It seems like the “dine-and-donate” promotional season is starting early this year. Typically, you see a lot of these programs (in which restaurants set aside a percentage of one night’s proceeds for a charitable cause) during the winter, especially after the holidays, when theoretically fewer people are eating out. (I say “theoretically” because I don’t think a slow dining period applies in the restaurant-hungry town of San Francisco.)
A diner can easily become blasé about all this, like the many color bands people wear on their wrist these days. But how can you ignore it when it’s for the kids?
When I was in the Tenderloin area recently, I saw a poster for the Streetsmart 4 Kids promotion benefiting Larkin Street Youth Services, La Casa de las Madres and Huckleberry Youth Programs. Unlike other promotions, this dine and donate program is not restricted to one night or one week. The promotion runs from Oct. 1 to Nov. 18, and it works by having diners donate money directly to the cause. The restaurants are just serving as the donate depot. (Diners visiting participating restaurants will be asked to donate $3 when their bill arrives.)
Click here for a list of the participating San Francisco restaurants, which include the obvious such as Myth, Perbacco, Chez Spencer, Slanted Door and Foreign Cinema. Your money will go to programs helping kids to have careers, such as maybe becoming a chef at a restaurant or, at the very least, help a kid grow into a career where he or she can even afford to go to a nice restaurant for dinner.