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Score Green Celebrating the Red, White, & Blue

With less than a week to prepare, the final days of June are a great time to get your restaurant ready to sparkle this Independence Day. As the nation comes together to celebrate our independence, the Fourth of July is a day when friends and family all over the country get together to celebrate with food, fun, and of course fireworks. For restaurants, it’s a time to optimize your online and catering menus and promote packages, events, and special holidays menu items to boost your restaurant’s revenue.

From cocktail boxes to ticketed events, here are some of the top ways restaurants can spark profits this Fourth.

1. Create Special Catering Packages

The Fourth of July holiday weekend is a great opportunity to promote catering packages as diners look to celebrate with food from their favorite restaurants without leaving their backyards. Make it convenient for your guests to order from your catering menu by optimizing your online offerings. This works great for QSRs, ghost kitchens, virtual kitchens, and food trucks too because you don’t have to worry about decorating your business to the hilt like full service dining establishments. Just be sure to promote your catering specials now to get the most bang for your marketing buck.

2. Sell Independence Day Event Tickets

Event tickets are a high-margin way to increase sales and engage your customers this Fourth of July holiday. Whether it’s a virtual cooking class or outdoor music, events are a big cashflow opportunity for restaurants.

3. Curate Beer and Wine Packs

Depending on local laws and regulations around alcohol delivery sales, consider ways to bring the dining experience to a guest’s backyard barbecue. Put together a special 4th of July cocktail, wine, or craft beer box and sell your curated selections on your delivery and catering menu. For the sober crowd, don' forget to include low and no-alcoholic beverages as well.

4. Deliver a party with the meal

This year, let your guests bring the party home when they order takeout or delivery by offering an add-on party box with everything they’ll need for a backyard bash. Think American flag paper plates and napkins, party hats, streamers, and balloons. While it’s best to stay away from anything flammable like sparklers, look for July 4th-themed party favors to include in the box. And of course, fill your box with grill-ready products that folks love during the 4th. A great way to start a multi-hyphenate business with a bang, promoting your restaurant’s own barbeque sauce, wine, or branded merchandise on the holiday is a great way to spark interest for the rest of the year.

5. Promote cool drinks specials

Enhance your 4th of July offerings by promoting refreshing summer cocktails or seltzers that perfectly capture the spirit of the season. Craft a special menu featuring icy cold lemonades, wine coolers, fruity smoothies, and thirst-quenching iced teas that diners can enjoy while they’re celebrating the country’s birthday..

6. Partner with other businesses

Consider collaborating with other businesses for a 4th of July-themed cross-promotion to spark sales. If your restaurant doesn’t sell beer, for example, partner with a local brewery on an Independence Day themed brew exclusive to your restaurant. Or team up with a salon or spa to offer some at-home pampering products for guests to enjoy over the long weekend.

7. Create an Anti-Fireworks Event

Not everyone loves fireworks, and that includes anyone with a dog. If you have a dining space available, invite your non-firework-loving guests to bring their pooch on the Fourth so they can get a little peace and quiet. Include some dog-friendly menu specials and be sure to play semi-soothing patriotic music. If you have a noise canceling or white noise machine available, even better. Your guests will certainly appreciate the effort.

4th of July QSR Ideas

If you don’t run a full service restaurant, some of these ideas may not work for you but, we’ve got you covered. For small coffee shops, ghost and virtual kitchens, and cafes, here are some 4th of July specials for quick service restaurants (QSR.)

Coffee shop promotions. Create a unique coffee drink for one day only. Make it something special like a play on the Americano or a frozen strawberry blueberry lemonade. Give passersby a reason to stop by and leave with a great first impression of your business.

Catering 4th of July promotions. Even if you have no intention of ever going into the catering business, try to make an exception just on this one day of the year. Not everybody likes to cook, but almost everybody needs to bring something to their 4th of July parties. Offering tasty take-out trays with ribs, chicken wings, and salads, must-haves for the holiday, are all great one-day catering ideas.

Bakery promotions. No one likes to walk into a party empty-handed, so promote your 4th of July-themed cakes, cupcakes, and pastries as easy gift-giving Independence Day options.

5 Ways To Promote Fourth of July Offerings

Getting the word out is critical for sparking profits over the Fourth. Below are 5 ways to market your holidays offerings.

1. Add a Popup Alert

Homepage popup alerts grab the attention of your website visitors and ensure your messaging is front and center.

2. Promote Specials to Your Email Subscriber List

Another way to market Fourth of July specials is by sending a series of drip marketing emails to subscribers. Start 5 to 7 days before the event letting subscribers know about the upcoming event. Follow that up with a reminder email two days before and the day of the event. Because it’s always a good idea to send a thank you email to guests who participate in a promotion, be sure to gather data.

3. Post on Social Media

To drive traffic to your website and increase the potential for more orders this Fourth of July, post your promotions, specials, and events on social media for the week leading up to the holiday. Use this opportunity to not only post about the latest specials, but when appropriate, include a way for guests to purchase the promoted offerings such as event tickets.

Good old-fashioned direct mail or printed flyers that can be left on windshields, corporate bulletin boards, or around the neighborhood are still the simplest and affordable ways to market a holiday (or any) promotion. Just be sure to ask other businesses before leaving your flyers.

5. Unique promotions and special offers

Offering appealing 4th of July restaurant promotions is the easiest way to get people through the door on Independence Day. Check out these red, white, and blue promo ideas you can implement at your restaurant:

  • Free delivery with code “1776”

  • 4% off the entire online menu on 7/4 only

  • $4 off all entrees

  • $4 burgers

  • Add any side for 40 cents

  • $4 desserts

  • Free red and blue beer with every entree

  • Offer family-style dinners, pizzas, or catering packages for $17.76 per person

Fourth of July Staffing

Your team plays a critical role in your restaurant’s 4th of July success, so not only is it important that your business is well-staffed, but be sure to make your scheduling fair so as not to upset (or lose) your best crew. Follow these HIRE education tactics.

Be prepared. Anticipate traffic trends for July 4th and adjust your staffing levels accordingly. Use your POS system to analyze past data from previous Fourth of July celebrations to determine the busiest times and schedule more staff during those peak hours. You’ll likely get several time off requests around 4th of July,if you haven’t already, so take those into consideration as well.

To keep things fair, (and keep your restaurant staffed,) consider creating an alternating holiday schedule so everyone gets a chance to celebrate. If an employee works on the 4th, consider offering that staff member the day off for Labor Day. The same technique can also work for the Christmas/Thanksgiving season as well. Alternatively, offer bonus holiday pay or other perks to anyone who works all three summer holidays (Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day.)

Train and engage. Train your staff to be knowledgeable about your Fourth of July specials, menu items, and promotions. This is a time for celebrating our nation’s birthday, so, encourage your employees to wear festive attire and create a welcoming and patriotic atmosphere for customers.

Cross-train. Depending on how busy you are and the types of 4th of July specials you’re running, it could make sense to implement additional training. Train employees in different roles and tasks to ensure flexibility and smooth operations during busy periods. This will allow you to easily reallocate staff as needed and provide coverage in all areas of the restaurant.

Take Away

Though the Fourth might not be the busiest day of the year for dining in, it certainly can be a big profit-maker if you promote your restaurant as a resource for supplying take-out, delivery, and catering. So, while it's a day for celebrating the red, white, and blue, a little planning and creativity is all it takes to score some Fourth of July green!

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By Eileen Strauss


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