New Orleans Non-profit Spotlight: Café Reconcile

August 1st, 2013 by Search Influence Alumni

Many of us go about our days without thinking about the non-profit world in New Orleans, including myself. I heard about Café Reconcile through one of my family members and wanted to share some of the amazing things they are doing to turn lives around in Central City, New Orleans.

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The dining room at Cafe Reconcile usually packs a good crowd.

Café Reconcile improves future employment opportunities for youth by removing some of the barriers that generally stand between them and success. Since the non-profit restaurant opened in 2000, it has made strides in reducing the roll of poverty in a part of town that is ridden with drugs and crime. Marketing & Events Coordinator Cara McMenamin, said, “We want to change the perception of Central City,” and they are doing just that. This change is largely catalyzed by the restaurant training they provide students. Participants in the program can train in nine different restaurant positions, giving them the tools they need to secure a job in a restaurant, hospital, or other food provider.

I had a chance to speak with Cara about Café Reconcile’s social media marketing. They have almost 4,000 likes on Facebook and nearly 3,200 Twitter followers. They are reaching a wide audience from the New Orleans area and around the country. On Facebook, they have found that posts on lunch specials, special events, smiling students, and good-looking food attract a lot of attention, usually in the form of likes.

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Members of the Cafe Reconcile team.

The restaurant uses their Twitter account to get quick words out to their followers while things are happening such as contests and graduations. They find that people mention them in tweets while they are eating at the restaurant. Café Reconcile occasionally receives negative feedback on social media, but it’s usually from individuals who are ignorant of the fact that the restaurant is staffed by students.

Café Reconcile is open Monday through Friday for lunch and also offers off-site catering and space for special events on the second floor. Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter to stay updated on their delicious food and inspiring updates!