This year’s Super Bowl takes place February 7 in Tampa, Florida, and will certainly look different from past years. This is the time to use special promotions for patrons so you can still succeed with just a few changes.

Don’t forget to follow all standard COVID-19 guidelines and comply with all local and state mandates for restaurants and other food service businesses.

Tips for Success:

  • Create an enticing menu. In addition to the food your place is known for, don’t forget special items sure to appeal to fans. Chicken wings are by far the best sellers, so promote delivery and takeout deals on this and other favorite dishes. Consider making fan favorites particular to your area, or those that are representative of the Super Bowl teams (if the Philadelphia team is competing, for instance, sell Philly cheesesteak sandwiches).1
  • Figure out what your customers want. The better you know your customers, the easier it will be to create an effective promotion.2
  • Create special deals, such as appetizers or desserts at reduced prices.
  • Solidify your delivery and pickup options, as well as online ordering. In these times, many restaurant customers find it safer and easier to order online and get curbside pickup, delivery, or takeout.3  If you don’t already have your own delivery plan, it’s relatively easy to sign up for a delivery service.4
  • Email marketing is still an effective tool for many businesses. Consider sending a redeemable coupon to your customers.5
  • Don’t forget to update your website with new menu offerings and any new health protocols you’ve put in place. Make sure your site is mobile responsive or make your site mobile responsive (meaning that your site adapts to any device used to view it).
  • Update your social media accounts with incentives for social media follows and engagement.
  • Make engagement with your business fun. Create a giveaway or post a poll on your website or social media accounts to see who your customers think will win or to make predictions on the final score. Each quarter, for example, you can give out a gift certificate to the winners or to customers on your email list or followers on social media.6

General Safety Tips:

  • Post signs in highly visible locations (such as at entrances and in restrooms for both employees and customers) to encourage social distancing, wearing a mask and properly washing hands.7
  • Communicate, through signs in your restaurant and through your website/social media accounts, the health guidelines you have implemented.
  • Limit seating capacity.
  • Consider providing masks for guests or ask them to bring their own.8
  • Provide hand sanitizer in common areas.
  • Make sure there is adequate soap or hand sanitizer available in restrooms.
  • Encourage guests not to form a line at the restroom door.

Special Concerns for Your Staff:

  • Make sure your staff stays home when sick and let them know when it’s safe to return.9
  • Require the use of masks among all staff. Masks are most essential in times when physical distancing is difficult, a common problem with a crowded restaurant.
  • Require frequent and proper employee handwashing, and increase monitoring to ensure adherence.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, cash registers, payment terminals, tables, countertops, and so on.
  • Develop a schedule for increased routine cleaning and disinfection.

With a few simple plans to up your restaurant game, and health guidelines to reassure your customers and staff, you can offer a fun and healthy day for everyone.

 

Sources:
1, 4, 6. Upserve

2, 3, 5.  Constant Contact

7, 9. CDC (Bars/Restaurants)

  1. CDC (Personal/Social

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Megan Makula

Merchants Insurance Group

Merchants Insurance Group sells its products through a network of more than 1,000 independent insurance agents in Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. We sell our products through independent insurance agents because we believe they provide value to policyholders through their broad range of products and their insurance expertise.