13 Ideas for Father’s Day Restaurant Promotions
Take a look at how restaurants are celebrating dads, and find some inspiration for your own specials.
About a month after restaurants get ready for one of the busiest days of the year in hospitality, it’s Dad’s turn. Father’s Day in the US isn’t quite the occasion Mother’s Day is — consumer spending is about 44% less than Mother’s Day — but nearly half of all consumers say they plan to gift their dads a “special outing” like dinner or brunch.
Take a look at how restaurants are honoring fathers — from steak kits to pig roasts to beef skewer bouquets — and find inspiration for your own promotions.
1. Steak Specials
Urban Farmer knows the key to a father’s heart is through a big, juicy steak. They offer a variety of steak specials at their three locations in Denver, Philadelphia, and Portland like a 42 oz. dry-aged tomahawk ribeye and a 20 oz. T-bone.
2. Free Bull Rides
Let Dad fulfill his cowboy dreams with a ride on the mechanical bull. Cadillac Ranch lets dads ride for free on Father’s Day. If your restaurant hosts games or experiences like this, offering a free turn for fathers is a great way to drive more customers through the door.
3. “Dad’s Dinner” and “Dad-Ons”
Jersey Shore BBQ tweaks some of their standard menu offerings and turns them into Dad-branded packages. “Dad’s Dinner” includes two racks of ribs, two pounds of mac n cheese, 12 pieces of cornbread, 12 slider rolls, and a bunch of one pound sides. There are no “add-ons” here, only “dad-ons” like jumbo smoked wings and pork belly.
4. Luau & Pig Roast
Pau Hana leverages the power of ticketed events with their special Father’s Day event: a luau and pig roast. At $40 for adults and $18 for kids 12 and under, this outing for the whole family includes a pig roast and a Hawaiian-style buffet dinner with menu items like teriyaki chicken, Island rice, and butter mochi.
5. Beer Tastings & Bratwursts
Use the holiday as a way to partner with your beverage vendors. An event collaboration like the one hosted by The Red Barber in Denver is the perfect example of how to pull this off. The restaurant worked with a few of their beer reps for Father’s Day and sold $15 tickets for an afternoon of beer tastings and brats.
6. Crab Baskets
North Bethesda’s Hello Betty serves up Mid-Atlantic cuisine, which leans heavily on crabs. Their “Crab Bod Dad Bod” promotion includes a basket of fire roasted blue crabs with red bliss potatoes on corn on the cob that served 2-4 guests. The special also comes alongside a cooler with a six pack of beers inside plus a branded koozie.
7. Beef Skewer Bouquets
How do you turn that Mother's Day bouquet gift idea into a present for Dad? Easy: turn it into beef. Kuya Ja's Lechon Belly sells barbeque bouquets to-go with 12 beef ribeye skewers tucked inside, and they’re a hit every year.
8. Pizza Pies
Take your signature dish or most popular item, and turn it into a BOGO (buy one, get one) or “buy two and get one free” promo. Buddyz Pizzeria leverages their merchandise store to sell Chicago-style pizza pies across the country, and launched a Father’s Day special to celebrate the holiday.
9. Oyster Kits
Offering creative merchandise like Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar can set you apart from other restaurants. Their kits include two dozen oysters, a shucking knife, bar towel, and insulated bag along with all the condiments you’d want for your bivalves.
10. Special Menu Item or Drink
If you don’t want to give your whole menu an overhaul for Father’s Day, feature just one special dish or drink. At Morton's Grille, the restaurant still served the full menu but promoted a menu item for the holiday: slow roasted prime rib with au jus & whipped horseradish.
11. Father’s Day Buffet
If multiple course menus aren’t a good fit for your restaurant but you still want to serve an elaborate line-up of dishes, look to buffets. Xochi in Houston lays out a brunch buffet that’s kid-friendly and dad-approved. It’s $55 per adult and $15 per child. Plus, there’s live music.
12. Family Meals To-Go
For restaurants that want to offer off-premises dining, look to MCL Restaurant & Bakery for inspiration. The comfort food spot based out of the Midwest puts together carryout meals for Father’s Day. Customers can choose an entree (diner’s pick of sage-stuffed chicken breast, fried chicken, meat loaf, or chicken & noodles), two sides (macaroni & cheese, mashed potatoes, or homestyle green beans), and cloverleaf farm rolls. The Family Meal feeds five for $59.95 while the Family Feast feeds 6-8 for $79.95.
13. Drinks To-Go
Another way to let Dad take your Father's Day offering home is through to-go cocktails. Whiskey Bird packs up quarts of their Whiskey Bird Sour mix so that they’re ready for grab-and-go. Including alcoholic beverages in your to-go offerings is a great way to improve the profit margins on takeout.
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