The return of professional and collegiate sports has its own “new normal.” Pandemic safety measures like sports bubbles, no in-person attendance, and shorter seasons have been implemented to keep COVID spread to a minimum. While sports aren’t quite what we’re used to, they offer a welcome distraction. Many people will be hosting small gatherings (aka Homegating) for sports parties and putting together celebrations for upcoming spring holidays like Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Mardis Gras. Now is the perfect time for you to help your guests enjoy a festive event with family and friends, complete with favorite foods and adult-beverages or mocktails. Here are several ideas to apply to sports and holidays.
While patrons are excited to get back to restaurants for game days and celebratory events, they will want reassurance when it comes to safety. Adjust your menu for safety and consumer confidence, such as incorporating creative catering options, emphasizing branded food products consumers know and trust, or adding a brief statement to your to-go menus about your restaurants safety policy.
Plan Your Menu
For sports fans, watching their favorite teams on TV is an event. Game day meals are an important part of the festivities, and wouldn’t be complete without favorites like wings, burgers, beer, and nachos. The good news for restaurants is that many sports fans will order food from a restaurant to enjoy at home for game day. So, prepare your menu to offer special game day packages for takeout and delivery.
Let your patrons know about your offerings for sports and holidays ahead of time. It is a good idea to also let your customers know about the overall cleanliness of your establishment and that your following all current safety guidelines. Promote boxed meals, your takeout menu, hours of operation, commitment to safety on social media and build awareness with your regular patrons by adding promo flyers in takeout bags.
Maximize Your Takeout & Catering
Consider adding online ordering, for holidays like Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day. Many people will be hosting small gatherings to celebrate at home, and they will still want to make these events special with restaurant quality food. Construct your restaurant menu options with care, perhaps providing a prix-fixe menu. Reach out to your Waypoint sales representative if you need help preparing your menu or upgrading your packaging containers so that the food will stay warm and fresh for delivery.
Craft Themed Cocktails & Mocktails To-Go
Appeal to those looking to enjoy a festive drink for their holiday celebration or sporting event. Offer prepared cocktails and mocktails to-go for takeout and catering sales as permitted by law in some states and cities. We also suggest, deals on growlers of green beer for St. Patrick’s Day or for Valentine’s Day dinner for two with a bottle of wine.
Be A Resource
Now that it’s 2021, serve as a resource to consumers who want to enjoy takeout, delivery or catered meals but are still concerned about COVID-19 and unsure of the effectiveness of vaccinations. Teach your patrons how to celebrate holidays and sporting events virtually with great catered food and tasty beverages prepared by you. Reach out to your Waypoint sales representative at AskWaypoint for downloadable sports and holidays how-to-guides, menu assistance, planning tips, etc
Craft Engaging Virtual Experiences
A virtual cooking class could be incorporated into your catered event options to provide a safe way to virtually gather, with the added interactivity. Provide contactless pickup for all attendees of the virtual event to come and grab their meal box filled with instructions on how to access the chef tutorial and the virtual event. Your consumers and their friends can prepare a delicious meal in their own kitchen, led by your chef, and then enjoy together virtually. It’s an interactive way to create a splash!
Post On Social Media
Social media provides a great space to build loyalty with your patrons and promote any new offers you have. Create a contest to share across your social media channels. Ask followers to share a picture of the food they ordered, along with how they will be celebrating or their favorites sports team and have them tag your business for a chance to win a gift card or discounted menu item.
Seasonal Selection Tools & Resources
We have created our Seasonal Selections Operator Tools collection as a guide to aid you as you plan for the upcoming celebrations and events. Click the button below to download how-to guides, recipes, templates (menu, flyer & catering order forms) and take-out and catering packaging solutions to help your operation thrive. In addition, we have put together guides for you to share with your patrons including tips on how they can host a party for the big game safely and successfully.