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RSVVP Day: Eating out while giving back

Thomas and Mandy Bien, UNC alumni from Cary, NC, finish a meal at the Mellow Mushroom in Chapel Hill, one of the triangle restaurants participating in RSVVP Day.
Thomas and Mandy Bien, UNC alumni from Cary, NC, finish a meal at the Mellow Mushroom in Chapel Hill, one of the triangle restaurants participating in RSVVP Day.

“We just had a lady pickup to-go,” Boyd said. “She said she’s eating out for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

Restaurants across Franklin Street celebrated the 26th Annual RSVVP Day this Tuesday.

RSVVP stands for Restaurants Sharing 10 Percent, where the Roman numeral Vs together add up to 10. On the second Tuesday of every November, more than 100 participating restaurants donate 10 percent of profits to the Inter-Faith Council for hunger-relief programs.

Top of the Hill Restaurant & Brewery is a longtime participant in RSVVP day. Floor manager Hannah Schumann said many customers are informed of the event through various advertising outlets.

“We do a lot of social media things, table tents, in-house promotion, flyers, things like that,” Schumann said.

“Usually we see an increase in business on this day. People want to come out, they want to help.”

TOPO waiter Laker Rosenberg said customers are excited when they learn their meal is contributing to a good cause.

“I think everyone should be doing more things like the RSVVP program, especially during the holidays,” Rosenberg said.

Carolina Coffee Shop has participated in RSVVP Day since its inception. Manager Jeremy Ferry said customers tend to have no awareness that it is RSVVP Day.

“It’s pitiful, because we’ve been doing it for 20 years and no customers ever know,” Ferry said.

“I’ve worked here eight years and I’ve never heard a customer once say, ‘Oh, I came out because it’s RSVVP Day.’ They just come.”

This seemed to be the case with most people dining out on RSVVP Day.

“We had no idea this was going on,” said Margot Le Baron, a diner at Carolina Coffee Shop.

Each participating restaurant was given table-toppers to inform customers about their participation in RSVVP Day.

“They had an information sheet that we read when we got in there,” said Mellow Mushroom customer Chris Mitchell.

“It’s really great, kind of a win-win situation.”

Jim Vangerford, a customer at Sup Dogs, said he heard about RSVVP Day on the radio.

“I think it was Ron Stutts on the WCHL either yesterday or this morning, and he said to eat out,” Vangerford said.

Judith Rivera, a customer at Carolina Coffee Shop, suggested RSVVP Day should occur more frequently.

“If it was monthly, I’d go every month,” Rivera said. “Annually, it’s hard to remember.”

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Even if it does not increase foot traffic, restaurants are proud to participate.

“We just participate because it’s a good cause,” Ferry said.

“There’s a lot of need for that around here, and we are more than happy to help.”


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