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Your Restaurant's Super Bowl Survival Guide: 16 Super Bowl Promotion Ideas

Posted by Allie Tetreault on 2/2/18 5:50 PM in Restaurant Management

17 minute read Print

restaurant super bowl

It’s finally here, the NFL’s biggest day! Super Bowl LII pits the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Will Tom Brady win his sixth Super Bowl ring (and make Boston-based Toasters very happy) or will the Eagles finally give the city of Philadelphia a long-awaited Super Bowl championship?

Sunday is not only a big day for the teams on the field but for restaurants across the country. So here are the top Super Bowl food statistics to know, the best restaurant promotions we’ve found, and the best restaurants and bars to watch the Super Bowl in 2018.

Super Bowl Food Statistics to Know

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Super Bowl Sunday may not be the holiday that brings in the most restaurant sales; that’s still reserved for Mother’s Day. However, for pizzeria and fast casual restaurants specifically, this Sunday could be the busiest day of the year.

Let’s start with the facts about this year’s Super Bowl and how it will affect the fast food, restaurant, and retail industry.

 

What about the wing shortage? According to National Chicken Council spokesperson Tom Super, “There will be no wing shortage. Whether you’re a fan of the left wing or the right wing, there’s no debate about America’s favorite Super Bowl food. Although we do anticipate an uptick in chicken cheesesteaks.”

The National Chicken Council reports that fans will eat 1.35 billion wings during Super Bowl weekend, an all-time high. That figure is up 1.5%, or 20 million wings, from 2017.

That’s 394 million feet of chicken wings – enough that a chicken could cross the road 13 million times. For some more quick wing statistics, check out this infographic from The National Chicken Council.

super bowl wings

Where to Watch The Super Bowl in 2018: Restaurant & Bar Edition

From the AFC East to the NFC West, Americans across the country are waiting at the ready to see who will take home the Vince Lombardi Trophy this Sunday.

With mere days to go ‘til the main event, have you decided where you’ll be watching Super Bowl LII? Whether you’re a social butterfly who thrives off the energy only a packed sports bar can provide or you prefer to watch from the comfort and sanctity of your own couch, we’ve got you covered.

Check out our list of the best restaurants and bars in the 20 biggest cities across the country to eat at, drink at, or order out from during Super Bowl LII.

16 Super Bowl Ideas for Bars and Restaurants

Buffalo Wild Wings, unexpectedly, experiences a giant increase in sales on Super Bowl Sunday. According to Geoff Williams of Forbes, BWW sells approximately 6,000 wings on a typical weekend. But over Super Bowl weekend, that number jumps to 13,500.

How can fast casual restaurants compete with the Buffalo Wild Wings of the world this weekend? And how are full service restaurants getting creative - or celebrating a well-deserved day off?

Here’s a compilation of some restaurant promotion ideas for Super Bowl LII, including how restaurants are preparing for (or not preparing for) Super Bowl weekend. Thanks to the Toast restaurant community for contributing many of these ideas!

1. Run Food & Drink Specials

Of course, many restaurants are running restaurant specials this weekend. Here are a few examples across the country.

Oak Long Bar + Kitchen in Boston, Massachusetts

This restaurant is sharing a football-shaped ice cream that looks appetizing.

Shabu And  Mein in Cambridge, Massachusetts

This restaurant will be serving 52-cent wings all night.

Skosh Monahan’s in Costa Mesa, California

Gary Monahan, owner at Skosh Monahan’s, is hosting a day-long event and buffet. (You can sign up if you’re near Costa Mesa, California here.) The restaurant is opening at 11 a.m. serving breakfast till 3 p.m., and will be serving bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys all day. The all-you-can-eat buffet is $19.95 starting at 3 p.m., there will be 24 TVs, and if you wear your team jersey, you can get beer, wine, or well drink for $2.

Philadelphia Tavern, Manassas, Virginia

When we posed the question, “What are your restaurant plans for Super Bowl Sunday?” Amy and Phil Dorn of Philadelphia Tavern had it all planned out:

We are the only Eagles Bar in Northern Virginia. We have staffed accordingly for volume.

Opened up online ordering and specialized delivery to only our neighboring brewery! This will help maintain ticket times for quality service! Spent all week prepping, as Friday and Saturday will be busy building up to the Event. Preparation is KEY!

Our daily specials will include the following.

Roasted pork hoagie - House roasted 10 hour pork topped with broccoli rabe, and melted provolone. TRADITIONAL PHILLY

Solo nachos - Using our roasted pork, instead of our traditional chili nachos, piled high with lettuce, diced tomato, onion, jalapeno and mixed cheeses! Perfect for a solo app!

Fly High Eagles Cocktail. - all we can tell you it is our signature cocktail with an Eagles Green twist!

Mother’s Restaurant in Tampa, Florida

Joseph Busicchia, owner of Mother’s Restaurant, will be serving:

  • $25 all you can drink in all drafts from 5:00pm to end of regulation
  • Special foods
  • Philly Cheesesteak
  • Lobster rolls

Four Seam Hospitality in Sutton, Nebraska

Jenn Bonnel, co-owner at Four Seam Hospitality DBA Sutton Legion, shared that they are offering a Super Feast special for our guests for both dine in or carry out.

Pieology, Various Locations

Richard Long, Director of Technology at Pieology, will allow the crew to show their spirit by wearing their favorite jerseys and will be offering 20% off four or more pizzas.

Flour Bakery + Cafe, Boston, Massachusetts

Jazmin Campbell, HR/Accounting Clerk at Flour Bakery + Cafe, shares that Flour Bakery creates a special Super Bowl menu — that people love!

2. Start Prepping Food Early

The Elbow Room in Elmira, New York, started prepping chicken wings early for the rush. It’s Friday now - have you started prepping? Check out this video from MyTwinTiers.com.

3. Overstaff

The Owner of Head West Sub Stop Group in Illinois also brought up a good point: if you know your restaurant will be busy on Sunday, overstaff! He said: “We’re overstaffing and prepping a ton! We have also ran some Big Game Specials for delivery.”

4. Understaff

Shawn Tahara, Manager of Fire Island Grill in California, knows his restaurant won’t be busy, largely because many diners attend house parties on Super Bowl Sunday. Understaffing on days you know you won’t be busy is a great way to save on labor costs. “We have a skeleton crew and no deliveries,” said Tahara. “We aren’t busy during the game so we try to save on labor.”

5. Get Creative with Catering

Beach Hut Deli, with various locations across the U.S., knows that more diners will order online for pickup, delivery, or catering during the Super Bowl. They’re promoting their catering offerings on Instagram.

6. Run Online Ordering, Delivery, and Pickup Promotions

Speaking of, some restaurants are running creative promotions just for online ordering, delivery, and pickup.

TGIFridays, for example, is allowing diners to tweet a football emoji @TGIFridays on Twitter and get an appetizer from the online ordering menu for a penny (carry-out only).

Chipotle, on the other hand, is offering free delivery the entire weekend.

Joe Lennon, Director of Human Resources at Two Boots with various locations in New York City, is waiving delivery fees on Super Bowl Sunday as well.

7. Bet On Your Team

The Distillery, with various locations in New York, will be betting on their team (The Eagles) over the weekend. If Philadelphia beats The New England Patriots, any patron who watches the upcoming Super Bowl at one of The Distillery's five locations will receive a coupon for a free meal, worth up to $10.

8. Throw a Tailgate Party

Chris Pravetz, owner of Eddie’s Bar and Grill in Dunedin, Florida, hosts their own event every year: a tailgate party. He shares in Bar Restaurant Success:

“One thing that has helped us has been to throw a tailgate party on our front deck and in our parking lot. We bring in bands, get the grill and smoker setup outside, and bring out a few traditional tailgate games like corn hole and football toss. The crowd comes earlier because of the fun, so we’re not waiting until the evening to get busy.”

9. Wear Your Team Jerseys

Daryl Leff, Director of Operations at Great Plains Burger Co. in Ann Arbor, MI, invites crew members to show their team spirit by wearing their team jerseys. Plus, they’re offering free fries with a burger!

10. Close Shop

Of course, not all restaurants will be slammed on Super Bowl. Ming-Tai Huh, co-owner of Puritan + Company in Boston, Massachusetts, will be closing his restaurant and hosting a staff holiday party instead.

Puritan isn’t the only restaurant with that idea. Chris Blair, President of The Listening Room Cafe in Nashville, Tennessee, says, “We are typically closed on Sundays, so we will remain closed but are having a big party for our staff with big screen and games.”

Logan Hostettler, GM at 1894 Lodge in New Washington, Indiana, will also be closed. He shares: “I will be in Boston watching TB12 win another ring!”

Greg Bare, General Manager at Sublime Restaurant & Bar in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has another perspective. “We’re letting staff have the day off.” Of course, this is one great way to let your staff know you appreciate them.

11. Don’t Change a Thing

For some restaurants, especially those with football teams that aren’t in the Super Bowl, Super Bowl Sunday is just another Sunday.

Nick VanArsdell, owner at Lucky Slice Pizza with various locations in Utah, says: “We don't have too much of an uptick in sales for Super Bowl so things are pretty status quo. If our state actually had a football team I think there'd be more impact.”

12. Stay Open Late

Some restaurants are changing their hours for Super Bowl Sunday. Paul Meckler, Operations Manager at Oakfire in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, says, “We will be open late in our upstairs bar and have the game on a big projection screen! We are also going to offer 1/2 off draft beers through half-time!”

13. Schedule Pickup Orders

Consider getting smart about when to allow customers to schedule orders for pickup. Teresita Herradura, Owner at The Corner Q in Lorton, Virginia, has come up with a system:

“We close early on Sundays but we're prepared to serve delicious appetizers and some specials to feed the community so they relax and enjoy the game. Our appetizers are to die for. We have everyone's favorite - the Wings - and add to that chickarrones, calamari, and the famous Filipino Tokwa't Baboy served with our own sauce. We also have The CORNER Q Ribs, the CORNER bbQ (skewers of grilled chicken and pork served with our own sweet onion vinegar. Of course, we also have the all-time favorite Filipino Crispy Pata with our secret sauce - this item is almost sold-out for pick-up on Sunday. Add to that our QB burgers and the ever popular sliders -- Jibarito and Doborito. Yes, we're ready to feed our customers. And, we, of course, will also take home some of these yummy foods home. Enjoy the game folks!!”

14. Open Outdoor Seating Early

If you have outdoor seating or a patio, it’s probably not open yet. (In Boston, it’s still freezing cold outside!) However, some adventurous groups may want to sit outside to watch the game. Tamra Dominguez, manager at O’Brien’s Irish Pub in Brandon, Florida, shares that they have “volume both inside and outside and plenty of food and drink specials.”

15. Put Up Signs

Even if your restaurant is closed, you can still support your team. Stephen Cassevoy, Chef/Owner of Toast in Hull, Massachusetts, says:

“Well, we are currently closed & on vacation in Mexico where I hope to be enjoying the game by the beach. We currently have our Patriot fan hanging in the window with some supportive window graphics. Go Pats🏈👨🏼‍🍳”

16. Host Your Own Game

Finally, don’t forget that you can host your own tournament on Super Bowl Sunday as well. The manager at Common Block Brewing Co. in Medford, Oregon shares their creative idea:

“We don't usually have TV's (because we want to emphasize interaction over TV watching) but we decided to get a projector and a screen and show the game! We're excited to have a few specialty food items, as well as a cornhole tournament where first prize is going to take $150 in gift cards. Should be a blast!”

What Are Your Restaurant Plans For Super Bowl LII?

If you own a pizzeria restaurant or a fast casual restaurant, your restaurant sales, and more specifically your online ordering sales, will probably soar on Sunday.

If you own a full service or fine dining restaurant, you may be closing doors and hosting a staff appreciation party instead.

Whatever your plans are, share them below with the Toast community, and don’t forget to subscribe to stay up to date on restaurant promotion ideas throughout the year!

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Written by: Allie Tetreault

Allie Tetreault is the Content Strategist for Toast. When she's not managing the Toast Restaurant Management blog and creating valuable resources for restaurateurs, she's belting in an a cappella group and toiling over new recipes in the kitchen. Her favorite foods are sushi and pasta -- but not together!


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