7 Ideas For Father’s Day Restaurant Promotions
Father’s Day is right around the corner. If Mother’s Day 2020 was any indication, Father’s Day will be busy. Do you have your Father’s Day restaurant promotions and specials in place yet? If not, we suggest to promote early and promote often. Do you have an easy way to offer off-premise delivery or a simplified special for the Dads in your world?
Father’s Day Restaurant Promotions
Like any promotion that you run, don’t get overwhelmed. Implementing Father’s Day restaurant promotions can be as simple as you need, so set your expectations accordingly. Here are a few fun ideas to prepare and promote your restaurant for Father’s Day:
- The first 20 dads get a free entrée — You could do this for a specific entrée such as steak or any entrée in general.
- Father’s day week— Since not everyone will celebrate Father’s Day at the same time, consider offering a promotion each day of the week. There are plenty of promotions you could run, like half-off appetizers or “fathers eat free” day.
- Signature dad drink — Make Dad feel special with a signature Father’s Day drink. How about offering a Manhattan or Rusty Nail for half price to all dads? You could even consider half price on all beer.
- Bonus gift card with purchase of gift card — Why not give something extra to those purchasing a gift card? You could do $5 increments for every $25 spent.
- Social media photo contest— A “best throwback picture of Dad” competition is a great way to engage followers. Whatever photo contest you do, make it fun! Give your followers ample time to submit a photo, so you have plenty of choices. You could offer the winning father a voucher for a free entrée or swag. If you choose to pick a runner-up, you could offer a smaller prize like a free drink or appetizer.
- Dad MVP Contest — Run an “MVP Dad” father-child contest. Have participants submit a photo and an essay about why their father is an MVP. The winner could receive a free dinner for the whole family.
- Make it kid-friendly — On Father’s Day, expect children at your restaurant. Make sure to stock up on coloring pages, crayons, and high chairs.
Social Distancing & Father’s Day
The year 2020 has presented some unique challenges to the restaurant industry, most notably the coronavirus pandemic. While the list of Father’s Day restaurant promotions above will work, there are extra precautions to take to maintain a safe and reasonable holiday. First, make sure that any special you prepare or offer is easy to transport. For example, consider menu items that travel well from one location to the next.
Second, if you offer a special Father’s Day drink, consider serving it to-go, as many places around the U.S. now allow for legal alcohol delivery. There are many opportunities with expanded liquor delivery laws for serving alcohol in and outside of your restaurant. Savvy restaurateurs may invest in a crowler station, which allows bar staff to can the drinks to transport and distribute safely.
While many restaurants around the world have begun to ease the rules for on-site guest traffic, ensure that you follow CDC guidelines for sanitation and cleanliness. Socially distant games like horseshoes or cornhole give fathers something to do while maintaining a safe distance. Lastly, whether it’s on or off-premise, make sure to employ restaurant capacity management to avoid another Mother’s Day fiasco, which saw long lines and upset customers.
It’s About the Effort
June is usually a hectic month between graduations and summer break, so make your offers known. Post your Father’s Day restaurant promotions on social media and even consider a few Facebook ads to expand your reach. You should also post advertisements in your restaurant on the day of the promotion. No matter what father’s day promotions you choose, your efforts won’t go unnoticed. Your diners will appreciate it, and so will dads.
Are you looking for some tips on making the day memorable at your restaurant? Check out this How to Make Mother’s Day Memorable at Your Restaurant blog and apply the tips to Father’s Day.
Editor’s Note: We originally published this article on June 7, 2017. We updated it on June 4, 2021, for accuracy and to reflect updated guidelines and restrictions in the wake of COVID-19.
About the Author
Emily Wimpsett was a Content & Social Media Specialist at QSR Automations. Emily was born and raised in Louisville, but considers herself a die-hard University of Kentucky fan. For college, Emily attended Indiana University Southeast and obtained a degree in Communications with a track in Advertising. In her free time, Emily enjoys just about every water related activity, but she is partial to kayaking and whitewater rafting.