Ah, another Super Bowl without a New York-based contender in the running. Jets and Giants fans may be impartial to the teams playing in this year’s football event, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room to celebrate the all-American holiday. For many, the Super Bowl is more about the multi-million dollar ads and half time show. For many, it’s an excuse to hang out with pals and indulge in-game day grub and plenty of beer. No Sunday scaries allowed! Restaurants and bars see an influx of customers and takeout orders every Super Bowl. In the last three years, the Nation’s Restaurant News concluded that the average American adult spent about $82 on Super Bowl snacks.

Last year, over 100 million Americans watched the Super Bowl, with roughly 79% reporting they would be purchasing food or drinks during the event. If you’re a restaurant that can cater to the mouthwatering desires of football watchers, try implementing these promotional ideas to get a leg up on the competition this Super Bowl Sunday. 

Focus on Takeout and Delivery Orders

Nation-wide statistics show that more Americans prefer to kick it at home for the Super Bowl. Many restaurants find that their in-house sales take a nosedive on the holiday, while delivery orders receive a big boost. That being said, highlight your restaurant’s current carry-out and delivery deals or even create new ones. Everyone likes an assorted spread for Super Bowl grub, so you can’t go wrong with a snack pack deal featuring your restaurant’s hottest menu items.

Run a Social Media Contest

You just can’t lose with free food. Test out a social media contest by asking customers to post a picture of their #gamedayface to show off who they’re rooting for. For every customer who posts his or her Super Bowl look on Instagram with a hashtag of your choosing (hopefully something incorporating your brand name), he or she will get entered in a chance to win a free dinner at your restaurant. 

Remember… Not Everyone Loves the Super Bowl  

While millions of Americans will watch the 49ers take on the Chiefs this year, not every viewer is in it for the football. J.Lo, Shakira and funny beer commercials may draw in a big crowd, too, and it’s a good idea to appeal to those customers who want to enjoy your menu items while being entertained. With that in mind, cater your restaurant’s atmosphere and menu to the wants of your customers who couldn’t care less about the score. Maybe this means whipping up some special game day kids menu dishes for the parents who just couldn’t get a babysitter that night. If you have multiple screens in your restaurant, consider turning on The Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet at 3 PM ET. Creating new cocktails and naming them after singers who are performing this year is perfect for your pop culture lovers, too. 

Run a Creative Promotion for the Occasion

Just like last year, Buffalo Wild Wings is running a promotion that will give out free wings at all U.S. locations if the Super Bowl goes into overtime. While it may be hard to compete with BWW on this one, use a similar marketing strategy to get folks excited about the game at your restaurant. Maybe you can serve dollar beers if the teams tie or free post-game appetizers to anyone who can guess the final score. Encouraging Super Bowl customers to come back is important as well, and simply giving out coupons for future visits will remind people to return and redeem some freebies. March Madness is right around the corner!

Make a Special Super Bowl Menu

Game Day food shouldn’t be limited to chips and dip. Get creative with your current menu! Utilize the football theme and try serving cocktails or desserts decked out in the playing teams’ colors. On top of that, don’t forget to focus on quality and quantity. If you’re expecting a full house or lots of orders on Sunday, be sure to stock up on inventory and book staff accordingly. You don’t want to be the restaurant that runs out of chicken wings or beer on Super Bowl Sunday.