On America’s birthday, it’s time to celebrate! In addition to showcasing their patriotism, restaurants who plan ahead for 4th of July celebrations are able to capitalize on an otherwise slow holiday and provide a memorable day for guests.
Creative 4th of July Promotions
Throw the best 4th of July party in your city
Don’t simply offer a table and reservations; think about hosting a 4th of July party like the Red, White & Blue rooftop dance party previously held at Sky Terrace lounge in New York City’s Hudson Hotel, complete with a live DJ. Sell tickets in advance with festive attire required to get in the door. Don’t forget to take a lot of photos to promote the party next year.
Start a 4th of July hot dog eating contest
Fourth of July isn’t just for fireworks; it’s also famous for barbecues and good food. That’s why bold restaurants hold annual 4th of July hot dog eating contests, like Nathan’s Hotdogs on Coney Island, whose televised hot dog-eating contest attracts about 40,000 contestants and contest-watchers every year.
Have a 4th of July promotion that pampers
While your restaurant can focus on selling cold drinks to firework- or parade-watchers, consider partnering with other businesses, like salons and spas to offer themed specials like “firework facials” to moisturize over-sunned skin or flag nail art manicures. Everyone will be trying out new 4th of July menu ideas, so adding another element will help set you apart from the competition. Holiday urgency and exclusivity will bring customers in to celebrate with you.
Make the most of your view
If your restaurant offers any type of view watching the fireworks, capitalize on your prime location by upping the ante on your celebration. Take the lead of Boston’s Dante, which hosts an annual 4th of July Italian-American barbecue with all reservations guaranteed a seat on the patio for the big show.
Welcome local pets
Furry friends often join in on outdoor 4th of July celebrations, so why not include them in your marketing? Some restaurants welcome pets with water bowls and treats as a 4th of July promotion. Meanwhile, the pet-centric Tuleh Pet Boutique in Palo Alto, California, writes a 4th of July blog post to help pet owners celebrate with safety in mind.
Do something for the anti-fireworks crowd
Not everybody is up for the crowds and loud bangs that come with 4th of July fireworks, so consider an anti-fireworks party where anybody wearing red, white, and blue gets free admission or a free drink. Not into a dress code? Consider offering specials on red, white, and blue Jell-O shots or special cocktails.
Participate in the 4th of July parade
If you can’t host an event, you can participate in one of the local 4th of July parades either by submitting an entry or helping to sponsor the event. Talk to your local Chamber of Commerce to find out more about logistics.
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4th of July Restaurant Specials
- Coffee Shop 4th of July Promotions. Create a unique coffee drink for one day only. Make it something special like a play on the Americano or, if you have the equipment, a frozen strawberry blueberry lemonade. In any case, give passersby a reason to buy a coffee from you and leave with a thoughtful impression of your business.
- Restaurant 4th of July Promotions. Even if you have no intention of ever being a catering company, try to make an exception just on this one day of the year. Not everybody likes to cook, but everybody needs to bring something to their 4th of July barbecues. Offering tasty take-out trays that feed 20-30 people is a great idea. Ribs, chicken wings, and salads are all must-haves for the day.
- Deli 4th of July Promotions. An easy 4th of July menu idea for delis is finger sandwiches. You may already offer them, but it’s important to get it on your customers’ radars ahead of time. When your customers come in, make sure you have special 4th of July menus for them to bring home and reference. Buy some American flags in bulk to add flair to your sandwiches. Try creating a tray beforehand and taking a photo for the flyer so that people can be inspired.
- Bakery 4th of July Promotions. Everybody needs something to bring to their 4th of July party, but when it comes to pastries and cakes, not everybody knows where to go. Create a unique 4th of July desserts like red, white and blue cannolis, or a white icing cake topped with strawberries and blueberries. Whatever you create, make sure you promote it, especially on the street, to remind folks on the way to their parties. Here are some more bakery marketing ideas to help!
- Cupcake Shop 4th of July Promotions. This 4th of July menu idea is easy: red, white and blue cupcakes! Of course, you’ll need to rename them for this special occasion to make them unique. How about “Americakes”? Go ahead and steal it, I won’t tell. And while you’re at it, make sure to come up with a volume discount so that folks will have no problem feeding dozens of guests without breaking the bank.
4th of July Menu Ideas for Bars
- Serve American classics: When it comes to 4th of July menu ideas, cocktails work best when they look like Betsy Ross designed them herself.
- Pub Crawls: Some pubs join in on local pub crawls, while others advertise special cocktails only served on that one day of the year. Try greeting anyone in flag attire with a free drink, and then throw dogs and burgers on the grill so that anyone passing by can follow their noses.
- Red, White, and Blue Drinks: Whip up red, white, and blue Jell-O shots and you’ve got solid gold. Not so good with the layered gelatin? Standard red and blue cups with a dollop of white whipped cream will work just fine. In fact, make welcome drinks for anyone who walks in and decides to celebrate with you. Mix that with a barbecue out back cooking up hotdogs, hamburgers, and other classic American fare and you’ve got yourself a 4th of July party.
4th of July Party Ideas
Whatever you decide to host a 4th of July party, make sure you get the word out. With all these once-a-year offers and red, white, and blue promotions, that means making the most of photos and social media. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- A photo of a demo batch of your upcoming special posted on your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and beyond.
- A tray of Jell-O shots arranged in an American flag shape as your new Facebook Timeline photo.
- A photo of happy flag-wavers in your Eventbrite invitation.
- Holiday-themed recipes and pictures of your restaurant posted to your Pinterest page.
- An email newsletter mailing to your list, inviting subscribers to celebrate with you.
- Use restaurant reservation websites to promote holiday-themed specials.
- Online advertisements can be placed on Facebook or on Google. These can help target local web users who may be unfamiliar with your business currently.
- Restaurant apps, which are currently part of your branding strategy, can host holiday-themed content and promotion
You get the idea. And, if you’re hosting a 4th of July party, make sure to take lots of pictures to use in promoting real-time—people will tag themselves in your Facebook albums—and in promotions for next year’s event.