Go Beyond The Grill


Come summertime, restaurant owners find themselves up against what most people would view as an unlikely competitor: the grill. Customers who are eager to take their mealtimes to the great outdoors seem to have a love affair with their grills, especially when the summer season begins.

Check out our tips and tricks and you’ll see for yourself that you can show your customers that your restaurant is a great alternative to grilling at home this summer!

Month Ahead_webSchool’s Out. Bigger, Better Kid’s Menu Is In

In the cooler months, most kids go to bed earlier and eat out with their parents less often. The opposite is true for the summer months. A few new menu items and special offers geared towards kids and families are sure to get some great attention from new customers and regulars alike.

Sure, kids are probably your least adventurous customer base, but they’re all about catchy names and pictures. Naming an item “Picnic Pasta” is a whole lot more intriguing than just “Noodles And Butter”. As you know, when the kids are happy, the parents are happy…so, details like little umbrellas in the kids drinks go a long way to keep the whole gang coming back for more, all season long!

Dish Out A Delicious Dad’s Dayshutterstock_133095755_web

It’s no surprise that in most cases, it is mom’s task to find the spot for the Dad’s Day Celebration. This is not the holiday to get all fancy and explorative. This is the time to make sure Dad has his tried-and-true favorites and that the kids have what they need to stay occupied and happily fed. That’s what makes the celebration memorable…in a good way.

And back to the summer grill situation. Father’s Day grilling is a custom that’s not going to die anytime too soon. So instead of ignoring this fact, why not have a little fun with it and show that your restaurant is a compelling, if not superior, alternative. Be honest, it is a fact that barbecued food tastes great. But it is also a fact that the post-party clean-up is most assuredly not great. Make a simple Father’s Day Grill Night and point out that it tastes a whole lot better without all that clean up at the end. Happy Father’s Day, indeed.

Since Dads tend to be, um, competitive, you can have some kind of contest where they get to enter to name the Dad’s Day Dish of the month. The winner gets to come back for a dinner for four before summer is over. Note: Dads love winning and they love delicious meals!

shutterstock_103552628_webGet A Jump On 4th Of July

It doesn’t take much to get folks excited for 4th of July festivities. It is a happy, sparkly holiday and it is synonymous with the start of the warmer months. There is no such thing as getting a jump on staffing up for this holiday, as well as the entire summer, of course. Your staff will probably be less inclined to want to work on this holiday so be sure to do the best you can to get the schedule set in advance.

Most towns have some sort of parade to celebrate the 4th, so check with your Chamber of Commerce to see how your restaurant can be represented. Even handing out special deals for that weekend will give folks a great alternative to cooking for themselves.

And for the anti-fireworks crowd, give them some offers they’ll really take a shine to. Maybe a special gift to anyone wearing red, white and blue or serve up some patriotic drink and desserts.

These are just 3 of the many big occasions that bring people together during summertime. Summer is all about fun, so make sure you’re top of mind when your customers are heading out for some mid-summer grub!