Change for Change: Round It Up America


By Ashley Cherry

BEING A SUCCESSFUL RESTAURATEUR REQUIRES MORE THAN RUNNING A PROFITABLE RESTAURANT, responsibilities range from overseeing fair treatment of employees, to sourcing locally, to marketing effectively, as well as managing philanthropic efforts and charitable giving. For larger companies, these components of business are easily facilitated and spread across teams of people. For smaller businesses, attempting to manage every aspect can absorb time and energy away from daily operations. Now, there is an app for that…well, it’s less of an app and more of a program, but it exists to take one of these
responsibilities off of your plate, pun intended.

Created by industry leaders with extensive restaurant backgrounds, Round It Up America is
a solution for restaurants that want to collect donations for their local non-profits. By
partnering with restaurants, they utilize a system similar to what you see in grocery stores: when the guest goes to checkout there is an option to donate $1 or more to a charity, the customer then clicks on the $1 button if they wish to give or they have the option to skip it and checkout.Similarly, customers at participating restaurants have the option to donate by adding an additional amount next to the “Round It Up” section on their bill — right above the tip line.”
The concept encourages guests to round up to the nearest dollar in an effort to easily donate to charity, affording restaurants, big and small, the ability to collect charitable donations without compromising their bottom line.

The program, in place since 2009, across 37 states, has donated over $2 million to charitable organizations, some including: Make A Wish Foundation, Feeding America, Big Brothers Big Sisters, The American Red Cross and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Round It Up America’s first restaurant partner was Yard House; it has since partnered with more than 50 restaurants and campaigns. As a marketing agency that predominately represents restaurants, we highly recommend and connect RIUA to our clients.

Our latest connection of the program was to TAPS Fish House & Brewery. TAPS is now
encouraging their team members to relay the Round It Up America mission to guests at their three locations – by simply rounding up their bill to the nearest dollar, they can help contribute to the local Orange County community through LZ Grace, the Lone Survivor Foundation and the Irvine Public School Foundation; three respectable organizations that TAPS chose to benefit because of their dedication to Veterans, active service members and
to children in the public education system.

On average, 25 percent of guests choose to round up their checks. For a restaurateur with three locations that average 50 tables a day per location, the quarterly donation would approximate $2,000 — and that’s not counting the three percent of guests who choose to donate more. 91 percent of monies raised go directly to the restaurant’s charity of choice (up to three charities per year), seven percent goes toward Round It Up America’s administrative and fund management fees and two percent is reserved for the restaurant to either withhold as credit card processing fees or to donate to their selected charities.
Round It Up America is a no-brainer for restaurateurs who are looking for a simple way to
monetarily give back to their local communities.

For more details on how to get involved as a restaurant partner, which organizations are currently receiving support or to directly donate, visit

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