For many people, October unofficially marks the start of fall, trees changing colors, and Halloween. For many brands, fall means special seasonal product releases and promotions along with planning their upcoming holiday marketing campaigns. The start of October also marks the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Aside from skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in American women. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF), one in 8 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime and over 40,000 women will die from the invasive disease this year alone. Breast cancer awareness is a cause that's close to the hearts of many people and also many franchise brands who are joining the fight in 2020 against the disease that affects over 250,000 women and over 2,000 men in the United States each year.
While many franchise or multi-location brands in the restaurant industry share a drive for helping find a cure for this horrible disease, charitable giving is down to its lowest levels since 2009 mainly due to financial pressure on individuals and corporations caused by the economic downturn of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Gallup poll.
Here are six franchise brands who have launched Childhood Cancer or Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaigns this fall to raise funds for research into their prevention, treatment, and cure. We’ve chosen to highlight the great work these franchise brands are doing during an otherwise turbulent year and take a deeper dive into why becoming involved in supporting cancer awareness is so important to them, the communities their locations serve, and their franchise owners.
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the world’s largest barbecue concept’s signature Big Yellow Cup will become pink. Throughout the month, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit will offer the 32-ounce limited-edition collectible Tribute Cup for purchase in all of their locations across the U.S
A portion of the proceeds from every charitable cup sold will be donated to The Dickey Foundation, which provides safety equipment and overall support for first responders. The Dickey Foundation will use the funds raised from the collectible Pink Big Yellow Cup to provide mammograms and other breast cancer detection, treatment and services for local first responders.
“Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among U.S. women and the second leading cause of death,” says Laura Rea Dickey, CEO of Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. “One in eight women will be diagnosed in their lifetime, and early detection is key to increasing survival rates. As the nation’s largest barbecue brand, Dickey’s is proud to support our local first responders in the battle against breast cancer.”
Hungry Howie’s continues its commitment to raising awareness and funds for the National Breast Cancer Foundation Inc. this October through its annual “Love, Hope & Pizza” campaign. Over the past decade, Hungry Howie’s has partnered with NBCF in support of survivors and those currently battling breast cancer by donating a portion of sales from its famous Flavored Crust pizza. Hungry Howie’s Pizza has donated more than $3 million to NBCF to date.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought additional challenges and hardship to those affected by the disease, and Hungry Howie’s will contribute to NBCF’s COVID-19 Relief Fund to help provide breast cancer patients with the services and care they need. From September 28 to October 29, Hungry Howie's will be serving its flavorful pizzas in pink boxes adorned with the NBCF logo. For every pizza purchased in a pink pizza box during Love, Hope & Pizza, Hungry Howie’s will make a donation to NBCF’s COVID-19 Relief Fund. Additionally, for the remainder of 2020, customers are invited to help the cause when they order online or via Hungry Howie’s mobile app, with the option to round-up their total to the nearest dollar at check-out.
“Hungry Howie’s has been a proud partner of NBCF for more than a decade and we’re honored to continue our involvement to provide support to breast cancer patients and frontline responders during these critical times,” says Steve Jackson, CEO of Hungry Howie’s. “For our 11th year of ‘Love, Hope, & Pizza’, we’ve dedicated our fundraising efforts to help one of the most vulnerable groups of people impacted by COVID-19 receive access to the education, services, and care they need. With the round-up option, donating the spare change can help make a difference in the lives of those facing breast cancer across the country.”
Duck Donuts held its fourth annual franchise-wide Quack Gives Back Campaign supporting Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program, which helps alleviate fear and anxiety in children undergoing cancer treatment. The campaign takes place each September during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Throughout the month, customers at any Duck Donuts location had the option to “lend a wing” by rounding up their purchase to the next dollar, with the difference donated to the Quack Gives Back program. Contributions will provide children who are patients at local pediatric oncology units with access to Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program, which encourages healing through the power of play therapy for children and families dealing with childhood cancer. It has raised nearly $190,000 to date. This year’s funds will go directly to 50 children’s hospitals in the communities local Duck Donuts’ owners serve across the United States.
“Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program is an important resource not just for the children undergoing cancer treatment and their families, but also for the doctors, nurses, child life specialists, and other supporters who are trying to comfort children and navigate them through what can be a very scary experience,” says Russ DiGilio, founder and CEO of Duck Donuts. “For the last four years, we’ve been proud to partner with this wonderful organization to provide huggable hope to thousands of kids and families. We look forward to another year of raising awareness and dollars for this special cause and doing what we can to live out our core value of being a valued member of our community.”
Woops!, a leading U.S. macaron franchise, announced that they will be transforming all of their macarons pink for the month of October in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. These exclusive pink macarons, in twenty different flavors, will be available at all 32-plus Woops! locations nationwide.
"This disease is one that has hit close to home," says Woops! Co-founder and Chief Brand and Design Officer Tal Avivi. “Breast Cancer Awareness is a cause that’s very close to our hearts at Woops! My mom was diagnosed more than 15 years ago, and she fought in an inspiring and brave way. So many of our franchisees have friends and family who’ve battled the disease. Early detection is a woman’s best defense against breast cancer; if we can help raise awareness and encourage even a few women to go and get tested, we’ve made a difference. That’s why every box we’re selling this month means $1 donated to the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer. From the bottom of my heart and from everyone at Woops!, thank you so much for joining us in going pink and contributing to this life-changing cause!
Barberitos, a fast-casual Southwestern Grille and Cantina with 50 locations across the Southeast, is launching a breast cancer awareness campaign by “Chipping in for a Cure” and raising money for the cause.
Every Barberitos location will host a Breast Cancer Awareness Percentage Day (date will vary by location), where 10 percent of sales will be donated to a local breast cancer awareness or research organization. Pink chips will be served to all guests, and pink mood cups will be included with the purchase of a regular drink on the selected donation day. Customers will also have the option to add a monetary donation to the charity on their receipt at participating locations.
“Barberitos is dedicated to making an impact in the communities we serve, and many of our guests have had their lives affected by breast cancer,” says Barberitos Founder and CEO Downing Barber. “In addition to enjoying a fresh and tasty meal, they can feel good knowing that they are helping such a worthy cause.”
Clean Juice has launched a "Beet Cancer Combo." The new combo features pink-colored Sabra organic Hummus Toast paired up with a 16-ounce Pink or Red Cold-Pressed Juice. The new colorful combo is intended to raise awareness and financial support to the American Cancer Society, the largest funder of cancer research in the U.S.
"This is a very personal cause for many of us at the home office in Charlotte and throughout our stores across the nation. Many of us have been deeply impacted by breast cancer," says Landon Eckles, founder and chief executive officer of Clean Juice. "This campaign will fund breast cancer research and our goal is to raise $25,000 in the month of October. This is funding the American Cancer Society desperately needs amidst the COVID-19 global pandemic."
At its 100 stores operating nationwide, Clean Juice will donate $2 for every "Beet Cancer Combo" sold between October 1–31. The company is also donating $1 for every individual Red or Pink Cold-Pressed 16-ounce Juice sold throughout the month of October.
Why Causes are Important to Franchise Brands and How You Can Help
Without a doubt, a company’s philanthropic efforts have an impact on consumers’ purchasing decisions. A recent Mintel study found 73 percent of Americans take a company’s charitable giving into account when deciding what to buy. Going further, upwards of half of all Americans would change companies they purchase from if another business’s charitable giving aligned with their own beliefs. The bottom line is that consumers from all backgrounds are setting increasingly higher expectations when it comes to companies giving back.
Consumer expectations aside, it’s important that any charitable initiatives are embraced for a good reason and are authentic to the brand. For many franchise brands, breast cancer is an issue that has touched and impacted so many people’s lives within their company, franchise owners, stores, employees and among their guests.
Be sure to support these awesome local franchise brands and businesses in your community who help support breast cancer awareness and other great causes. There are also other ways you can give back. If you want 100 percent of your money to support breast cancer research and care, you can donate directly to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Susan G Komen organization, and other highlyrated charitable breast cancer organizations.
Lauren Wilsman is the Communications Director at Hyperlocology, a multi-location automated marketing platform that transforms the way franchise and multi-unit brands market together with their locations. Their technology cuts time and money required to run national and local marketing programs in a unified way with localization, visibility and collaboration required to make the brand and every location successful.