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Best Practices

A Step by step process on how to establish grab-a-bite program in your community.

1. Contact Otter Tail County’s Rural Rebound Initiative Coordinator, Erik Osberg, to let him know of your community’s desire to participate & to get appropriate marketing materials including logo with your community’s name on it.  

2. Identify 3-10 “Locals” who are willing to commit to taking at least 1 “Newcomer” out to grab-a-bite over the next 12 months.  Each LOCAL should be willing to commit to:

  • 12 months on the Team of Champions.
  • Recruit & train their replacement.

3. Set up a time for Erik to come to your community & meet with the Locals.

4. Prior to this meeting, contact a few local eateries and ask them if they would be willing to be an Annual Sponsor.  (Cash donations are not required, other suggested options are: Gift Cards, Highly Discounted Coupons, or Buy-one-Get-one free vouchers).

5. Each Local should bring with them the name of at least one newcomer to the meeting.  

6. After meeting with Erik, Locals should take the Newcomer out to “grab-a-bite” one-on-one.  

grab-a-bite Rules: 
  • DO NOT– ask the newcomer to buy, join, sign up for, or attend ANYTHING!  If they ask about a Church or how they can be involved in the community, you are free to respond.  However, the goal of this contact is to present yourself as a welcoming resource, not get them to join a club.
  • DO NOT– let them pay for the meal.  
  • DO NOT– make assumptions about the person you are meeting with.
  • DO NOT– gossip, or otherwise disparage anyone in the community or any other community.
  • DO– ask open ended questions about the newcomer: “What brings you to town?”  “What did you enjoy about the place you used to live?” etc.
  • DO– be prepared to share your contact info & present yourself a reference for future questions.  If they need a plumber, hairstylist, Community Club, etc…

7. Create a database with the names of the Newcomers who participate in the program, they may become future Locals.

8. Establish quarterly meetings so your team of Locals can get together to share successes, discuss struggles and problem-solving suggestions to avoid any repeat failures.

9. Set up a meeting with Erik after 12 months to facilitate the training of the new team of Locals.

10. Repeat!



Erik Osberg

Rural Rebound Initiative Coordinator
Erik Osberg is Otter Tail County's Rural Rebound Initiative Coordinator. For questions about implementing Rural Rebound Initiatives into your community, call 218-770-7848 or send an email to: [email protected]
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