Whether you’re a diehard football fan or an avid foodie, everyone likes to gather over plenty of delicious food and drinks for the big game. In fact, these parties are more popular than ever before.
According to a 2018 study by the National Retail Federation, consumers increased their planned spending on the big game by nearly 76% from 2007 to 2018. The NRF also found that 27.5% of average consumers planned on attending a party. For consumers in the age 25-34 demographic, 36.5% planned on going to party for the game.
So why not make your place the perfect party destination or a place people can order from? Below are some easy bar or restaurant promotion ideas for this year’s big game.
1. Offer Discounted Wings or Pizza
This idea probably isn’t a surprise. Football and wings are the perfect combination before, during or after game time. According to the National Chicken Council, Americans will eat more than 1.3 billion wings over weekend of the big game. Offering a discounted price on all your traditional and boneless varieties will make your place a hit with both passionate and casual fans.
Pizza is another popular food for the game. The American Pizza Community found that nearly 12.5 million pizzas are ordered on this special Sunday. Whether you operate a sit-down restaurant or offer delivery, think about discounting the price of pizza for the day.
2. Serve New Appetizers
While wings are a slam dunk, other appetizers also are a hit on game day. Everything from nachos and flatbreads to mozzarella sticks and onion rings get equal attention. Try serving some different options just for the occasion, whether it’s Swedish meatballs or a hummus and veggie platter. If you’ve been thinking about adding a few new artisan apps to the menu this year, now is a good time to test them out. You can promote them as being “limited-time” or “for the big game only.”
3. Spice up the Beer Specials
Whether it’s on TV or the menu, those famous domestic beers are a staple during the game. Instead of offering only those popular libations as specials, add some craft beers or foreign brews to the lineup. If there are local breweries in your area, this is a great time to partner with one of them and offer a couple of their top selections as specials during the day.
4. Create a Mini Tailgate
Who said tailgating is only for the stadium parking lot? Bring those tasty tailgate favorites to your bar or restaurant for the game. Set up a grill outside to cook burgers, hot dogs and sausage, and create a small buffet station inside with condiments, buns and more for your patrons. Consider offering a “tailgate package” that includes grilled food, a side and an appetizer for a flat fee.
5. Host Something Else
Other places pride themselves on being a haven for sports fans, but your establishment might not cater to that crowd. So don’t break routine. There are still plenty of people looking to do something completely different while everyone is watching the big game.
Think about holding a trivia tournament or movie marathon throughout the entire day. For wine shops or upscale distilleries, this would be a good time to host a special tasting. If not airing the game seems too risky, host these other non-football events prior to kick-off. After all, no one needs to watch 10 hours of pregame coverage, right?
Whatever big game promotions you do at your restaurant or bar, remember to do the following:
- Leverage social media – Aside from posting fliers, make sure to post your promotions on social media. As soon as you create images and finalize event details, start posting. Try to have everything complete a week or two before the game if you can. Remember to repost frequently the week leading up to the game as well as on game day. Check out some of our social media tips advice on Snapchat filters, geo-targeting and more inspiration.
- Avoid using trademarked terms – Certain terms related to the game are trademarked. Don’t use them in campaign messaging or promotional materials, especially if there is a giveaway involved. Those terms are allowed on materials that aren’t sponsored or branded, but you can avoid any potential issues or gray area by using generic terms like “The Big Game.”
- Avoid using trademarked logos and team names – Don’t use the NFL logo, team logos, team names and the term “NFL” in any messaging or promotional content. The same goes for a player’s names. Instead, use generic stock images on any digital art or posters promoting your restaurant for the game. To be safe, consider adding a disclaimer stating that your establishment is not an official sponsor of the NFL.