One of the biggest celebrations of the year is the 4th of July. And while the holiday is traditionally about grilling out, there are ways that restaurants can take advantage of the big day too.

Here are 5 strategies your restaurant can implement to drive customers into your establishment for the Fourth:

Host a Contest Celebration

On the Fourth, millions of people line up to party and watch fireworks. Hosting a celebration at your restaurant with holiday-themed contests is a great way to capture the spirit of July 4th and drive traffic.

One of the biggest 4th of July contests is the hot dog eating competition. While your guests aren’t expected to take the crown for most hot dogs eaten during a 20-minute timeframe, it’s still a fun way to celebrate the holiday with your community.

Other contest ideas include:

  • Most patriotic outfit
  • American trivia contest

Move the Festivities Outside

July 4th is one of the few holidays that most people celebrate outdoors. Since many guests won’t want to spend the day inside, restaurants need to get creative when drawing people in. One way to do this is by moving the celebration outside.

For some restaurants with patios or outdoor dining areas, it’s much easier to set up a celebration outside. However, eateries without these options can still take the festivities outdoors. For instance, depending on how large your parking lot is, you can block off a part of it and set up an area for guests.

Bring in the Music

Another time-honored tradition for July 4th is patriotic music. While most customers won’t want you to blast music throughout the restaurant, many will show up if you feature live music. Having a local band or DJ is a great way to draw in crowds for the celebration. You can take it a step further and include customers in the fun by having a patriotic karaoke contest, where people take turns singing their favorite songs.

4th-Inspired Takeout Menu

Since many people will opt to stay home and grill out for the Fourth, you’ll want to think of creative ways to capture business. For example, instead of just offering your typical menu for takeout, create special meal kits that customers can cook at home. Items such as premade burgers or grill-at-home BBQ chicken dinners are a great way to bring your food to their tables.

Beer and Drink Specials

Party drinks are a defining staple of the 4th of July celebration, with Americans spending more than a billion dollars on adult beverages during the holiday. To ensure your restaurant doesn’t miss out on any potential sales, consider offering beer and cocktail specials. Some restaurants have had success by running an “all-day” happy hour. One item you’ll want to make available to guests is a delicious 4th of July-inspired drink. You can also offer to donate a portion of the special drink sales to a local charity.

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