One in eight women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society. However, thanks in large part to increased awareness and screenings, the death rate from breast cancer has been dropping since 1989. Today, around 1 in 36 (or 3 percent) of women will die from breast cancer.
Helping to raise awareness during the month of October are hundreds of restaurants operators who have their own reasons for joining in the cause. Some owners have been personally affected by the disease, while others have family members, friends, and staff who have faced a breast cancer diagnosis.
Here are just a few of the cause-based promotions occurring around the country this month. Use them as inspiration for your own breast cancer awareness effort this year or next.
Ai Fiori, New York City
Ai Fiori, inside Langham Place, New York, is donating 50 percent of sales from its Royal Blush cocktail throughout the month to the Breast Treatment Task Force. “Breast Cancer awareness touches all of us within the Altamarea Group in some way,” says Jonna Gerlich, head of client events at Altamerea Group. “Whether one of our talented staff has been diagnosed, or a close friend or family member of any of our team has gone through a battle, we all have a story that is near and dear to our heart. We inform our staff in daily meetings about the promotion, and we appear on the OpenTable site guiding guests toward participating/donating restaurants.”
Ben’s Kosher Deli, multiple locations
Ben's Kosher Deli
Ben’s customers who order the restaurant’s famous Matzo Ball Soup in October are offered the option of upgrading to a pink matzo ball for $1 more through the company’s Second Annual “Cancer Ain’t Kosher” Fundraiser. Total proceeds benefit Winthrop-University Hospital’s Breast Health Center’s “The Angel Fund.” Last year, more than 1,300 pink matzo balls were sold; this year, each Ben’s restaurant throughout New York and Florida will compete for the winning title of “Most Pink Matzo Balls Sold.”
Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer, New York City
Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer
Black Tap is offering its Pink Shake, an over-the-top strawberry shake featuring a vanilla frosted rim, pink gummies, strawberry shortcake ice cream bar, whipped cream, sprinkles and a pink lollipop, according to owner Joe Isidori. Play with P.I.N.K. receives 100 percen of the proceeds from all Pink Shakes sold October 7 through 9.
Elm City Social, New Haven, Conn.
Elm City Social
Elm City Social has chosen its most popular drink, the Rubber Ducky, which is normally served with a plastic yellow ducky in the drink, and swapped it out for a pink ducky for the month of October, according to owner Matt Bailey. For every Pink Rubber Ducky cocktail sold this month, $1 will go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Fig & Olive, multiple locations
Fig & Olive
Fig & Olive brought in Los Angeles nutritionist Elissa Goodman for two months to work with the executive chef and design a prix fixe menu for Breast Cancer Awareness month, according to marketing director Ludovic Barras. “Elissa helped us create a special nutrient-rich menu that’s available throughout the month of October for $55,” says Barras. “It will be in all of our locations, with $10 from each order going to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.” Additionally, Fig & Olive is promoting its Pink Thursdays, which feature a menu of all-pink happy hour items, which appeals to millennials and also benefits the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Margaritas Mexican Restaurant, multiple locations
Margaritas Mexican Restaurant
Margaritas began its partnership with the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer two years ago as a way to support Breast Cancer Awareness month on a local and personal level, according to Jon Garrett, marketing manager and Pennsylvania Margaritas franchisee. “What started as a fundraising partnership grew into a program surrounding the Margaritas Taco Gigante, with $1 from each Taco Gigante and $1 from each Strawberry Margarita being donated,” says Garrett. “Last year, the Pennsylvania Margaritas restaurants donated more than $500 after a month long promotion. This year, we’ve built up the partnership even more. So far, we’ve raised over $1,200 for Making Strides and are on our way to $5,000 by the end of 2016. This secures our goal of becoming an annual premiere sponsor for Breast Cancer Awareness in the Philadelphia region.”
Matador and Casa Del Matador, Seattle
Matador and Casa Del Matador
On October 14, Opper Melang’s Matador and Casa Del Matador restaurants will donate 40 percent of proceeds from several menu items, including Matador guacamole, chicken breast quesadilla, and the Breast 75, a special cocktail created for the month, to a local breast cancer charity. Additionally, Matador and Casa Del Matadors will run a silent auction and sell its custom-designed “Tacos, Tequila & Tatas” T-shirts. Each location will donate all of the proceeds to charity partners.