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6 steps to a successful Father's Day promotion

Father’s Day is creeping up on us, and like all special occasions, this is a prime event around which to focus your marketing. But you must begin early to get the most out of the occasion. You’ll want to focus both on getting new customers as well as encouraging repeat visits.

Follow these steps to create an effective Father’s Day campaign for your restaurant.

1. Think about what special things you will do for Father’s Day. Will you create a special offer? Have specific Father’s Day activities?

2. Plan how you will communicate around your program (e-mail, postcards, posters in the neighborhood, etc) and the timing. Begin now Father’s Day and send reminders up until the day.

3. Make sure all staff are aware of the program, understand how it works and why you are doing it.

4. As discussed in earlier posts, have a way to track all of your marketing activities. Complete return on investment calculations on each activity so that you can compare the results, modify the activities, eliminate those that aren’t working and use the best ones for next year.

5. Be creative and think about what you yourself would appreciate as a family:

• Have a photographer in the restaurant (or arm one of your staff with a camera) to take snapshots of families. Collect their e-mails and send them a copy of the photo. This gives you a great reason to take their contact details that you can later use to do further marketing.

• Create “Father’s Week” and celebrate with special offers for dads all through the week. This is a great service for those who can’t make the actual day (like restaurant owners) and helps you fill down times.

• Give all fathers a plant, chocolates, a cigar, sports paraphernalia from your local team and similar items as they leave the restaurant.

• Offer a free glass of champagne to all fathers and/or their families.

• Enter all fathers in a raffle when reserving and have the drawing on the day.

6. Remember: Multiple marketing methods are most effective. By using multiple methods at the same time you will improve your results.

• Place a small local ad in a very targeted publication. Make sure that your ad follows the guidelines for effective advertising.

• Send a press release to your list of journalists. Make sure to have a great angle or twist to your story. Try to do this at least one month before Father’s’ Day and then follow up with phone calls.

• Distribute giving postcards out with your guest checks, as well as to anyone else you come in contact with, explaining what you are doing for ”Father’s Week” and suggesting people reserve immediately.

• Partner with a neighboring business to create a package that includes a visit to a bookstore, sports club or movie theater.

• Put up a poster on your own door and anywhere else you can.

Special occasions are a prime opportunity to connect with both new and existing customers, so make sure you do everything you can to take advantage of this Father’s Day.

Check out the Win Win Back to Basics Marketing Kit for more ideas and ready made templates to help you put a successful Father’s Day campaign in place quickly and easily.

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