Restaurants across the country are preparing for Father’s Day this Sunday and for good reason. Holidays generally offer restaurants an opportunity to boost sales and traffic compared to normal days but it’s not always clear how much of an increase to prepare for and which types of special promotions and offerings will be most popular.
The National Retail Federation predicts that this year Father’s Day spending will reach a record breaking $15.3 billion, with special outings to restaurants, receiving approximately 43% of Father’s Day spending dollars.
Overall Father’s Day Restaurant Sales Trends
Avero captured a snapshot of historical restaurant sales data to understand how Father’s Day spending affects restaurants to help you better prepare for the upcoming holiday.
We started by looking at same-store sales over the past three years comparing Father’s Day Sunday to regular Sundays surrounding the holiday. The data clearly shows that spending and restaurant traffic on Father’s Day increases significantly.
In 2015, sales jumped 10 percent, followed by a nine percent increase in 2016. And last year, restaurants saw an even larger sales increase of 14 percent, matched by a 15 percent increase in overall covers. Based on these figures, we believe that it’s a safe bet to expect a minimum 10 percent increase in sales this Sunday. So be sure to stock plenty of inventory and have the appropriate number of staff to accommodate a busy Father’s Day.
Popular Menu Items and Meal Periods for Father’s Day
We know sales will be up on Father’s Day. But what type of items are selling and which meal period reigns? We did some research to find out.
While all meal periods see a boost in sales, it is the midday lunch and brunch sales that see the largest increase, with Father’s Day lunch sales, on average, 25 percent greater than lunch sales on similar Sundays. Given that most parties will include families with children, its not surprising that a Sunday dinner slot sees the lowest increase in sales of just 5 percent, on average.
We also looked at which menu categories and specific menu items see a large boost in sales on Father’s Day. Across the food menu, dessert sales see the greatest boost reaching a 30 percent increase in 2017 compared to similar Sundays. Historically, burger sales sky rocket on Father’s Day growing 8 percent, on average, over the last three years.
On the beverage menu, beer sales see the greatest growth, increasing 8 percent on average, while wine sales actually dropped in 2017 by 13 percent.
Predict and Prepare for Your Own Sales Increase
Since every restaurant is different, restaurants should look at their own year-over year sales to prepare for the expected changes on Father’s Day. You can do this by running a sales report for the date of last year’s Father’s Day in the sales module.
If you have the Food Cost Management module, pay attention to the suggested purchase tips to make sure you have the right inventory on hand. Finally, make sure to maximize the potential of the holiday by promoting your restaurant and any holiday specials across social channels.
Joe McHugh, regional director of marketing for the ONE Group, prepares for the holiday by marketing their restaurants to customers across email, social, and news channels to make sure One Group restaurants are a prime destination for Father’s Day Celebrations. They promote steak specials as well as including Father’s Day giveaways such as complementary “Not your Daddy’s Manhattan” cocktails to every father. Joe also emphasizes the importance of staffing up for this Sunday compared to normal Sundays and makes sure to order additional inventory to keep the restaurant’s bar fully stocked.
We hope these tips help you prepare for an important summer holiday. Come back to tell us how your Father’s Day sales performance stacked up to your expectations.