“We want to do what we can to promote water quality and raise awareness to issues about the water,” said Kevin Healy, owner of the Boathouse Restaurant, which has locations on the Swift Creek reservoir in Chesterfield and on the James River at Rocketts Landing.
Healy is donating 20 percent of the proceeds from two dishes, dubbed “Watershed Specials,” to support Friends of the James River Park and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
During the specials’ first month in July, Healy said, they raised $1,000 for each group.
“I think they were a little surprised by the amount of money, and now they are getting more engaged in the program,” he said.
Healy said he plans to continue the specials for about six months. One dish is a tomato, mozzarella and basil salad for $9, and the other is a blue crab and grits entree for $12. Both dishes use mostly locally grown or sourced ingredients.
Healy said the idea in response to frequent solicitations from nonprofits and charities.
“We, like most restaurants, are almost daily asked for contributions, which is fine. But it’s hard to make an effect when you are giving a little bit to so many different groups,” Healy said.
Healy decided to focus his charitable efforts and came up with a promotion that goes with a seafood-heavy menu and waterfront dining.
“We want to participate with things that have to do with water,” he said. “It just makes sense.”
Al Harris covers the restaurant industry for BizSense. Please send news tips to [email protected]