Bar and Restaurant Promotion Ideas to Draw the Football Crowds

If you’re looking for restaurant promotion ideas around the Big Game (you know the one!) you’re already in the end zone when it comes to revenue on Game Day (and beyond). According to the National Retail Federation, 187 million fans are planning to watch the Big Game. And because the Big Game and snacks go hand in hand, along with all manner of meals and refreshments, the Big Game means more money for your restaurant or bar. These marketing ideas for bars and restaurants are sure to earn your bottom line a field goal this football season:  

Big Game Sunday, Nachos Supreme, and Social Media 

“If you build it, they will come” might work for baseball (hello, Field of Dreams), but for the Big Game, nah. You gotta let ‘em know you’re ready and waiting for the fans. And you are! You’ve got special appetizers, special prices, and plenty of room to social distance while hooting and hollering. Plus you’re offering pick-up and delivery services for fans who absolutely must have your wings, pizza, wedge salad, or rib-eye steak from the comfort of their own living room. Add a banner to your website and post some game-specific content to your social media profiles to get the word out. Throw in a poll to help engage your customers. Let them vote on a special Big Game appetizer or drink. 

Game Day Discounts and Other Food Promotion Ideas    

Football fans don’t need a bunch of reasons to enjoy a Sunday of hooting, hollering, eating, and drinking. But they do need a reason or two to pick your place for eating and drinking part. When considering restaurant and bar promotion ideas, make sure to extend your happy hour prices to include more menu items and a later cut-off time. Offer a discount for larger parties so friends bring friends. Offer a discount for customers who tag your bar or restaurant on social media. Discounts make it simple for folks to frequent your place instead of the one next door, for in-person action, pick-up, or delivery. 

Special Apps Are Where It’s at on Game Day 

We don’t mean apps as in NF, ESPN, or fantasy football apps. We mean hors d’oevres, starters, snacks, small plates. You know. Appetizers. Finger food served at football games. This year, go outside the loaded nachos field goal because folks want what’s a little hip—comfort food with a small twist. For this Big Game’s restaurant promotion ideas, think pork, ribs, brisket, chicken, sushi rolls, sliders, fried pickles and fried potatoes [source: CBS Sports, “Most Popular Game Day Snacks”]. 

The Big Game and Signage 

Make the connection between football glory and fun at your place. Your restaurant and bar promotions for football season should include signs your customers will see days and weeks before the game, so when it’s time to plan, your place comes to mind first. Place signs outside and inside your restaurant advertising game day specials along with pick up, delivery, and catering options. We like this 7.5′ Value Streamline Razor Sail Sign Kit for out front, and these 40 Point Pulp Board Coaster – Round at the bar and tables. 

No Fumbles at Your Place 

Their team may win or lose, but every customer has a chance to score a touchdown at your bar or restaurant when you host some easy, fun games. For promotional ideas for sporting events, hand out raffle tickets or sell them to support local youth sports. Let customers vote on quarterly scores and hand out promotional giveaways to those who come closest. Make sure most patrons end up with a customized giveaway as they leave your bar or restaurant, and increase the chances they’ll be back again season after season. 

Game Day Means Your Saloon, Your Steakhouse, and Souvenirs 

As playoffs and game days approach, your best restaurant and bar promotion ideas should include giveaways. These promotional gifts serve as Big Game memorabilia that tout your brand along with the Big Game that brought your patrons in. For winning promotional gifts that will bring your customers in and back again, consider these: 

7″ Foam Football: Soft, durable, and less likely than the real thing to break a beer stein or knock over a glass of wine.  

Small Football Stress Reliever – 3 1/2″: Football might be a spectator sport but game day’s a nail biter for everyone. Distribute these branded football stress relievers and show your patrons you feel their pan and have got their back.  

Schedule Football Magnet – Full Color: Whether direct mail or point of service, this magnet makes it clear your bar or restaurant is open for service and ready for Big Game action.  

Pro Football Schedule Pocket Slider: They’re sure to think of you on game day when you’re the one providing the handy schedule, customized with your messaging, of course.  

Mini Eco Shopper Bag: This brown kraft paper bag features twisted paper handles to make carrying easy and your imprint on the front to make your playoff specials stand out. 

Customized Speed Zone Cooler Bag: This insulated bag features a top zip main compartment that holds up to 16 cans, double side mesh pockets, and double handle straps for easy carrying. Great for catering, large orders, and contest and raffle winners. 

Personalized Out to Lunch 6-Can Cooler: This insulated cooler has a zippered main compartment and a front open pocket, so your customers can keep your brand top of mind as they tailgate through the football season.  

Collapsible KOOZIE® Can Kooler: The Collapsible KOOZIE® Can Kooler keeps drinks cold and folds so quickly! They can use it at your bar and then put it in a pocket or purse and take it anywhere the party happens to be. Great for mailings and point-of-sale giveaways. 

Zip-Up Bottle KOOZIE® Kooler: This KOOZIE® Kooler fits most 12 oz. Longnecks. It keeps drinks cold and folds quickly to fit into a pocket or purse. Great for mailings and point-of-sale giveaways. 

Tip: Read our blog for even more football giveaway ideas.    

Your Restaurant and Bar Customers Can’t Resist Your Sporty Ways 

Take a few of the tips above, or why not turn the key on all our bar and restaurant promotion ideas? They’re as easy as a touchdown dance and promise to make Game Day a success for your small business!   

Karleen Wise Andersen

From marketing tips to product recommendations, I’m here to help small businesses be their best.

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Karleen Wise Andersen

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