Ever wonder what gargantuan quick-serve restaurants do with all their money? Do they pump up their marketing efforts? Purchase new equipment? Find exciting ways to improve the french fry?
Not necessarily. Take Danny Murphy, owner of D.P. Murphy Inc., a corporation that operates 19 Tim Horton's restaurants, eight Wendy's quick-service restaurants and a Holiday Inn, most of which are located near Prince Edward Island, Canada. Murphy, 43, who recently won Canada's Top Employer of Youth award, believes helping his community involves a different sort of bottom line. "We're able to do charitable things, so we do them," Murphy says. "It's that simple."
With a daily client base of 25,000, Murphy does, indeed, have that ability. After 20 years of helping the community, people have come to anticipate his ski trips for underprivileged children; food drives; highway cleanups; children's camps, one of which he personally runs and four others, to which he sends children; and the Easter Seals poster-child campaign, which netted $20,000 last year. Other programs include a soup campaign each February (for the Heart & Stroke Foundation) and Alzheimer's Day (proceeds from every large coffee sold at Tim Horton's locations benefit the Alzheimer's Society).
Murphy's advice for entrepreneurs looking to give back? "Big events and small beginnings," he says. "The first year, you might be by yourself, waving that banner, but don't get discouraged. Big events weren't always big; they all had to start somewhere."
Karen E. Spaeder is a freelance business writer in Southern California.