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Restaurant offers churches chance to shine

FARMINGTON– Recruiting the church crowd has been good business for Farmington’s Ryan’s Restaurant. And so, the chain is adopting the Parkland eatery’s program in its stores throughout the country.

For years, Ryan’s encouraged its restaurants to honor a church each month by offering the congregation the chance to decorate a bulletin board in the restaurant. The marketing idea didn’t really go anywhere until Ron Budd came on staff at the local Ryan’s. The former preacher knew the way to a pastor’s heart.

“I started calling preachers and asking them to come and meet with me for lunch and I would tell them what publicizing their church at Ryan’s could do for them,” Budd explained. “And I asked them if they can do it with a good conscience to recommend us to people.”

And so, the bulletin board got decorated, the pastor got a free meal at Ryan’s and the restaurant’s managers say business went up. So the restaurant started honoring a church every two weeks. Then, business was so good, they decided to make it every week.

From Thursday through the following Wednesday, the church’s bulletin board stays posted. It’s located just beside the line through which people pass to place their orders. Manager Bruce Williams said 9,000 people each week dine at his restaurant and have the chance to read about the church.

“They can put anything up there they like, advertising a revival or a special program,” Williams explained. “About the only thing they can’t advertise is another restaurant!”

To sign up a church, contact Budd at Ryan’s. He has 52 weeks to fill and a church can only be featured once during the year.

Williams said the advertisement is a great way for churches to make their presence known to newcomers in the community. The church also gets its name on the Ryan’s sign out front.

“We’ve noticed the congregation comes to eat here the week they’re on the board, too, and we just think it shows Ryan’s is a family restaurant that cares about the community,” said Williams who added that now they’re also honoring a business each week on another bulletin board.

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