Official Fork Over Your Vote Logo
2008 Presidential
Election Kit

What is “Fork Over Your Vote”?

As you probably know, several members in 2004 participated in Ketchup Wars 2004. And many restaurant owners were successful in getting plenty of press coverage for their restaurants using this promotion. This election year we are starting the restaurant poll earlier to capitalize on more press and get bigger numbers! There is plenty of attention on this election and its shaping up to be a heated race. The media is all over this. More stories and press will be updated at our website you can view them by clicking on the “Press” tab at the top of the screen. The website will be updated regularly with new information. This is exactly the kind of opportunity that independent restaurants can take and use to promote their restaurant, so we have created a BIRA promotion that the entire membership can use.

Platinum Plus Member Dave Panther created a similar promotion called the “Coffee Bean Caucus” in his restaurant for the Iowa Primaries earlier this year. People got to cast their “vote” by putting a coffee bean in a jar after their meal. Dave was flooded with media attention about his restaurant from all over the world.

As a result of the upcoming heated 2008 Presidential Election the media is looking for these kinds of stories, and looking for a different angle and a fun story. To take advantage of this opportunity we are having our members conduct their own fork over your vote poll in their restaurants. The goal is to promote the democratic process and encourage everyone to get out and vote.

This proven campaign is sure to bring new customers and the local level media spotlight to your restaurant. Attached you will find all the materials you need to conduct your own 2008 Fork Over Your Vote Poll in your restaurant. Make sure you have fun with it and don’t take it too seriously!

Please follow the directions carefully as this promotion is already done for you, you just need to fill in the blanks. Do not make an attempt to change it radically; only add your personalization info.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Collect and label two see-through voting containers, one for McCain, one for Obama. Perhaps Mason Jars, then as it progresses move up larger containers like empty salad dressing jars, or if volume warrants, empty large water cooler Jugs. Feel free to use the artwork provided with the artwork of John McCain on one and Obama on the other so people know who and what they are voting for.
  2. Purchase enough red and blue jelly beans (or other candy) that customers can put in the containers. Explain to your guests that everyone who orders a meal gets one that they can cast his or her vote. One meal one vote.
  3. Put up promotional material explaining the “Fork Over Your Vote 08” on the tables, washrooms, lobby, over the voting containers, and when you give out the jellybean “ballot”. Ensure you explain this process to your staff.
  4. Order t-shirts (see the order form in this package) or . You may decide to have the staff wear them or sell them to your customers. We recommend any profit from the sale of the T-Shirts go to a charity. We suggest “Habitat for Humanity” or select your own favorite charity.
  5. Fill in the blanks of the attached press release EXACTLY as shown i.e. double spaced, wide margins etc. Send it to your local media contacts. DO NOT contact any national media. We have a separate campaign underway to handle that. If you are contacted by any national or international media have them contact Michael Thibault at 586-498-9791 or Robert Skrob Director of BIRA at 850-222-6000.
  6. Every Sunday cut off votes at your pre-determined time and send them by fax to our office by no later than 10 AM EASTERN on Monday to be added to the weekly vote total. We’ll add up each result by state and post it on the website each Monday. Results not received by 10AM EASTERN Monday morning will be entered on the website the following week. It’s important to get the results in on time so we can present timely results on When posting results in your restaurant we recommend posting vote totals in percentages until you get significant numbers of votes.
  7. One of the main goals for doing this promotion is to encourage voter turnout for Election 2008 and promote the democratic process. It’s great to get kids involved so they can see the importance of voting. To support this cause we suggest providing information and brochures encouraging your customers to get out and vote November 4th. Find out where the local voting stations and times are for your area and post them in your restaurant. Offer the local election staff space in your restaurant to register voters and provide information. You can get information on the Internet. State voting information is available at
  8. We don’t advise taking any position on either candidate or commenting in any way that could be construed as negative about either party. It’s important you remain neutral and don’t try to influence results one-way or the other. All you are doing is reporting the results. It’s okay to add a funny story that relates to this process that occurs in your restaurant, make sure you write about the happenings in your newsletter. Have a camera handy to capture different occurrences: oldest voter, youngest voter, most prolific voter, any controversial voting - watch for your story.
  9. This promotion is to end November 2nd at 12 Noon. Since this is a heated and serious political election those involved won’t likely take any position on this promotion. However once the election is over that position could change. We advise you to take down any signs, stop selling any t-shirts and remove any reference to this promotion from your restaurant and any marketing material prior to or, at the very latest, once the polls close.
  10. Fax in your results weekly on the attached form (Fill in your restaurant information then photocopy the original so you have multiple copies one for each week). We will post the results and projections on the website
  11. Collect votes until November 2nd, 2008. Plan a large event; invite the local media to an election night party. Have your results revealed before the actual election results, that way there will be someone to cheer for collectively as the real election votes come in. Decorate, hire a band, and make a big deal. Provide an offer (free desserts, an appetizer or beverage on the house) to anyone who proves they voted in the real election.
  12. If you have any questions or need help with this promotion you can email us at
  13. Send us original copies of any media coverage you get as well as any press releases you use so we can post it on the website and help other members. Fax to 586-498-9792.

Press Releases

You will find 2 press releases with this kit that you can use at various times throughout this promotion.

  1. For the initial launch of in your restaurant after everything is already up and running in your restaurant. Be good if you already have a few days of votes for them to see.
  2. For weekly updates. This should be short and to the point telling the results you’ve tallied to date and week


You can download all the forms for this kit here, you can also view and dowload the full-size graphics.

  1. Fork Over your Vote Registration form
  2. T-Shirt order form
  3. Template for the Press Release
  4. Tally Sheet - March - June
  5. Tally Sheet - July - Nov
  6. McCain vs. Obama Logo