The first week of July - warm weather, school’s 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 gather since the start of the quarantine (by respecting sanitary measures, of course!).
Here are our tips to make your restaurant shine during national holidays.
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.
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 40% 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.
Use social media to your advantage
To promote your brand while rewarding your loyal fans, consider launching a contest on social networks.
Post a photo of one of your featured menu items and ask people to enter the contest for a chance to win a free meal. To enter the giveaway, visitors only have to:
- Like your page (to increase your notoriety)
- Mention the name of a friend or family member with whom you would like to celebrate their holiday with (increase your reach to potential new customers)
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.
Do not forget to announce the winner by adding an @ before his name so that he will be automatically notified of his victory!
Warning: make sure you have tagged the right person - it's easy to make a mistake!
Incentives to pre-order
Who doesn’t like scarcity?
Consider offering a lunch box for the 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 your restaurant allows it, 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!
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.