Advice on best way to approach restaurant for non-traditional marketing offer?

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Junior Burger
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2013/04/18 19:01:29 (permalink)

Advice on best way to approach restaurant for non-traditional marketing offer?

Hi everyone-- new poster here after poking around and after searching the forum didn't see anything that really answers what I am facing...
 
I am working on a new social cause marketing program that is unlike any of the other traditional marketing offers in that it is no-out-of-pocket cost.  So it's not like Groupon, Scoutmob, Yelp, etc. We're also not like typical suppliers/vendors in that we are not selling anything-- we are looking for partnerships.   
 
It involves giving people an option to give to charity with each meal they order.  The challenge I have been facing is how to get the 10-15 minute meeting it takes to explain the idea.  
 
What I've tried and results so far (~20-30 restaurants, total # of 10 min meetings... 3)
1) Calling to set up a meeting
-- Typically get the "GM is not here right now, we'll pass on the message" (then never hear back)
-- Or, "Email us" (also never hear back)
 
2) Going to the restaurant for lunch, dinner, or a drink, and then asking to speak to the GM or someone appropriate
-- This I have had more success with, actually got a few meetings 
-- But, often have been told "GM is busy, can't speak to you" or "email us", usually don't hear back
 
3) Just stopping in to chat with GM/owner
-- Spoke with one of the owners but she said "email us", and we know how that goes...
 
I have not tried:
-- Cold emailing
 
I always try to go before first service or between lunch and dinner (or if I am eating there, to go early dinner, early lunch, or late dinner when it's not busy).  
 
What do restaurants prefer for these sort of pitches?  All I am looking for is 10 minutes to explain the idea.  Am I asking for the right people?  (Usually I ask the host/hostess or server who I should speak to and they send me to the GM)  
 
Thanks for any thoughts!  
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