Tackling the Business of Football Season

by Linda Duke

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By Linda Duke

Great Taste Magazine Sept/Oct 2016 Issue

ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO BE THE CONSUMER’S PLACE OF CHOICE FOR THE
SUPER BOWL is to be involved with the football season from the beginning. For operators of restaurants with bars equipped with big screen televisions, it is a great way to drive sales by hosting a football season kick-off with guests and to engage them with specials at the bar in terms of drinks and food, from the first game through
the entire season. Offering Sunday, Monday, or even Thursday night specials through the season helps build up Super Bowl interest.

By planning early, operators can partner with liquor and/or beer vendors to compliment their activities and include a fantasy football promotion and can provide prizes such as, small party kegs, bikes, cool tail gate prizes and more.

Promoting your restaurant as a destination for guests, football fans and community members to enjoy watching live football games, not only drives traffic and builds sales, it also generates awareness for your brand from the beginning of football season in September all the way through to Super Bowl, the first week of February.

Football 2016 has already begun so time is of the essence to make the most out of the season with restaurant promotions to keep your current guests excited and bring in new guests.

Invite all football enthusiasts to wear their favorite team jersey and invite their friends to your restaurant on game day for a party atmosphere with promotionally priced food and
giveaways.

FOOTBALL PLAYS TO BLITZ THE COMPETITION
• NFL SCHEDULE: www.nfl.com/schedules
• SCORING DISCOUNTS: Get customers invested in the game by offering discounts if
their team scores. For example, you might decide that if a certain team scores a certain number of points, everyone in the bar earns a free appetizer.What you offer is up to you, but tying your specials to the team’s performance is a good way to up your atmosphere.
• TAILGATE: Tailgating isn’t just for the stadium. Bring the fun to your bar! If you have ample outdoor space, bring the party outside, grill up tasty burgers and dogs in your parking lot and serve food and drinks on the patio; create a buzz!
• BRING IN THE STARS: Former football players, coaches or cheerleaders can add a little
bit of star power to your bar on game day.
• FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFT PARTIES: It’s no secret that fantasy football is mega popular.
Bring some of these fans into your bar by offering draft parties and special deals for fantasy football players.
• GAME DAY MENU: You might have a separate menu for Happy Hour—why not create one for game day? If you don’t want to revamp your whole menu, consider creating some additions just for game day. You can name a burger after your team’s best player.
• GAME DAY COCKTAILS: The same goes for drinks—why not create a few new themed
cocktails to serve on game day? Customers will appreciate the chance to try something new.
• OFFER A MEMORY: Consider charging more for a drink if your customers want to take home a souvenir cup—printed with your team’s logo, of course. It doesn’t have to be cups; think about branded t-shirts, hats or other sports memorabilia.
• OPEN EARLY: Not every game takes place during “typical” bar hours (nighttime), so open
up early. Don’t just make it business as usual—if there’s an early game, change things up by creating a brunch menu.
• FOOTBALL TRIVIA: Your customers can take part in football trivia during game breaks with prizes each game or progressive rewards right up to the Big Game!
• RADIO PROMOS: Contact the local sports radio stations in your trade area. Explain the
promotional offers and weekly football events. Ask to bring the sports host at the radio station some team platters or gift cards in exchange for on-air mentions.
• BOUNCEBACKS: Thank guests for coming with a return offer or bounce back. This is a
great opportunity to hand out promotional materials since they are in the restaurant and
have tried your food. Let them know you’ll be airing games all season and they are always
welcome!

Are you prepared for March Madness? We’ve got more tips at www.great-taste.net