Fourth of July: Restaurant Promotions, Prep, and Menu Ideas
Summer is here again and so is the biggest holiday of the season – Fourth of July. Many Americans spend Independence Day outside their homes, making it a significant opportunity to drive traffic to your restaurant. Do you have a Fourth of July restaurant promotions and menu plan in place? We rounded up our top ideas to attract more customers and improve the guest experience this July.
Fourth of July Discounts & Specials
Customers love any opportunity to save money on their meals. Offering a discount, free menu item, free alcoholic drink, exclusive holiday menu item, etc. is a great way to draw in traffic. To get you started, let’s take a look at some of the most popular Fourth of July deals from the recent past.:
- Krispy Kreme offered their recurring Let Freedom Ring collection of patriotic, red, white, and blue themed donuts for a limited time only, and have offered free original glazed dozens as part of a “buy one, get one free” deal.
- The Cheesecake Factory offered Oreo Dream Cheesecake with purchases of at least 17.76 through DoorDash.
- Chili’s offered discounted domestic beers to correspond with the Fourth, to celebrate American brews.
Fourth of July Contests and Giveaways
Contests and giveaways on social media around holidays is a great way to increase engagement and brand loyalty. An average of 34% of new customers come in through contests hosted through social media. Facebook and Instagram are the most commonly used platforms because they are easy to use and have a large pool of potential customers. There isn’t a wrong way to go about it, but keep in mind that you want to keep it as simple as possible for guests and staff to implement.
Here’s a few Fourth of July inspired social media contests ideas:
Fourth of July Dish Name
Followers come up with a clever name for the Fourth of July inspired dishes or drinks. The most creative name wins a prize.
Share a Post
Ask followers to share a Fourth of July promotional post. Do a drawing based on the followers that shared the post for a chance at a prize.
Have followers post their most festive Fourth of July outfit for a chance at a prize. You could offer rewards for best family, individual, or even dog Fourth of July costume.
Advertise on social media that the first 20 people to make a reservation will enter a gift card drawing for your restaurant. A restaurant reservation system is an easy way to manage these accommodations and provide accurate wait times to those that don’t make an early reservation.
Catering & Carryout
Many people will choose to stay at home and cook for friends and family rather than go out to eat. If you offer catering or carryout, get the word out there. Post your catering menu and any discounts you are offering on social media for a few weeks leading up to the Fourth of July.
Do you have a patio area? It’s summertime, so diners want to enjoy the outdoors. If you have the space for it, you could even set up activities for families to enjoy outside. Cornhole, face painting, live music, etc. are some ideas. If your restaurant offers a good view of firework shows, make sure to advertise on social media!
Fourth of July will likely bring in a lot of families with children. Make sure you have enough supplies to keep kids occupied. Have a good stock of high chairs, coloring pages, and crayons.
Pull out all your red, white, and blue décor and make your restaurant feel festive. Some ideas would be patriotic floral arrangements, flags, festive balloons, etc.
Promote on Social Media
Whatever promotions you decide to go with, make sure to get the word out there on social media. Even if you aren’t able to do any special promotions, make sure to make a dedicated post on July 4th.
Fourth of July Menu Ideas
Light up the grill and spice up your menu for the Fourth of July. Make sure to throw in a few holiday-inspired dishes to the menu to make it more festive. Here are some of our favorites.
Fourth of July Appetizers
Finger food and small snacks go great with a cookout.
Fourth of July Grill Ideas
Steak on the Fourth will always be popular, but don’t miss out on other options.
Fourth of July Sides
Make sure your restaurant has a few delicious sides to pair with the main course.
- Smoked Potato Salad
- Pesto Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Mozzarella
- Watermelon Salad with Feta and Cucumber Pickles
- Roasted Peppers and Tomatoes with Herbs and Capers
Fourth of July Desserts
Don’t forget about your guests with a sweet tooth!
- Red, White, and Blue Brownie Pizza
- Red, White, and Blue Cupcake Cones
- 4th of July Milkshakes
- Red, White, and Blueberry Ice Cream Pie
The Fourth of July & the Pandemic
By now, we all know that festivities will or perhaps should be curtailed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has continued to spike since re-opening. Don’t fret, though, because there are plenty of options to keep things lively and the celebration going. Make sure that your menu items are easy to transport since off-premise traffic continues to be safe as well as a robust revenue stream. Consider offering to-go draft beers in growlers or crowlers, to keep the party at home.
For on-site events, make sure to limit seating in and outdoor seating. Consider activities that allow for social distancing like a bean-bag toss, or patriotic costume contest. Of course, fireworks are ideal for a socially distant experience, so long as you employ caution. Don’t forget that a lot of people are hungry for some company, so manage your capacity carefully to avoid another Mother’s Day fiasco.
Fourth of July is America’s number one beer-drinking holiday. Make sure you have a good stock of a variety of beers for your diners. Also, don’t forget the Fourth of July inspired alcoholic beverages. Here are some of our favorites: Red, White, and Blue Sangria, Americano, Fourth of July, and Sparkling Pineapple Upside Down Martini
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About the Author
Emily Wimpsett was a Content & Social Media Specialist at QSR Automations. Emily was born and raised in Louisville but roots for the University of Kentucky fan. For college, Emily attended Indiana University Southeast and obtained a degree in Communications with a track in Advertising. In her free time, Emily enjoys just about every water-related activity, but she’s partial to kayaking and whitewater rafting.