Lumina News file photo
King Neptune owners Danny McPherson and Earl McPherson raised money for local charities this summer with “BeCause it’s Monday,” donating 25 percent of Monday’s food sales each week.
In response to the recent economic downturn that left more with less disposable income, restaurants and nonprofit organizations across the country have devised ways to compensate for the gap in donations. A few examples of this trend have taken root at restaurants like King Neptune, Ruby Tuesday and the Circa Restaurant Group.
At the newly renovated King Neptune this summer, owners Earl and Danny McPherson initiated the Because It’s Monday charity program, where the restaurant donated 25 percent of its daily sales to a different nonprofit every Monday. The nonprofits that benefitted from Because It’s Monday include the Make-A-Wish Foundation, American Heart Association, Pipeline to a Cure and Surfers Healing. Earl McPherson said the program proved to be a win-win for both sides.
“Throughout America, Mondays are usually pretty rough for restaurants, so it just gave an opportunity to boost business for us and we had the space to accommodate those who wanted to come support those charities,” Earl said. “I think [the nonprofits] were all very pleased with the amount of money we were able to bring in and just advertising their organizations also helped.”
Although King Neptune has reduced its hours for the offseason, Earl said he and his brother are excited about renewing Because It’s Monday next summer.
Another restaurant that is participating in a similar program is Ruby Tuesday’s Mayfaire Town Center location, where general manager Wesley Berry has teamed up with the executive director of the Full Belly Project, Daniel Ling. A few days out of each month, the restaurant donates 20 percent of its sales to Full Belly, a nonprofit organization that provides simple machines for Third World countries like a peanut shucker, testing kits for peanuts and water wells. In the month of August, Berry said his restaurant raised $800.
“The thing I try to hang my hat on is, it takes about $400 to build a well, so that is how I motivate my staff — ‘OK guys, $400 and we are building a well in Africa,’” Berry said. “This is … not a political affiliation, it’s not a religious nonprofit; you’re just doing good for the poorest of the poor.”
The give-back dates at the Mayfaire Ruby Tuesday are generally situated around events the Full Belly Project is holding and can be found at
Now in its second phase, the GiveIt4ward project, -co-founded by Wrightsville Beach resident, John Fife, is expanding the idea to all of the restaurants in Ash Aziz’s Circa Restaurant Group. Launched this spring, GiveIt4ward allows diners to pick one of the 1.8 million charities in the U.S. to receive a portion of 10 percent of the restaurant’s lunch dinner sales. After six weeks, nearly 500 nonprofits shared almost $6,000. Now the program rotates to one of Aziz’s six restaurants every Wednesday from Sept. 19 through Oct. 24.
One of the organizations that benefitted from the spring launch, Feast Down East, received around $100 from the six-week campaign. Feast Down East director Jane Steigerwald said the project proved to be very easy for the nonprofits and the donors.
“It is a very effective concept because people really don’t have to go out of their way,” Steigerwald said.
The next four consecutive, GiveIt4ward dates will host the fundraiser at Towne Tap & Grill, The Kitchen, Boca Bay and Osteria Cicchetti.