On football Sunday, new and regular diners alike are going to rush your restaurant from every angle. Consider these tips for getting the most out of one of America’s favorite sports, and you’ll be ready for the ordering onslaught.
Rule No. 1 of game-day restaurant preparation is have the game on. Make sure your staff is aware of the channel and time of the game. They should also understand how to work the remote and navigate the channel guide, just in case a diner asks for a different game on a certain channel. If your restaurant caters to fans of an out-of-market team, you might need to purchase a premium NFL package.
When the team is winning, diehard football fans resist any change to their Sunday routine. That will likely include returning to your restaurant to root for another victory. If you and your staff can get to know your loyal diners, including what they like to eat and drink, the good mojo will multiply – and everyone wins. For those who order takeout or delivery from your restaurant each week for the big game, consider offering a discount or free item to show appreciation for their loyalty.
Whether your restaurant is a destination for football viewing or not, be prepared for an influx of takeout orders on football Sundays from fans who like to watch the game from the comfort of their own couch. Pro tip: Online ordering is a proven way to increase order accuracy and reduce the noise of phones, while increasing overall takeout and delivery orders.
If you’re expecting big crowds for football Sunday, make sure your staff isn’t caught off-guard. Football fans tend to not only show up in droves, but they can also tear through their food and drinks quicker when they’re absorbed in the excitement of the game. Not to mention the influx in orders you’ll have from fans watching the game at home. Your restaurant staff needs to be prepared. Have eyes on every table and be ready to pick up any slack when one section gets overwhelmed. The same applies to delivery drivers – make sure you have enough scheduled for game day to ensure orders show up on time.
Football fans enjoy drinking beer, but they don’t necessarily need an extensive list of beer options to choose from. For the fan who isn’t finicky about a frosty beer, offer a simple drink special, like $15 domestic pitchers. As for food, design a refined game-day menu of simple, shareable eats that your diners can refer to if they don’t want to order individual entrees. If your diners typically root for an out-of-market team, consider adding some local flavor to the game-day menu. For example, Skyline chili-cheese Coneys for Bengals fans, Buffalo wings for Bills fans, or toasted raviolis for Rams fans.
For takeout diners, consider offering football fan favorites like pizza or wings and fries in easy-to-order packages. This way, diners can order for themselves or a slew of fans they’re entertaining at home.
If your restaurant is promoting specials, events or different hours in conjunction with football Sunday, be sure to share that information with your fans on social media. And don’t forget to support the team with an eye-catching image – it’s much more likely to get shared across social networks than plain text.
For an online ordering playbook of your own, download our whitepaper, “The Restaurateur’s Guide to Online Ordering,” here.