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3 Ways to Cash in on Big Sporting Events

Krystle Kettman
Krystle Kettman | January 13, 2023

From Vendor Partner McCain Foodservice
Nothing goes better with a televised game than some crispy munchies. So, get creative with your munchies and your promoting to get people in the door and make it a win for you, too!

1. Sell shareables and samplers

Most people prefer to watch sports with their buddies – it just adds to the fun. So, shareable appetizers are a sure way to boost the bottom line.

Can’t pick just one? Creating sampler platter deals is a great way to entice guests to try new items. It’s also a great way to increase sales of those specific appetizers during a later visit, too.

Offer customizable portions and formats with appetizer platters so diners can order for one or for a crowd and focus on popular appetizers that consumers are most likely to order. According to Technomic’s 2017 Starters, Small Plates & Sides report, some of the top picks are mozzarella sticks (55% say they would be likely to order); French fries (52%); potato skins (46%); and chicken strips (41%).

It’s also fun to experiment. Surprise guests with new or unique flavor combinations or spicy offerings. 30% of consumers would like restaurants to offer more appetizers with spicy flavors, and 42% say the same about appetizers with new or unique flavors.

Here are some more ideas:

  • Loading up fries with pulled chicken and Buffalo sauce is a terrific alternative to chicken wings.
  • Or, instead of pairing French fries with traditional ketchup, why not serve them up with a spicy Sriracha mayo or a jalapeño honey mustard?
  • Happy-hour discounts and offering smaller portions works, too. Shareable plates for happy hours that include smaller versions of popular entrees or other menu favorites is a surefire way to drive people to the bar. If a hangar steak is a top seller, offer a small portion or pre-slice it for easy sharing, or offer a choice of fries to accompany it to create a dish that’s easy to share with the table.
  • Finally, get creative with presentation. Ditch the plate and showcase appetizers in cool cups, cones and baskets. Guests will appreciate the presentation, and portions can be controlled more easily, too.

2. Cater to the fans at home

Not everyone wants to go somewhere to watch the game. In fact, a cozy couch can be a restaurant’s worst enemy. And when its’s cold or rainy outside, fans may be even less likely to drive to a restaurant to watch the game. By offering takeout and delivery options, restaurants can keep pace with their sales goals without stressing about getting people in the door. Operators can put together packages that include game-day favorites such as chicken wings, fries, burger sliders and mozzarella sticks, creating a veritable “Party in a Box” that lets people tailgate at home. Bundle in drinks and desserts for an easy upsell.

3. Introduce sports-specific promos

Everyone likes a deal, and sports-minded guests are no exception. Offering promos is another good way to drive people through the door. Take to social media to communicate the message by offering special gameday-only apps that cater to the city’s preferences or sports teams.

Click here for more great resources from McCain Foodservice.


Questions or comments about this article? Feel free to contact us!


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