Memorial Day is more than just a day off work or school. It’s a day to remember the men and women who are currently serving in our military and pay respects for those that lost their lives fighting for our country. While some prefer to celebrate with backyard BBQs and lounging by the pool, others go out to eat with their family, making the holiday a great opportunity for restaurants to boost their sales.
If you’d like to show your appreciation for our veterans and their families this year and have no idea where to start, we put together a list of five ideas.
- Serve All-American Classics
There’s no better way to draw attention to your restaurant than with great food. Challenge your chef to come up with a new way to serve all-American classics like hotdogs and cheeseburgers. Make them new and exciting, something that will leave your customers telling their friends all about their experience.
- Give Back to Veteran Organizations
A great way to remind your customers about how much our veterans mean to our communities is to donate some of your sales proceeds to charities. According to the Department of Labor, the unemployment rate for veterans is at 3.7 percent, which means there are plenty of veterans who are in need of some assistance. Call your local Veteran’s Association and find out what kind of donations they need. Maybe they’re hosting an event and need a caterer. You could also ask your customers to bring in nonperishable food and unworn clothing for a discount on their bill. Think creatively about how you can lend a helping hand.
3. Open Up the Patio
To many, Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer. It’s a day that makes people want to lounge by the pool and have a great time with their family outdoors. This means those that want to dine out will be on the hunt for a great outdoor patio. If your restaurant attracts families, be sure to include some kid-friendly events like getting a patriotic face painting. For the adults, you can offer a beer or wine paired menu. Pair with some live music and you have yourself a great Memorial Day!
- Create Specials for Veterans and Active-Duty Military
It’s important to make sure that Memorial Day remains the focus of the celebration. A great way to do that is to offer food and drink specials to veterans and active-duty service members. You could offer free meals to service members who come dressed in uniform. That way the rest of your customers know who has served or is serving. This gives them a chance to personally thank our veterans and military personnel for their sacrifices.
- Utilize Social Media
No matter how you choose to celebrate, you need to promote your event on social media. Allow guests to post photos on your event page so they can share their memories with you and their friends and family.