Like most restaurants across the country, you might be figuring your reopening plans, and how you can take the necessary steps to succeed given the difficult times you’re facing. While this is certainly an unprecedented difficulty that almost all restaurants are going through, make sure you don’t lose sight of all the possible opportunities ahead of you to capitalize on consumer spending/dining habits. This weekend is Father’s Day, and while Coronavirus will certainly play an impact on how people celebrate, there will still be plenty of people looking to turn to restaurant options as a means to celebrating dads in their lives. With that in mind, you should start thinking about whether or not offering a Father’s Day special makes sense for your restaurant.
Not surprisingly, 75% of Americans say they plan to celebrate Father’s Day in some way, shape, or form this year. While it is sure to be a more unique year than most in the past, 41% of survey respondents said they still planned to celebrate with a ‘special outing.’ More than likely, this will include a large portion of people venturing back out to restaurants across the country as dine-in options become more popular and available.
According to Upserve, 23% of Americans plan to go out to eat for Father’s Day, while another 24% plan to hold a family gathering. This 23% of people plan to celebrate on-premises, but that other large chunk of the population shouldn’t be ignored. These people are a great opportunity to market your restaurant’s delivery or carryout options. While they might have more reservations about eating in a restaurant or simply prefer to celebrate more intimately at home, they will need food all the same. Targeting these types of consumers will provide your restaurant with an additional source of income to capitalize on this holiday weekend. If you have a rewards or membership list with people who frequent your restaurant, this would be a great time to do some direct outreach to inform people about your delivery or carryout options directly.
As far as what dads want from a Father’s Day meal, the classics still maintain a firm hold on first. 32% of respondents identified ‘Steak and Potatoes” as the dinner meal dad wants to eat for Father’s Day. Seafood and brunch were also popular responses. Many people prefer to celebrate with a morning meal, so now might be the time to break out a special “Father’s Day Only” menu to try and capture more customers or orders.
National chains such as Bonefish Grill, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Morton’s The Steakhouse, Smashburger, as well as various smaller local options are all running promotions for Father’s Day. A popular promotion for restaurants is to give a discount to people who buy gift cards. They are more likely to come to dine with you, while also providing the restaurant with more money upfront to help offset losses. An alternative solution restaurants are more and more frequently turning to is to sell kits or cooking packs. For example, Morton’s is selling a “Chef’s at Home” Steak Kit. People can take these home and enjoy a restaurant-level quality meal, while in the comfort of their own home.
As the average amount of spending on Father’s Day has continued to increase (this year an estimated $17 billion will be spent at an average of $148.58 per Dad), restaurants should be looking to capitalize on more and more of that spending. Offering a discount or promotion this weekend will be a great way to take advantage of a time when people are more willing than usual to spend extra money, and you can help them create a great memory on Father’s Day at your restaurant.
While there is of course no doubt that there will be fewer people dining out due to fears or restrictions related to the pandemic, a sizable portion of the population is still interested in dining out to celebrate Father’s Day. Additionally, delivery and carry out are likely to be another popular option among people celebrating this weekend. It’s no secret that restaurants across the country are hurting, so capitalizing on holidays like Father’s Day when consumers are much more likely to spend the time and money to eat out is especially important.
Restaurants can continue to build value by offering great delivery options and a special or promotion alongside their usual dine-in selection.