Restaurant workers give insight on student fundraisers at Panera Bread, Chipotle
Fundraising events in restaurants such as Panera Bread on College Avenue and Chipotle on George Street offer student organizations the opportunity to grow their finances, extend their outreach and generate buzz for the businesses involved.
Since Panera Bread first opened two years ago, it has hosted approximately 200 fundraising events and continues to do so almost every day, said Matthew Roseman, general manager of the restaurant. This school year alone, there have been between 60 to 70 fundraising events.
Each event involves a different organization, including the Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Relay for Life. Each group is “limited to one event every 30 days, assuming past events have been successful," according to Panera Fundraising's website.
Once a request for an event is issued, Roseman said it goes to corporate. The restaurant would then call the corporate number, who would issue the organization the date and time of when its fundraiser event can be held. Afterward, the organizations typically promote their events through social media and flyers. Events at Panera Bread typically last from 4 to 8 p.m., with 10% of the proceeds distributed to the club.
The size of the organization is often a correlating factor for how successful the event will be.
“It depends on the group. They’re all different. The bigger the organization a group is, the bigger the fundraiser is,” Roseman said.
Mariah Devila, an associate at the Chipotle on George Street, said that sports teams especially had the most people participating in their fundraisers.
“They had a lot of people come in constantly. I think the line was out the door,” she said.
Chipotle sometimes hosts up to four events a week, with events usually scheduled for a 4-hour time slot. Chipotle offers 33% of the proceeds to be kept by the clubs or organizations that host an event in its restaurant, according to its website.
During these events, work can pick up during peak hours, which is between 6 or 7 p.m. But Devila said the work was usually not too much effort for those volunteering in the fundraiser.
One of the student organizations that has partnered with Chipotle in the past is Rutgers Enactus. Kimberlie Chao, a Rutgers Business School senior and president of Rutgers Enactus, said it was an organization that looked to empower people in need.
The organization does so by utilizing student entrepreneurship to help create sustainable solutions for organizations on both a local and global scale.
“Sometimes the solutions that we develop with those different communities include the need for finances. Enactus as a whole has conducted several restaurant fundraisers. We partner with these various restaurants and the proceeds that we get fund our projects or allow us to bring more members to competition, which allows us to present our projects and get our name out there in order to gain more support for the individual communities that we work with,” Chao said.