The second Tuesday of each November, Irene Briggaman sits down for her dinner reservations at the Siena Hotel’s Il Palio Ristorante.
Ten percent of Tuesday’s profits from Il Palio and 103 other Orange County restaurants will go to benefit the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service as a part of the annual RSVVP Day.
“It makes such a difference,” said Briggaman, who is a Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce ambassador. “We couldn’t have asked for a better day.”
The proceeds of RSVVP day, which stands for “Restaurants Sharing 10 Percent,” will help provide funding for the local food kitchen and pantry.
“This is one day a year where the connection between serving food to my customers and serving our community, in the larger sense, is made,” said Janet Elbetri, co-owner of Sandwhich at 407 W. Franklin St.
Elbetri said the restaurant has been participating since it opened six years ago.
The RSVVP tradition was established by Briggaman 22 years ago.
She said more than 50 regular restaurants have participated for 10 years and about 25 have been pledging their portions for 20 years. In 2009, the 90 participating restaurants raised more than $18,000.
Briggaman said the process of getting the funds can sometimes be extensive.
She said the restaurants sign a pledge card and are honor-bound to send in the correct amount of money.
The deadline for restaurants to turn in their checks is Dec. 31, but Briggaman said some checks were received as late as April after last year’s event.
Business on the day of the event varies from restaurant to restaurant, managers and owners said.
Carolina Coffee Shop joined RSVVP at the last minute on Monday but manager Will Nute said he didn’t see any change in the number of customers.
But Serafettin Akbay, owner of Vespa Ristorante at 306 W. Franklin St., said Tuesday’s business was better than that of a regular day.
Akbay has participated in the event since 1998 because of the positive impact.
“I want to help the community and the hunger surrounding us,” Akbay said.
Briggaman said the event wouldn’t be possible without the continued support of the county’s patrons and businesses.
“I would like to send out a big congratulations to all the local restaurants that participated.”
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