7 Father’s Day ideas to boost restaurant sales

Tony Smith, CEO and co-founder of Restaurant365, shares a few ways restaurants can take advantage of Father’s Day.

Although it takes a while for children to appreciate the wisdom of a father, Father’s Day is an annual occasion to show dad how much he is loved. A very popular way to show her love is to take her out to eat. After all, getting dad to fire up the grill and keep warm while cooking on his namesake vacation would be a huge MIS-STEAK (pun intended)!

Data from our 28,000+ restaurant customers at Restaurant365 for 2021 shows an average 19% increase in sales on Father’s Day compared to the previous four Sundays, as well as a $10 million increase over to Sunday just before and after Father’s Day. What a great opportunity to spend a little extra effort and get more out of your restaurant.

Here are seven examples of how restaurants can increase traffic and maximize revenue this Father’s Day weekend:

1. Promote yourself online in a fun way
Social media is a basically free and very effective way to promote your Father’s Day specials. Engage your followers by hosting an interactive contest for the best dad jokes. It can be just for fun, or you can increase the competition by offering the winner a free meal or a gift card to your restaurant.

2. Include all “dads” in your promotions
Why only announce promotions to traditional fathers? Father’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate all the important men in our lives. Whether it’s a biological father, adoptive father, stepfather, grandfather, uncle or male mentor, Father’s Day is the perfect opportunity to recognize any male role models who have positively influenced your life.

3. Celebrate all weekend
Who said Father’s Day had to be limited to Sunday? Start your Father’s Day promotions on Friday to generate more holiday revenue by catering to those who aren’t big fans of crowds. It’s common for dads with multiple grown children to go out more than once this weekend.

4. Offer a fixed price (or a fixed price if you feel like it)
A fixed price menu is always useful when expecting a crowd. Finding the perfect balance between popular and inexpensive seasonal flavors can create a more refined dining experience for the customer, while providing cost and efficiency benefits for the restaurant – a win-win. Fixed price menus increase sales, reduce inventory, consolidate preparation, reduce stress for BOH and FOH employees, and facilitate forecasting since each plate has a fixed cost.

5. Give a gift, get a gift.
Running a free $10 promotional gift card (or e-gift card) for every $50 gift card purchase is a smart way to ensure repeat visitors. If you are concerned about cash flow, it is generally acceptable to put a 30, 60 or 90 day expiration date on the cards as long as it is clearly visible to the recipient.

6. Boost take-out sales
You can increase take-out sales by offering take-out family packages. Some dads want to stay home and relax on Father’s Day! A take-out basket is the perfect way to feed the whole family with little effort.

7. Partner up
Consider teaming up with a nearby business to create an event, not just a meal. A little co-marketing for a package such as dinner and movie tickets, bowling passes, laser tag games, etc. can go a long way in getting your name out in front of a fresh eye. See if a nearby business is willing to partner with you to advertise each other’s businesses for fun Father’s Day packages.

There is no doubt that Father’s Day will create a nice boost in sales for the restaurant industry, but don’t leave that to chance. Properly promoting your restaurant as a top Father’s Day destination will attract customers. Good execution and great service will keep them coming back!

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