If you aren’t planning any Super Bowl restaurant promotions, you could be missing out on one of the most lucrative days of the year. Food is an integral part of the football experience and to say that Super Bowl Sunday is a big day for restaurants is a major understatement.
A whopping 79% of people who plan on watching the Super Bowl also plan to purchase refreshments for the game, according to the Nation’s Restaurant News. In total, American adults spend $81.30 on average on food, drinks, and other game-day purchases during and in preparation for the Super Bowl, according to the same source.
Super Bowl Sunday is also one of the biggest days of the year for delivery. In fact, 48 million people place delivery orders on this day, which accounts for 3% of all orders via third-party delivery apps.
So, what’s everyone ordering? Football fans consume 12.5 million pizzas on game day. Classic bar refreshments are also popular. In fact, one Dallas-based restaurant reportedly sells 80,000 chicken wings and 65,000 draft beers on Super Bowl Sunday, according to the Nation’s Restaurant News.
If you’re reading this article, you’re probably a restaurateur who wants to know how to take advantage of this profitable day. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn:
- 8 ideas for restaurant Super Bowl specials and promotions
- How to prepare your restaurant for Super Bowl Sunday
8 Ideas for Super Bowl Restaurant Promotions and Specials
Football fans turn to restaurants and bars on Super Bowl Sunday to watch the game with other fans and feed their friends and families at home. Here are several restaurant Super Bowl promotions and ideas to help you make the most of this fruitful day.
1. Create Team-Specific Dishes
Create two signature dishes or drinks inspired by the rivaling teams to add an element of fun to your Super Bowl menu. You could even create a third dish inspired by the halftime performer!
At the end of the day, let customers know in-venue and through social media which dish was more popular (i.e. which team won your restaurant’s Super Bowl competition). Use data from your point of sale (POS) system to quickly find out which dish sold best.
2. Halftime Happy Hour
Restaurant orders tend to taper off as the game goes on, so consider offering a drink special during the halftime show to boost orders even after the game is well underway. For example, you could offer discounted beer pitchers or serve a cocktail that’s only available during the halftime show.
In addition to generating more revenue from customers who are already at your restaurant, a halftime happy hour might also attract new bar-hopping customers who want to watch from multiple venues.
3. Offer a Takeout Special
As you know, Super Bowl Sunday is one of the most popular days for delivery. Make sure you have a dedicated offering for takeout and delivery for those who want to enjoy the big game at home with family and friends.
Offer combinations of family-sized or catering-sized dishes that come with enough food to feed a crowd. Let customers mix and match popular options like pizza, chicken wings, and nachos to satisfy everyone’s cravings.
And if you accept takeout and delivery orders through a direct online ordering solution like TouchBistro Online Ordering, you can forego commission fees and free up your phone lines to maximize off-premises orders.
4. Host a Contest
Keep your diners engaged with a contest inspired by the Super Bowl. Here are a few restaurant contest ideas to help you get started:
- Biggest fan contest: Encourage customers to come in or submit photos of themselves wearing their favorite team’s gear. Appoint a judge to crown the most spirited fan and give them a prize.
- Eating contest: Can someone break the record for most wings eaten on game day? Charge an entrance fee for the contest to cover the food costs, then give a prize to the person who finishes a set number of wings in the shortest amount of time, or who eats the most wings in total.
- Social media contest: Encourage followers to vote for their favorite team, favorite dish, or any other category you come up with on your restaurant’s social media accounts. Then, choose a follower who comments on the post to receive a prize.
So, what kind of prize should you give out? Gift cards are a great idea because they’ll bring diners back in the post-football season and help them create a habit of eating at your restaurant. Consider giving out digital gift cards so winners can access prizes instantly from their smartphones.
5. Create a Super Bowl Buffet
Offering an all-you-can-eat buffet is both a great Super Bowl marketing idea for restaurants and an easy way to guarantee a minimum spend from diners who partake.
Include classic game day favorites and your most popular and profitable dishes on your menu in your buffet. Not sure which those are? Check out your POS sales data to find out.
6. Host a Watch Party
If your restaurant is equipped with TVs, why not host a watch party? Instead of just offering reservations, which customers can cancel without consequence, sell non-refundable tickets to guarantee revenue even if you have no-shows.
Incorporate the above Super Bowl marketing ideas into your party, such as a buffet, contest, drink specials, and team-themed dishes.
7. Offer a Pre-Ordering Discount
Research shows that restaurants get swamped with takeout orders beginning seven hours before the Super Bowl. This influx of orders is great for business, but bad for operations and frustrating for customers who may have to wait a long time for food. With a solution like TouchBistro Online Ordering, diners can schedule their orders in advance, which helps you avoid overloading your kitchen and allows staff to prepare in advance.
You can even offer a small discount to customers who pre-order game day meals. Announce the deal on social media, via email, and on posters in your restaurant, and let customers know the cut-off day and time for the discount.
8. Partner with a Beverage Distributor for Freebies
Booze is a big part of Super Bowl Sunday. According to Hungry Fan, football fans drink 326 million gallons of beer on game day. That doesn’t even include seltzers, wine, and hard liquor.
Increase alcohol sales by partnering with a beverage distributor, beer brand, or liquor brand to give away samples of their products at your restaurant on game day. They’ll benefit by getting their name out there and you’ll benefit by attracting customers who will spend more on food and full-size beverages.
10. Run Super Bowl Bingo
What’s better than one game on Super Bowl Sunday? Two games. Add bingo to the mix for a fun way to keep viewers in your restaurant engaged and generate some extra revenue. Create bingo boards with various predictions for things that may happen during the game, such as:
- X team leads by 10 points in the first half
- A backup dancer stumbles during the halftime show
- A TikToker stars in a Super Bowl commercial
- The teams’ mascots get into a fight
Let dine-in customers play by paying a few dollars for a bingo board. Then, offer gift cards to the first three customers who get bingo to keep them coming back in the postseason.
How to Prepare Your Restaurant for Super Bowl Sunday
No matter what kind of Super Bowl promotions you run, preparation is the key to making sure Super Bowl Sunday goes off without a hitch for your customers and staff. Implement these strategies to spread the word and streamline operations.
Having the proper number of staff working on game day can help you deliver great customer service, which will keep guests coming back for more. Look at data from past Super Bowl Sundays to forecast how many employees you’ll need to handle an influx of in-venue diners and takeout orders.
A tool like 7shifts can also help you predict your staffing needs by accessing historical demand data from your POS.
Preview Your Super Bowl Menu
If you’re adding new items to your menu or offering Super Bowl Sunday restaurant specials, create and publish your game day menu a few weeks in advance so customers know what to expect from you.
This sneak peek gets customers excited and can compel them to make reservations or schedule pick-up orders with you instead of with the competition.
Stock up on ingredients for dishes that are more party-friendly foods. Think shareables like wings, nachos, dips, and pigs in a blanket. Study overall Super Bowl dining trends and your historic POS data to predict which dishes will be the most popular. Your POS’ inventory management features can help.
Pro tip: TouchBistro comes with a low stock alerts which can be helpful to keep your servers in the loop when popular items are running low. Servers can let customers know which menu items are no longer available before they put in an order, making a hectic day like Super Bowl Sunday, a little smoother.
Advertise in Advance
Start advertising your Super Bowl restaurant promotions in advance – the earlier the better. The sooner customers know what you have going on, the more likely they are to make plans with you.
Use different marketing channels like social media, email, and SMS to let customers know about your restaurant’s Super Bowl Sunday specials and to encourage them to make reservations, buy tickets for your watch party, or schedule takeout and delivery orders in advance.
Start promoting your Super Bowl offerings even before the teams are selected to get customers thinking about your restaurant for game day.
If you’re hosting a watch party, encourage customers to make reservations to get a better idea of how busy you’ll be and ensure you’re filling more tables. Ask for a reservation deposit or implement a cancellation fee to ensure you don’t lose revenue on no-shows on such an important day. Better yet, sell tickets to your watch party or implement prepaid reservations to avoid revenue loss.
With football fans eagerly looking for places to watch the big game and placing record delivery orders, Super Bowl Sunday is a lucrative opportunity for restaurants. With compelling Super Bowl restaurant promotions, you can maximize sales on this day and keep customers coming back in the postseason.