Every year, without fail, families celebrate Dad by dining out. According to a recent survey, US consumers alone spent approximately $20 billion on Father’s Day in 2022 (about $171 per person).
Gift cards and special outings are the two most common gifts for the occasion globally, no matter where in the world you plan to commemorate Dad. This means that Father’s Day is another high-dollar opportunity for your restaurant that you must promote and deliver.
Read on for 10 Father’s Day restaurant marketing ideas to help you maximize revenue.
1. Treat Dad to a Surprise Upgrade
Level up your dining experience by offering guests the option to add surprise elements to their reservations. Upgrades selected during booking, like a unique gift and other promotion ideas, allow families to delight Dad while guaranteeing added revenue for you. Just remember to use a PCI-compliant system to collect pre-payments. Guests love the convenience of being able to pre-select the offerings, and you’ll reap the benefits of streamlined operations on Father’s Day.
Examples of special Father’s Day upgrades include:
- A set of your restaurant’s signature steak knives
- A recipe printout of his most commonly ordered cocktail
- A bottle of wine or bourbon for the table
- A special off-menu dessert at the end of the meal
2. Make It a Happy Hour (or Two)
For the Dads who want to be home in time to watch the game from the comfort of their couch, invite families to toast him for a happy hour. Offer drink specials and appetizer deals in lieu of fancy entrees to round out the occasion. Think: craft beer flights, whiskey tastings and even coffee bars. If you want to go the casual route (and you have the space), consider setting up cornhole boards and giant jenga so families can engage dad in a little friendly competition with a drink in hand.
3. Open Up Early VIP Access for Reservations
Don’t let the holiday buzz cause you to forget about your regulars. Pull up your restaurant CRM to identify your most loyal VIPs and send them an early offer to spend Father’s Day with you. If your restaurant has a view, let the early birds snag your outdoor dining options first or reserve that cozy corner booth that’s always in high demand if they prefer a more intimate celebration.
4. Re-Engage Your Mother’s Day Guests
If you followed our advice for Mother’s Day restaurant promotion ideas, then you likely encouraged customers to sign up for your mailing list while they wined and dined Mom in May. Power up your email marketing software and invite those same families to celebrate Dad next. For good measure, you could include a discount as a thank you for their continued loyalty.
5. Show All Father Figures Some Love
Don’t forget to include all types of dads in your restaurant promotions and social media marketing. Father’s Day restaurant ideas should cater to all the father figures, including grandfathers, bonus dads, other brothers and adoptive dads. Align your staff to celebrate all male figures at the table, traditional or otherwise.
6. Go All-You-Can-Eat
Let dad indulge on his special day by offering all-you-can-eat menu items like waffles, tacos, pasta, ice cream and more. Better yet, make it a contest. Whoever reaches your preset milestone wins a free meal.
Unlimited menus aren’t just for breakfast venues and late-night diners. You can transform into a temporary all-you-can-eat restaurant by selecting simple, cost-effective items and serving them in large quantities.
Pro Tip: Special guest experiences and events like these beg for a social media marketing campaign. If your venue is hosting something special, ensure the world knows about it — and can book direct from your Facebook, Instagram and TikTok profiles.
7. Debut a Themed Prix Fixe Menu
Prix fixe menus feel fancy for your guests, but they are small enough to allow your staff to focus on quality during busy times. Select a few items from your menu, plus a few Father’s Day specials, and treat customers to a multi-course feast. Also adding a prix fixe menu option during the booking process gives your guests the chance to “wow” dad and drives pre-paid revenue for your business.
8. Give Gift Cards Good for a Late-Summer Visit
Gift cards are a great way to generate loyalty. Wow them on Father’s Day so they return for a second summer soiree. By limiting the card’s validity through the summer season, you can market it as an opportunity for guests to return to cheers to other momentous occasions, such as the summer solstice, July 4th, World Chocolate Day or Kings Day.
9. Offer Themed Takeout Orders for Large Parties
Engage families that want to forgo dine-in options by offering upgraded to-go menus. This is a great Father’s Day restaurant promotion if your venue serves popular cuisines that can scale as needed, like mexican or italian. Clearly state your menu options on your booking page and advertise these orders well in advance of the holiday so your staff can order appropriately.
Pro tip: Of course, you’ll want to use a direct online ordering platform to accept, manage and execute online orders, but you can also leverage this platform to capture guest data and re-engage them later in the season.
10. Build Meal Kits to Enjoy at Home
Allow guests to order complete meals they can execute at home, such as DIY BBQ kits, seafood boils or burger boxes with all the fixin’s. Whether you decide to go upscale or keep it casual, be sure to include instructions for finishing and serving the meal. Leverage your pastry chef or mixologist to include a surprise-and-delight dessert or craft cocktail, helping make this Father’s Day their best one yet.
These are just a few ideas of how to creatively maximize revenue this Father’s Day. Remember, you can apply the Father’s Day marketing ideas to any holiday where dining out is common. Leverage upgrades and experiences year-round to pad your bottom line. For more information on how to drive more revenue by marketing your unique guest experiences across all platforms for special occasions like Father’s Day, book a demo with SevenRooms.