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Musings on the Foodservice Industry

Attract Those Hungry Football Fans

It’s that time again.  No, not time to calculate your taxes – although that is coming up soon. 

We are now in the throes of football mania when the NFL playoffs are in full swing leading to the all-important, all-consuming Super Bowl. 

And, speaking of consuming, this is also the time when rabid football fans eat tons and tons of pizza, sandwiches and other take-out foods to satisfy their sports day appetites. 

In a recent survey, taken by a national pizza chain, six out of seven fans said they order pizza during the game.  Domino’s alone delivers 11 million slices on Super Bowl Sunday.  On any given Sunday, you will find a football party going on and if they are watching, they are also eating. 

With that in mind, you have to be ready for the big game which, in your case, means having the right menus, customer service, ordering system, technology and marketing plans. Football pizza

Here are some ideas about how to lure in those hungry football fans: 

  • Update Your Menu and Website – Make sure that your website is cleaned up and ready to go for the New Year and football playoffs. It should be easy to find your Online Ordering link – place a big promotion on your home page.   You can also promote your football deals on the home page.
  • Promotional Partnerships – Hook up with your beverage companies who are thirsty for those sports customers. Many beverage distributors will help offset your promotions and provide valuable marketing tools and materials.  This can include kegs, signage and access to their national ranking.
  • Football Themes – Create some football-centric menu items and have fun with them. We envision “The Gronkowski” – a power-packed pizza with everything in your kitchen as a topping.  You can promote triple-reverse sandwiches, catering platters with football shaped meats and cheeses, and sausage and hot dog specials which are classic sports food.
  • Online Ordering – If you don’t have one already, this is the perfect time to implement an online ordering system. You can integrate your App with Android, Blackberry and Apple formats that are accessible to FAX, POS, email and IP printer systems.  Everyone is going mobile and you should be prepared to take their order whenever the idea strikes them.
  • Host Contests – Create some football contests with prizes such as free drinks or appetizers, cash prizes, football jerseys and hats, or even travel to an upcoming game. You can also host Fantasy Football events and Trivia nights.  Turn your restaurant into a football hub of fun and competition.
  • Give Back – Donate a portion of sales during the football season to your local high school football team. Make sure you publicize that you are doing this so that your customers are aware of your philanthropy. Goodwill goes a long way toward building credibility and a community connection.
  • Direct Mail – Don’t neglect the old fashioned way of reaching out to your most likely customers – the ones who work and live within 2-3 miles to your restaurant. In addition to your social media marketing like Twitter and Facebook, begin a dedicated direct mail campaign in which you send out promotions, menus and event calendars to your local community.   You can promote your online ordering this way as well as upcoming events. 

So, tee it up for the end of the football season and see how you can score with your customers by catering to their sports appetites.   It will be a win-win for both of you.

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