According to Datassential’s SNAP, 77% of consumers love BBQ. Summertime is upon us and it brings the promise of amazing drinks, delicious food, and great company. Whether it’s the first BBQ of the season, Memorial Day, 4th of July or a weekly gathering, host guests in style with these crowd-pleasing tips.

Promote Summer Offerings Early

With the summer sun, everyone will be anxious to get outside! People will be anxious to gather together, enjoy the sunshine and some delicious food. Let your patrons know about your Summertime menu options and promotions ahead of time. This is the perfect time to prepare your patio or outdoor seating area for larger crowds. You’ll still want to follow social distancing guidelines so that your customers feel as safe as possible. Build awareness of your summer specials with your regular patrons by adding promo flyers in takeout bags.

Put Together A Great Summer Menu

When selecting menu options, remember that your menu should include summertime favorites like BBQ, burgers, salads, seafood, fruits and vegetables as well as comfort foods. Emphasize healthier summer options, ingredients that are in-season and be descriptive with your menu so that each item evokes emotion and stimulates customer’s senses. Create a pre-fix menu with seasonal ingredients for holiday celebrations like Memorial Day weekend and 4th of July. Market and offer enticing discounts on celebration orders of 5 or more. At Waypoint, we are experts at helping you create a menu that’s perfect for those looking to celebrate summer! Reach out to us for help designing menu offerings that will make your customers feel special.

Offer Unique Takeout & Catering

Family BBQs and outdoor movie nights are hugely popular in the summertime. Catered meals and party trays are a fantastic option for families looking to enjoy the summer sun. Offer catering and to-go options, featuring easy to prepare multi-course meals with a few choices at a fixed price. You can prepare a summertime party to-go package that includes an appetizer, a protein, 2 sides and a dessert. You could also offer boxed foods to-go for summer parties such as: charcuterie board, salads, grilled veggies, gourmet sandwiches, pies or desserts. Another option would be to offer a meal kit that will satisfy comfort food cravings and can be assembled easily. Reach out to your Waypoint sales representative for packaging options and personalized touches.

Craft Themed Cocktails & Mocktails To-Go

Appeal to those looking to enjoy a festive and refreshing summer drink by creating some themed cocktails. Offer prepared cocktails and mocktails to-go for takeout and catering sales as permitted by law in some states and cities. Rely on seasonal ingredients in your cocktails and mocktails like watermelon, blackberries, cherries, strawberries and peaches. This will provide your patrons with a cool and refreshing drink to relax and enjoy some time soaking up the sun. 

Offer Contactless Everything

As consumers look to restaurants to provide them menu options for summertime gatherings and outdoor dining, they will still be seeking safe ways to order, receive and pay for their takeout/catered meals successfully. CDC guidelines encourage businesses to use touchless payment options. Utilize options like QR codes, online ordering, curbside pickup, and services like Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay etc.

Post On Social Media

To encourage and promote your summer specials and catered meal options, post on your social media pages about your menu options. Share photos of the food you will be serving, along with your re-vamped patio space, and ask followers to share your posts and comment with what they are looking forward to the most this summer. Have them tag your business for a chance to win a gift card, ½ off their next order, or a free cocktail at your restaurant.

Access More Free Tools & Resources

Refresh your menu with innovative solutions, renew your passion for service, and rebuild trust with your patrons while providing a delightful dining experience. Our commitment to supporting you and your operation remains a top priority. As your one-call resource to leading brands, we want to partner with you as you prepare for continued growth throughout Spring and Summer.

We have created our Seasonal Selections Operator Tools collection as a guide to aid you as you plan for upcoming celebrations and events. Follow the link below for recipe inspiration, templates (menu, flyer & catering order forms) and take-out packaging solutions to help your operation thrive. In addition, we have put together guides for you to share with your patrons so they can host their events and special occasions safely and successfully. Click below to get started making 2021 a success!