It’s summer time (!)
Warm weather, school is officially over and more importantly: it’s time to celebrate Canada Day and Fourth of July. Two national holidays marked by festivities which bring its fair share of opportunities for restaurateurs. Several restaurant owners mentioned they saw a 20% one-day sales increase on last year’s national holiday alone.
With dining rooms now reopened across America, ordering online will remain the preferred solution for consumers in these days of celebration. Consumer habits have changed and COVID-19 crisis has only accelerated this transition.
Both Fourth of July and Canada Day will be good opportunities for friends and family to finally get together after spending the last year and a half indoors (by respecting sanitary measures, of course!).
Here are our tips to make your restaurant shine during national holidays.
Local business partnership
A proven method to quickly raise awareness about your restaurant is to hold a contest in partnership with a local business.
Offer your fans a chance to win either a gift card or a meal in a box from your restaurant plus a special add on from a local business.
Think of approaching local microbreweries, BBQ shops, wineries… and create a post on social media. Don’t forget to use a picture!
To be eligible for the prize, ask fans to:
- Like both your Facebook page and your partner’s (to quickly raise your followers count)
- Mention the name of a friend or family member with whom they would like to celebrate their holiday with (increase your reach to potential new customers)
- Share the contest (gets your post without spending money on ads)
The day before or the day of the event, use a free tool like Wheel of Names to choose a winner randomly and then publish the name of the lucky person on your page.
Send a newsletter to your customers
One of the big advantages of having your own online ordering tool is access to your order history and customers’ emails. It is therefore easy (and highly recommended) to prepare an email for your customers and offer them a tailored promotion that they can’t refuse.
- Use code 4thofJuly and get 20% off all appetizers
- Use code OhCanada! and get 2 for 1 on XYZ
- Thank you for your support, we want to celebrate with you! Contactless delivery is free for the week!
Make sure to prepare your newsletter, proofread to correct any typos, and send it out at least 3 days in advance.
If you are already a UEAT customer, don’t forget that you have a section dedicated to promotions and access to all your customers’ emails in your administration portal. Contact your account manager if you need help.
Incentives to pre-order
Have you ever heard of FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out? Customers are quick to take action when there is scarcity so use that to your advantage.
Consider offering a lunch box for Fourth of July or for Canada Day. Make sure the offer is available for a limited time with a predetermined quantity. This way you can plan the amount of food and the necessary staff you will need.
Bet on the pre-order. Let your customers know on your social networks and by email that you have prepared a special box to celebrate the national holiday in style. Emphasize that quantities are limited and think of an incentive for buyers to order fast:
“The first 20 who reserve their special lunch box will receive a free bottle of wine. Hurry, quantities are limited! Cheers!”
Several restaurateurs have had great success in the past with pre-orders and if you plan your strategy well, word of mouth can also increase your sales.
King and Queen of the BBQ
According to Restaurant Business, July is the most popular month for barbecue lovers. It is estimated that 63% of BBQ owners will use their cooking appliance during the weekends of the national holiday.
If possible, consider offering a “BBQ box” that contains a homemade marinade and pre-cooked meat or a vegan option. You can also include wine or beer pairing.
Alternatively, you can offer BBQ accompaniments, such as cold appetizers, family salads or easy-to-share desserts.
Remember to find a creative name for your box!
It’s time to move!
Summer is often considered the preferred season for people to move into a new home. Moving furniture and a surprise number of boxes (“I’ll keep these boxes of VHS tapes, you never know”), requires assistance. To show gratitude to friends and family members who agreed to help, new tenants will traditionally offer meals for everyone. As for your restaurant, make sure to plan ahead because customers typically order a lot more during this period (“more leftovers!”).
Take advantage of this trend by offering takeout meals that are easy to eat and don’t forget to include utensils, plates and napkins – these items are probably still packed in boxes… somewhere.
If you offer your own delivery services, think of temporarily assigning staff members to delivery roles. Customers are tired after a moving day and they will definitely favor delivery – more business opportunities for you.
More marketing ideas
The combination of creativity and planning will increase both your notoriety and your sales. With online ordering, your customers can order at their convenience, which means your restaurant is open 24/7.
Read more proven tips and tricks in our free marketing guide available by clicking the button below.