The secret to every victory is a game plan. Mark your calendars for Sunday, Feb. 12, because many restaurateurs are already anticipating a very successful yet chaotic day for business. On the days leading up to the championship football game, your restaurant needs a strategy to confirm everything will run smoothly. Here are some essential tips to prepare your restaurant and staff for the influx of take-out and delivery orders surrounding the big game.
Pre-game: spread the word ahead of time
Social media is a valuable communication tool for early customer engagement. A week before the game, post content of any specials and encourage people to place an order “while supplies last.” Be sure to include your phone number or website link for easy access to the ordering process. A deadline will eliminate the chance of receiving too many requests and exhausting resources on a busy take-out and delivery day for most restaurants.
It is crucial to post any changes to business hours to alert customers ahead of time. Modifying business hours to accommodate the incoming demand before the game will leave more time for food preparation.
Restaurant social media accounts can also encourage gameday sales with a giveaway announcement. One idea is using the famous football square. A spot on the board can be claimed with each take-out purchase, and at the end of each quarter, if their numbers match the score, they win!
Score with other businesses in the community
A partnership with non-competitive local businesses can be an interactive way to promote sales. One possible opportunity is to allow customers to buy food items from multiple merchants. With one food purchase, customers can show their receipt to another merchant and receive an additional item as part of their order.
Avoid overtime: maximize efficiency and keep it simple
Expecting an increase in business means extra inventory needs to be purchased. It is crucial to confirm storage space for the additional inventory, especially if it is perishable. In addition to excess food, ensure ample containers and to-go bags are available to handle the higher volume of take-out orders.
With an influx of food orders, preparing the kitchen is essential to function at the most effective rate possible. To avoid overwhelming the cooks with special orders, adjust your menu so popular items can be easily prepared. A separate “specials” menu can be beneficial, allowing customers to select a bundle of items from the traditional menu. A “Touchdown Tray” might include a variety of shareable items in high demand.
Since people will likely watch the game from home, the take-out process will be a big focus, and more staff will be needed. Make sure to confirm employee availability and that they’re prepared for the busy day ahead. To further maximize efficiency, it is helpful to identify extra space to hold pick-up orders for easy access for staff and customers.
Not a fan of the game? Engaging the anti-sports crowd
Although take-out can be most of your orders, remember the walk-ins on game day. Whether their team did not make the cut or they are not football fans, you will want to accommodate them on this day. Consider using part of your restaurant to cater to ordinary dine-in folks by offering a quieter area with less noise if space is available.
With every victory comes a reflection on the game plan. Look back on your sales and see how you did. What worked out well, and what needs improvement? What was the most popular item, and what didn’t sell as much as you predicted? With these insights, you can improve your restaurant’s take-out process and your game plan for next year’s big game.