorado Springs, I know of places that serve grandma’s secret recipe Tres Leches cake, jerk chicken made with hard-to-find Jamaican spices, or our regional favorite, pork green chili. Ordering the house specialty will get you to the heart of the restaurant.
3 – If There’s a Line, It’s Probably Worth the Wait
If you see locals lining up outside of a restaurant, there’s a reason! When my husband and I were in Kentucky for the Kentucky Derby a couple of years ago, we drove past a small barn-like structure on the side of the road. It was unassuming, and we wouldn’t have noticed it if not for the line of people stretching around the building. Intrigued, we stopped, waited in line, and enjoyed some of the best barbecue we’d ever had!
4 – A Huge Menu Isn’t Always a Good Thing
Yes, choice is good, but quality is better. Sometimes a restaurant with a huge menu is trying to be all things to all people, which frankly is impossible to do! In valuing quantity, quality is sometimes at risk. Find a restaurant that knows who they are and what they’re good at, even if that means their menu only has a few items.
5 – Ask About Their Story
Restaurateurs have a ton of determination and usually have overcome a lot to get to where they are today. Find out where they came from, why they wanted to start a restaurant, and what their vision is for the future. Be inspired as you listen and reflect on the fact that at a large company you likely wouldn’t have had the opportunity to talk with the owner!
Now, get out there and dine small, America!
Looking for something fun to do on Small Business Saturday? Take our Original Colorado Springs Food Tour with us from 2:00-5:00pm, and visit five local restaurants! After all, we are a small business, too! 😉