8 Ideas for Labor Day Restaurant Events & Promotions
How restaurants can plan for a profitable end-of-summer weekend.
Labor Day weekend is a chance for people to unwind with friends and family, enjoy great food and drinks, and celebrate the waning days of summer. It’s also an opportunity for restaurants to maximize sales. Whether it’s catering and meal kits or on-premises events, restaurants can offer new and exciting promotions to their customers. Here are 8 creative ideas to inspire restaurants for Labor Day weekend.
1. Backyard BBQ Catering
For many, Labor Day weekend is an opportune time to fire up the grill and cook for friends and family. However, restaurants like Big Pig Barbecue do the heavy lifting for those who are looking for cookout-inspired meals without the work. The barbecue restaurant sells large-format barbecue packages for preorder. “The Backyard BBQ” package includes marinated steak, chicken, sausage and more for big groups.
2. Dinner With a View
Not all Labor Day weekend events take place in backyards; diners are also looking for unique on-premises dining experiences. Rustler’s Rooste in Phoenix, Arizona is known for having a large rooftop with a view of the city. The restaurant offers special pre-fixe dining packages to enjoy while taking in the spectacular views of the downtown area. Restaurants can use special attributes like a rooftop to market to guests and drive Labor Day revelers into the restaurant.
3. Build Your Own Meal Kits
Meal kits rose to prominence during the pandemic, but their value will remain beyond it. Restaurants like VIPS Catering offer a large selection of meal kits to the greater D.C. area such as the “Make Your Own Tacos” kit that serves 10-12 people. Diners are always looking for new and exciting ways to engage with their favorite restaurants and meal kits are a great way to do just that, especially over Labor Day weekend.
4. Market Items for At-Home Cooking
During COVID-19 lockdowns, many restaurants turned their brick and mortars into markets selling a litany of unique pantry items, provisions and produce. Even further, many began selling restaurant-specific goods through their website. Vino Enoteca sells ready-made spaghetti noodles and Bolognese sauce online for pickup. It’s a fun way for diners to simulate the restaurant experience at home this Labor Day weekend.
5. Tap Takeover Events
Breweries contribute to a city’s cultural identity, offering a place to visit, tour and share a few pints with friends. They also find their way into restaurants and bars in the form of “tap takeovers, where restaurants partner with local breweries to exclusively showcase their latest brews. Hazy Barbecue promotes its “Summer Beer Series” through its website, highlighting its lineup of tap takeovers from neighboring breweries. Restaurants can create similar events over Labor Day weekend, driving in more guests and promoting local businesses in the process.
6. Live Music Events
Summer is peak season for outdoor live music, and Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer. Because of this, Labor Day weekend pairs perfectly with live music events. Restaurants can use their outdoor spaces to showcase local acts one last time before the summer comes to a close. Chandler Hill, a Missouri-based winery and restaurant does this through its “Sunset Dinners featuring Live Music” series, promoting scheduled events through its website.
7. Curated Wine Packs
Part of the appeal of dining out is having a curated experience. For example, a restaurant’s wine list is often carefully selected to pair with the current menu. But F&B businesses can also tailor this experience online. Cork Wine Bar and Market in Washington, D.C., dedicates a section of its website to selling curated packs of wine for different occasions. Its “BBQ Season 6-Pack” is a perfect example of something restaurants can market to guests who are attending Labor Day get-togethers.
8. Brunch and Football
College football starts back up in late August, and Labor Day weekend is host to some of the first big games of the season. Restaurants and bars can host game day events that include special happy hours, bar promotions and more. The Maple Landing, in Dallas, Texas, promotes its “Sunday Brunch and Football” across its website to inform guests about the special event and entice them to visit.
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