South Africans hold the legacy of Nelson Mandela close to our hearts because of our great statesman’s inspirational selflessness. And every year on his birthday, 18 July, we honour our global icon’s memory in a very special way. Since Mandela Day was launched in 2009, we mark the occasion by trying to change the world for the better and offering 67 minutes of service to those in need. Here are our top ideas for how the restaurant industry can spend 67 minutes doing good this Mandela Day.

  • StreetSmart SA partners with restaurants all over South Africa to raise funds for street children. If you are a restaurant that wants to take part, you can display a StreetSmart card and appeal to patrons to donate R5 with their bill. Like all our other suggestions, supporting this organisation doesn’t have to be specific to Mandela Day, you can honour the memory of our former president throughout the year by contributing to this great initiative.
  • Help the homeless by assisting one of the many non-governmental organisations that  focuses on this problem. FEED, Trinity Clinic in Johannesburg, the Philippi Children’s Centre in Cape Town and the Durban Child and Youth Care Centre are some worthy suggestions, but there are many more. Restaurant owners who are looking for charitable fundraising ideas can consider donating food, cash or their time in volunteering. Find out more here.
  • How about getting together a group of family, friends or colleagues to build a house with Habitat for Humanity. This organisation enlists the help of volunteers to build houses in underprivileged communities across South Africa by working with beneficiaries to construct their new homes.
  • Packing hampers with Foodbank SA is another way of giving back on Mandela Day. You can organise groups to take part in events hosted at Foodbank SA warehouses or collect food products and donate them to Foodbank SA. Since you work in the food industry, you know that helping people to get a good meal is sure to make them happy.
  • If you would like to help out in a food kitchen, consider Meals on Wheels. This organisation has feeding schemes throughout the country where you can donate food, spend time in the kitchen and hand out food to the underprivileged.

If you are a restaurant owner and want to keep up to date with restaurant trends, download our e-book, The definitive 21st-century restaurant playbook. It provides food for thought and all the tips and tricks you need to keep you ahead in the restaurant industry.

Author : Rudi Badenhorst