How Restaurants Can Leverage the ALS Challenge

Unless you don't use Facebook or have been hiding under a rock for the past two months, you know about the ALS challenge. It is a phenomenon hitting social media wherein an individual who is nominated by his/her peer to "take the challenge" - they can either donate $100 to the ALS foundation and/or take a video of them dumping a bucket of ice water on their head. What's amazing about this challenge, is that people nominate their friends. It's like the chain email of the 1990s but it's on social media and it's creating a TON of donations.

Bill Gates taking the ALS challenge (

Bill Gates taking the ALS challenge (

The ALS Association shares how powerful the movement is:

As of Wednesday, August 20, The ALS Association has received $31.5 million in donations compared to $1.9 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 20). These donations have come from existing donors and 637,527 new donors to The Association.

For the mathematically challenged, that is a 16,578% increase from last year. Or, 16.5x MORE than last year. Imagine you're a restaurant location who grosses $1.2m a year and the subsequent year it grossed $19.89m. Absurd.

So what can you do about it? Here are a few ideas:

  1. Create your own local challenge - pick a local charity and create a local challenge. For example, "Come in an eat XXX and/or donate to YYY local charity."
  2. Make it a staff participation idea...have 1 of your locations participate in the challenge and nominate another location. In sum, your organization can make a meaningful donation to ALS and get a TON of free press.

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