9 Ideas for Super Bowl Restaurant Promotions
November 16, 2023
Find inspiration for game day restaurant promotions plus tips to score more sales.
The Super Bowl is one of the first big events that restaurants can capitalize on in the new year. Of the nearly 193 million people tuning in on TV’s biggest night, 104 million people are planning to throw or attend a party, making them perfect catering, takeout, or delivery customers.
Another 18 million people plan to watch the game at a bar or restaurant, according to the National Retail Federation, and they’re looking for on-premises Super Bowl promotions.
To help restaurants drive much-needed revenue (and start the year off strong), we put together some actionable ways to increase restaurant profits on Super Bowl Sunday as well as a round-up of successful promotion examples.
How to Increase Super Bowl Restaurant Sales
Before you decide which promotions you’ll run, keep in mind these four tips to boost sales, from what to offer to how to market it.
1. Create game day menus, packages, and meal kits.
Super Bowl Sunday is the second-largest food consumption day of the year in the US, right after Thanksgiving, meaning that restaurants should cater to the masses by offering a game day menu. Wings, pizza, and beer are pretty standard when it comes to football games, but restaurants can up their menu offerings by adding unique Super Bowl specials to guests.
Even restaurants that don’t typically cater to game day items can still get in on the action. Guests are looking for new ways to experience the big game and support their favorite restaurants at the same time. Unique offerings in the form of meal kits are a great way to provide the restaurant experience at home.
2. Offer online catering.
People like to pre-order takeout and delivery in large quantities for game day. One easy way to do so? Offer online Super Bowl catering packages like Bien Trucha Group.
This eliminates the need for long or confusing phone calls and helps ensure a smooth experience for both customers and restaurants alike. With BentoBox, it’s easier than ever to capture catering orders and inquiries with an online catering store.
3. Promote menus and specials with popup alerts.
Want to make your food line-up really stand out? Make sure your restaurant’s biggest fans know what you’re offering by making it easily found on your website. One of the quickest ways to educate visitors to the website on new restaurant specials and offerings is to create a popup alert on the homepage.
For example, Rosemary's in New York City promoted their Super Bowl Pig Roast event with a popup alert when visitors landed on the website. Guests could view the menu or click on a link to make a reservation.
4. Start marketing Super Bowl specials early.
In a crowded restaurant landscape, especially online, restaurants that market their special offerings early on will stand out from the competition and prosper.
Although marketing strategies differ from restaurant to restaurant, the platforms and tools that exist are more universal. Leverage channels like social media and email marketing to generate more Super Bowl sales.
Here are a few resources to get you started:
Super Bowl Promotion Ideas
Idea #1: Super Bowl Appetizer Platter
If Thanksgiving is the holiday dedicated to elaborate family meals, the Super Bowl is the holiday dedicated to finger foods and casual bites. New York City comfort-food spot Bubby's leans into this by offering a Super Bowl Appetizer Platter, which includes enough tater tots, chicken wings, jalapeño poppers and pigs in a blanket to feed four hungry football fans.
Bubby's offers the package through a user-friendly and mobile-optimized online catering store, which reduces diner frustration and increases checkouts. It also uses smart menu surfacing to control which fulfillment dates the Super Bowl package appears on.
Idea #2: Full Super Bowl Catering Package
Party hosts often struggle to order the right amount of food for their guests. They also often worry about ordering too much of one item — like a stack of pizzas — and not providing enough variety for everyone in the room.
Restaurants can solve these issues by curating full Super Bowl catering packages, as Eastchester, New York restaurant Gigante did. The package included a diverse spread of game day food (pizza, pasta, meatballs, wings, ribs), and the webpage clearly outlined that it served 4-6 guests.
As a final touch, Gigante created a custom graphic featuring logos of the two Super Bowl teams, which helped the promotion pop across marketing channels.
Idea #3: Game Day Foods by the Pound
In addition to its full "Super Bowl Sunday Pack," Flinders Lane in Stamford, Connecticut sells game day staples such as chicken wings, pulled pork sliders, potato salad, and truffle mac and cheese by the pound through its online catering store.
The reasonably priced and adequately portioned menu items make it easy for guests to customize their ideal game day spread. The best part? After licensing Pre-Order & Catering, Flinders Lane needed fewer than 10 days to launch its Super Bowl promotion — and it did all the setup itself.
Idea #4: Take & Bake Catering Package
For the Super Bowl party host who wants an added touch of freshness, offer take & bake packages, like Hill Country’s “Big Game Box,” which was picked up cold and meant to be reheated. This allows customers to better time when food is served and coordinate meal temperatures accordingly.
Idea #5: DIY Game Day Meal Kit
Similar to take & bake packages, restaurants can offer Super Bowl meal kits where diners cook a restaurant meal from scratch. This puts even more control in the party host’s hands.
Still, the explosive growth of the meal kit industry, which is projected to reach $27.3 billion by 2028, shows there is an appetite for packages like The Raleigh Times’ “Super Bowl Pizza Party Kits.” It may be better suited to smaller Super Bowl parties than big ones, but it’s a fun way to spend the hours leading up to kickoff.
Idea #6: Chef-Driven Game Day Spread
If your restaurant’s brand is closely associated with a person — typically a chef or owner — you can use that person as a framing device for your Super Bowl promotion. Executive Chef Tom Colicchio is the owner of New York City’s Craft, which the restaurant showcased by framing its Super Bowl package as, “A Tom Colicchio Super Bowl Spread.”
The webpage where diners ordered featured a photo of Colicchio in the kitchen with the spread arranged in front of him. This is a great way to add authenticity and authority to your promotions.
Idea #7: Limited-Time Menu Items
Super Bowl Sunday is a great time for restaurants to experiment with creative twists on game day food. Sweetcatch Poke, a poke restaurant with locations across New York City, used last year’s game to put a Hawaiian twist on American nachos, which diners could only order for a limited time.
These promotions likely appeal more to casual football fans than diehards who order traditional game day food all season. If that sounds like your customers, this is a fun way to make their Super Bowl Sunday special.
Idea #8: Partial Buyout Package
Some guests want to spend their Super Bowl around the kinetic energy of strangers but still hold comfortable conversations with their group. Partial buyout packages, where guests rent one section of the restaurant, are perfect for this type of customer.
A great example comes from Michael Chernow’s The Meatball Shop, which has catered on-premises Super Bowl events with family-style menus and merchandise such as t-shirts, beanies and koozies. In addition to rounding out the package (and allowing for higher prices), this merchandise serves as free future marketing when people wear it and explain how they got it.
Idea #9: Ticketed Event With Inclusive Perks
If you have big TVs and ample communal space, ticketed events are a great way to drive people through the door on Super Bowl Sunday. For example, Brooklyn party bar Pig Beach sold $50 tickets that guaranteed entry, buffet access, two drink tickets, and a square in their Super Bowl square pool. Perks like this make the event sound fun and the tickets appear like great values — which they are. For restaurants, the real money comes on game day with food and drink upsells.
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