Scoring big with QSR customers this pro football season
With week No. 1 of the current professional football season in the rearview mirror, QSR operators must have an action plan for capturing American football fans' hearts and pockets in the months ahead. After all, football is this nation's sport, with the vast majority of respondents (37 percent) in a December 2017 Gallup poll saying they preferred football over any other pro sport, including basketball (preferred by just 11 percent) and baseball (preferred by 9 percent ).
In short, it's time to get creative with daily drink and food specials, as well as marketing campaigns and even customer loyalty programs. The trick to is have a plan and enact it daily. Here are a handful of options to get your football bonfire burning for the weeks ahead.
Start a trivia night that features football-related questions and themes. Or, have a bracket each season of either professional or college-level football teams. Give weekly winners a special deal on food and drinks, and enhance the offering to include immediate family members. Pair customer brackets with a "house" bracket and encourage your staff to have some fun with it, too. This builds customer and employee morale and boosts food and drink sales as a result.
If the local favorite team is playing on a Sunday or Monday night, launch a marketing campaign tied to the big game at least one week ahead. Send emails to your customer base alerting them to game-day specials and place decals/point-of-purchase materials around your locations highlighting game-day deals. It should be all about having fun and building guest interaction.
While not directly tied to something your guests can see, the importance of proper planning cannot be emphasized enough here. Make sure you have everything you need to support your promotions and check with your distributors to make sure you're getting the best prices if you need to order more than usual.
Bring your "A" game:
Train your staff to upsell any football-themed promotions and prepare them well on what those specials are and when each will be featured. Show them the game schedules so they're prepared to answer inquiries. Consider even tying in an employee-based competition for food and drink sales focused on game-day promotions.
Fun for the family:
If you operate a family-friendly QSR, include food specials for children that feature take-home items like football-themed cups or toys for youngsters. Families appreciate the extra effort QSRs take to engage the whole group, so offer specials like family-friendly meals or special brunch menus for early games. Thiskind of promotion pulls patrons in early and can keep them all day with half-time rewards and between-game specials.
Don't forget delivery:
Ramp up the ranks of your delivery and takeout prep staff so you're ready for big take-out or delivery order increases. Remember that executed poorly, delivery problems and long wait times can scare away customers for good, while special considerations and additions, like football-shaped cookies or other add-ons, will help draw in new customers and keep them long after the season is over.
Consider your community:
If you live in an area with a lot of transplants, grab the opportunity to cater to that audience. Is your restaurant in Miami where there are large pockets of ex-New Yorkers? If so, consider promotions centered around ideas like establishing your location as New York Giants headquarters, for instance, to draw a loyal weekly crowd. The idea is to find an audience need and cater to it for maximum football frenzy fun and, of course, business that will last all year long.
Andy Rosenbloom is a foodservice professional who heads up the Marketing Teams at Dining Alliance, Consolidated Concepts, Buyers Edge and other GPO Platform Brands. Andy’s insights come from the cross-section of the Operators, Distributors, Manufacturers, Service Providers and Trend-Watchers.www