Football season is about to kick off, and fans are bringing their appetites. But whether they’re moseying on over to your restaurant isn’t going to depend so much on what’s on TV as to what’s on your menu. Sure, atmosphere, friendly staff, and plenty of channels for those fantasy football lovers are all important, but coming up with solid football food ideas for your restaurant could mean the difference between a fumble and a touchdown.
If you’ve found this article, it’s because you’ve realized that picking your menu is a lot more involved than just a hamburger and chicken nugget dinner. It’s about knowing your audience, what they like to eat and drink, and that food is right smack dab in the center of the football viewing experience.
But you’re in luck. We’ve already done the heavy lifting and compiled a list of the top ten football foods to include on your restaurant menu.
Easy Football Food Ideas
You know that football works up an appetite…even if you’re just watching. And whether you’re a sports bar or just a restaurant that owns a lot of TVs, you know the struggle of trying to provide fast service at peak hours, let alone during football season. Supplementing your menu with fast and easy game-day foods will lower wait times and increase sales.
Buffalo-style wings are an easy game-day food money maker and a must-have menu item. It also pairs well with pale ales or IPAs, which are beers that are already offered at most establishments. Just be sure to offer a non spicy option for your patrons who can’t handle the heat but still want in on some of that wing action.
What’s hungrier than a 250-pound linebacker after a tackle? Football fans on game day. Nachos are the go-to option for the sharers and the snackers. And the great thing about nachos? They’re super easy to make, have a high-profit margin and can be easily customized into a house special. Remember those buffalo chicken wings? Repurpose the excess for a spicer topping alternative that will keep the diners reaching for their drinks.
Game Day Sliders
Sliders are a staple for any sporting event, but perhaps football most of all. (Since baseball has already claimed the hotdog). The good news? Most restaurants already offer this American favorite, so no seasonal menu changes here. Consider offering them as an appetizer to make it a game day food for two. Or three. Or four…
Potato Skins & Sour Cream
Potato skins are an especially easy game-day food to make. Just slice the potato in half, top it with cheese and green onions and pop them in the oven. Tell your patrons to wash it down with full sail amber for a hearty finish.
Football Shaped Snacks & Desserts
Did you know that consumers are willing to pay three times the amount for thoughtful food presentations? That means football-shaped snacks and desserts can actually be quite lucrative for your business. Try putting some of these artfully displayed dishes on your menu to see if these statistics ring true.
Football-Shaped Pigs in a Blanket
This one is a fantastic idea for an appetizer. All you have to do is serve a platter full of pigs in a blanket in the relative shape of a football. Top it off with lacing made of mustard and, walla, you have an edible football your guests will go all nine yards for.
Football-Inspired Deviled Eggs
Luckily, eggs are not only a price-conscious menu option, but they also come pre-manufactured in the approximate shape of a football. A deviled egg recipe will complement the beer drinker’s pallet and make a tasty prelude to kickoff! Only this time, instead of mustard, create the lace using chives and top it off with bacon to give it that authentic football color.
Football Cookie Extravaganza
You’re in for a little Sunday treat with a cookie after a football fan’s heart. Make it on the house, and your guests will surely remember the good deed the next time they’re looking for a restaurant to watch their football games. A little extra touch can go a long way in converting a one-time customer into a Sunday regular.
Healthy Football Food Ideas
‘Healthy’ might not immediately come to mind when you think of football food, but since an estimated 45 million Americans are on a diet at any given time, you should probably include some menu items that cater to their demographic. It’s super easy, and guests will surely appreciate that they can still eat healthy while eating out.
Below is a list of healthy football food ideas for your restaurant:
Everyone loves guacamole, but it has a special place at the table on game day. Instead of chips, pair it with an assortment of carrot sticks, celery and peppers. Not only that but guacamole pairs especially well with Vienna lagers.
Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potatoes are a healthier alternative to the beloved French fry and will still curb that junk food craving. Instead of frying them, you can bake them in olive oil and season them with salt and paprika. They’ll be so good that your guests might forget they’re actually healthy.
Skinny Spinach & Artichoke Dip
Artichokes are full of antioxidants and are considered heart-healthy food. The cream cheese base will help absorb all those vitamins while filling up your health-conscious guests. Recommend a blonde ale to serve alongside this dish for a light-bodied aftertaste.