Round it Up: New Retail Tech Collaboration Brings Together Charity, Change

The new partnership between the International Food and Beverage Technology Association and Round It Up America aims to bring charitable-giving technology to the hospitality industry.

There are more than 1 million restaurants in the United States. If just 1 percent of those restaurants raised $25 a day from guests rounding up their checks to the nearest dollar, $7.5 million a month—a whopping $90 million a year—could be donated to charitable organizations around the country.

This isn’t a reality right now, but a new partnership announced this week between the International Food and Beverage Technology Association (IFBTA) and Round It Up America is bringing this idea one step closer to fruition.

RIUA is a nonprofit that invites guests of specific restaurants and retail locations, called Mission Partners, to round up their checks to the nearest dollar and donate the remaining change to local and national charities. With this new partnership, IFBTA members are able to bring a charitable component to their organizations. And in a climate where 92 percent of consumers look positively on organizations that donate to charity, this could help shed a positive light—and keep business booming—for participating groups.

“Forming a partnership between the IFBTA and RIUA was a no-brainer,” said Robert Grimes, IFBTA’s CEO, in a news release. “Partnering with an organization like Round It Up America, where the enabler of its engine is all about technology, allows supporters of the IFBTA—both operators and suppliers alike—to join in on a national charitable initiative that supports our industry and our community.”

IFBTA’s mission is to promote the use of technology within the global food and beverage industries. This partnership was established as a measure to align with other industry associations in support of technology-related initiatives, according to the release.

“We’re very excited to partner with the IFBTA,” said Harald Herrmann, a RIUA cofounder. “What sets Round It Up America apart is that it provides a simple, cost-free way for our Mission Partners to select their own nonprofit partners and raise funds to support them year-round.”

Of the funds raised through RIUA, a minimum of 91 percent goes directly to charity, with the other 9 percent going to administrative and interchange fees.

“We are actively meeting with potential Mission Partners and educating them on how Round It Up America can easily be adopted into their corporate social responsibility plan,” said RIUA Cofounder Jennifer Weerheim.

(gualbertobecerra/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Jeff Hsin

By Jeff Hsin


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