How long do I sign up for?
You can choose how long you wish to support the Starfish Project. We recommend a minimum of 2 months for the campaign, and you may wish to support us for longer than that – it’s up to you!
How do customers know what this is about?
We will supply small, stand-up cards that you can place on tables during the time that you are supporting us. The card explains to customers that a voluntary £1 will be added to the table’s bill at the end of the meal, and that every £1 donated will be used to help feed refugees in Greece, Northern Europe and in other locations as they flee from war and violence. Our website details will be on the cards and customers can take them away if they wish to find out more about the project. The cards make it clear that the customer can of course decline to donate.
How much administration is there?
There shouldn’t be much administration –allocating a button on the till to The Starfish Project while you are supporting us makes it easy to keep track of donations. Staff simply add £1 (or more if the customer chooses to donate more) to each bill given to a customer. At the end of each day, the daily report will give total amounts for food, drinks, service etc. and then a separate total for donations to The Starfish Project.
At the end of each month, you look at total restaurant takings versus total sales, and the surplus is the amount donated by customers to The Starfish Project. You can then write a cheque or make a transfer into The Starfish Project’s bank account.
It won’t cost anything! We will provide all the table cards and supporting information and, as explained above, the administration of the scheme is very simple. Of course we will be delighted if you also choose to make a donation as well, but you are helping us enormously by giving us access to your customers.
How much will it cost me?
Similar projects which support, for example, homeless charities, report that very few people decline to donate (less than 1%) and often request that more than £1 be added to the bill! It is important that customers are told about the £1 donation rather than finding it as a surprise on their bill. Most restaurants find that participating in programmes like this has no effect on the level of tipping and that customers are happy to contribute to the scheme and don’t make any adjustment to the level of tip they would normally leave for a meal.
What if customers object?
The £1 donation is added to the bill after the service charge and VAT, so it will not affect your VAT returns.
Any restaurant is welcome to make a donation in addition to or in lieu of participating in the £1 campaign. Those donating will of course receive the same publicity and exposure as those in the regular campaign.
Will it affect my VAT return?
To ensure that the money raised gets to where it is needed, as quickly as possible, we ask that the money raised is paid over to the Starfish Project at least every 2 months. If you are able to pay on a monthly basis, so much the better. We will send you (gentle) reminders if this falls off the “to do” list! Please use the name of the restaurant as a reference so we know where the money has come from and who we need to thank. When you sign up we will supply full bank details or you can send a cheque.
How do I pay over the money raised?
We will list you on our website and would be delighted if you would also like to advertise the fact that you are involved with this project.
What publicity will I get?
We have personally volunteered at the projects in Chios and Calais and have been introduced to One Nation, the charity who runs the bread flour to Syria project by an organisation (UAREUK) that we have worked with and trust. With all 3 projects, 100% of the money goes to purchasing food and supplies for refugees, none is used for administration or salaries. All funds coming to The Starfish Project will be adminstered through Prism the Gift Fund (UK Charity No 1099682) which is managing a collective fund for us.
How do I know the money will be used properly?