In 1972, after 58 years Congress declared “National Mother’s Day”, President Richard Nixon declared third Sunday as “Father’s Day”. Over the years, Father’s Day has become an important day from a marketing perspective as we have spent billions of dollars every year on this day to honor dads.

According to National Retail Federation (NRF) this year in 2016 we will be spending $14.3 billion with an average spend of $125.92 buying different things (even though a significant number the spend is less when compared with Mother’s Day or Christmas). With the kind of spend on this day, restaurants have to fine-tune their strategies so that they can grab a share of this pie. Use the below strategies to maximize the impact of Father’s Day spend at your restaurant.

In-Store Activities:

a. Special Menu:

Come up with a special menu just for Father’s Day with an emphasis on dinner and drink menu. If you have a bar then include a premium scotch blend as part of the menu spread.

b. Promotions:

Father’s eat free can be another promotion that your restaurant can implement on this day. Have some limitations like a minimum spend required, the value of the Father’s meal is capped at certain dollars or the entire family has to be present etc. Create a gift certificate with the terms and reach out to the local community to promote this offer apart from using social media (Facebook Offers, Google events etc).

c. Photo Contest:

Host a photo contest. ask your followers to post photos capturing “Best Moments”, “A tribute to dad” or “Favorite pic with daddy” on your social media handles. The pic that gets the maximum votes can win a gift card at your restaurant.

d. Giveaways:

Create some giveaways like Mugs, pens or Key chains with “World’s Best Day”, “My dad is best” captions along with your restaurant logo. You can give these away as part of your Father’s Day menu option.

Co-Marketing Activities

Come up with a list of activities/products which are in sync with your restaurant’s customer base and that Father’s might enjoy doing.  Explore options of working with few vendors within your neighborhood that offer products/services that are aligned with this list.

a. Special Outings:

Check with your local golf shop or driving range and see if they would like to partner with your restaurant. For example, bundle a golf outing or a jet ski ride with your dinner event.

b. Special Coupons or Deals:

Work with your local dry cleaner, auto shop or electronics store to see if they can come up with special coupons for Father’s Day that are only available at your store or bundled with your offering.

c. Collate Coupons or Specials:

Showcase your love for fathers by trying to come up with few coupons or specials from the web or from other local dealers. This requires a little bit of digging and also reaching out to local merchants as well.

Partner with charities

Fathers are strong pillars of our society.  Work with local charities that are aligned with fathers or charities that your customers can strongly correlate to. Few charities that you might want to look up are:

a. Organize a fundraiser:

The National Fatherhood Initiative (www.fatherhood.org) with their motto of “Fathers make unique and irreplaceable contributions to the lives of children” would be a perfect fit. You can say a portion of the proceeds from Father’s Day dinner will be donated to this or any other organization

b. Host a lunch or breakfast for wounded warriors

(https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/) and let fathers serve them. Another option could be to go to a senior citizen center and do the same thing with father volunteers.

c. Organize a scouting trip with Boys Scouts

(www.scouting.org) and see if you can cater to that scouting trip.

You can pick and choose which strategy you want to implement but the most important aspect is involving your customers (Fathers) that will enable your restaurant to build strong bonds with them. Do let us know if you have any other strategies that you have implemented and that has worked well – what is the idea and how did you execute it.