The allowance for takeout can inspire additional promotions. Get into a “limited-time” state-of-mind, where you can advertise summer specials that will cater to those looking to dine out, but not necessarily at your establishment. For example, a “Park Picnic” special during June can include a restaurant-branded blanket and an actual picnic basket filled with everything needed, from prepped charcuterie and cheese to ready-to-order sandwiches. For those headed to the beach, consider offering “Beach Day Takeaway,” complete with a soft cooler filled with pints of fresh seafood salads and seasonal fruit cups. Even still, a “BBQ-2-Go” catering option can provide everything from smoked meats by the pound to hearty sides, so patrons can grab-and-go, without the worry of manning the feast.
When it comes to getting clever with your summer promotions, take the time to embrace ideas that would otherwise interfere with your busy season. Consider a late-night menu that caters to couples and groups that can come in for an after-hours snack following evening activities. Or, a weekly ice cream social has the potential to attract the family crowd for a D.I.Y. sundae-making station as a fun activity that doubles as the perfect summer treat.
In addition to joining organized events, the pop-up concept can equally propel you to great heights this summer. Consider infiltrating an area you’d like to test out for a new location by popping up for one week. Pop-ups are a great way to conduct market research. You can test out a new area, launch new menu items and engage with your diners face-to-face—at a fraction of what it costs to run your flagship outpost.
Durée Ross is president and founder of Durée & Company, Inc., an award-winning full-service public relations, marketing and special events firm founded in 1999. Durée & Company serves the corporate, agency and non-profit arenas in the restaurant industry and many other industries. The firm has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida & Aspen, Colorado.