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Are you ready for some football? As the Super Bowl draws nearer, restaurants across the country are stocking up on gameday food and beer, and they're planning out how they intend to be the spot where people gather to watch the game (or the source for an abundance of at-home wings and nachos).
While fans are getting hyped up for the big game, you can do the same for your restaurant or bar. Great marketing is key: use this event to create a special experience for your guests, or run a Super Bowl promotion that’ll get more folks in the door (or ordering online!).
Americans eat more on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year, aside from Thanksgiving, so your restaurant stands to benefit from hungry football fans. And since this Super Bowl is the second COVID-era Super Bowl, make sure you're also offering promotions that your guests can experience from home.
Super Bowl 2022 Promotion Ideas for Bars and Restaurants
If you’re looking for ways to fill your dining room or bar on Super Bowl Sunday, or you're setting up lots of off-premise ways to let your customers enjoy your food from the comfort of their own couches, try one (or more) of these tactics.
Prepare for volume
Whether you’re increasing staff or production, it’s best to overprep. If your restaurant is traditionally slower on Sundays, you might be used to operating with fewer staff. But it’s a good idea to beef up your delivery team or kitchen and serving staff, depending on where you expect to see the most orders come through.
If you have hot wings on your menu, for example, double up your preparation. Appetizers will likely be flying out of your kitchen as well, so consider preparing a couple extra pounds of onion rings and french fries so you don’t lose out on customers.
Look at your sales data and performance metrics from past years using your point of sale system to make smart preparation decisions to make sure you’re ready for the big day.
Offer promotional deals
Get more customers ordering with all-you-can-eat deals, drink specials, or buy-one get-one bargains.
Another interesting promotion idea hails from EagleBoltBar in Minneapolis, who gave out touchdown shots to anyone in a football jersey. Getting creative when marketing your restaurant can help you compete with the industry’s top dogs.
Here's 15 restaurant promotion ideas that work to increase your food sales and boost your profits. Get the full list of restaurant and food promotion ideas now.
Advertise pick up and delivery
This is a good strategy for most restaurants, because many guests will opt to watch the game from the comfort of their own living room, surrounded by friends and family. In fact, Toast restaurants saw an average increase of 6.73% of off-premise diners on Super Bowl Sunday 2019 compared to other Sundays in February. If you use an online ordering system, any surge in delivery and takeout options will be a breeze, as orders will route directly to your kitchen.
Wing It On, a wing restaurant with locations in Connecticut and New Jersey, has heavily promoted their pre-order offerings. They’re offering limited pick-up slot times, which not only encourages pre-orders and helps them manage production but makes their wings all the more coveted.
For Super Bowl 2020, Eventide took carry-out options a step further by offering “The Big Game Package,” which includes food for up to six people. The offering contains the restaurant’s most popular items, from appetizer to dessert.
Learn how a better online ordering system can help you grow your restaurant.
If you often see big crowds for Super Bowl Sunday, encourage your guests to make a reservation. Consider offering food or drink specials with each booking, or ticketed reservations through eventbrite, like Casa del Barco. For $25 in advance or $30 day of, customers got access to a nacho-taco bar and two drink tickets for the 2020 Super Bowl. The $5 discount is an added incentive for patrons to book early, designed to help Casa del Barco better prepare for the day’s festivities.
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Offer complimentary tastings
Have a new beer or liquor you want to promote? There’s no better time than Super Bowl Sunday. Offer free tastings, and sell the beverage at a discount if guests decide to purchase. Include menu items that pair nicely with the booze to boost profits even further.
Run a contest
Even during an event as big as the Super Bowl, there might be some moments of lackluster performance. Try spicing things up during dull moments with contests.
Clery’s, a Boston sports bar, has hosted a wing eating contest during the big game. The Graystone Tavern in Chicago has hosted a Super Bowl Squares contest for the chance to win a $100 gift card. Both contests promote purchasing from the establishment, so they’re driving up profit as well as entertaining their guests.
Host an anti-Super Bowl party
Believe it or not, not every diner wants to go to a loud bar this Sunday, or even watch the game at all. Many diners will still want to enjoy a nice meal without a dozen screens and screaming fans surrounding them. If your restaurant can offer something different than the normal Super Bowl viewing location, use that to your advantage. It depends on what your guests want, but if they’re not into the festivities, market your restaurant as a Super Bowl boycott destination — a safe haven from sports fans — to appeal to those who aren’t interested in watching the game at all.
Bonus Round Cafe in Chicago hosted a “Big Game Blitz” for those that prefer board games to sports. They offered $1 off beers, and had selected special shareable plates along with large-scale board games that last one to four hours (about as long as the Super Bowl).
Thorough planning can make this Sunday a day of huge profit. Market your specials, prep your kitchen, and gear up your staff for the Super Bowl. Bonus: no padding required. And make sure to communicate all your specials, promotions, and events all over social media. If you need a little help there, our social media guide is the place to start.