After a long and tedious few years, kids are finally heading back to school in person, albeit, with a long list of restrictions and precautions. While we had hoped to be on the tail end of COVID-19 by now, the Delta variant and its widespread effects have recently caused the country to take a bit of a step backward as we totter on the balance between normalcy and shutdown. In states like Texas where the Governor seems determined to ban mask mandates, large school districts are openly defying the ban requiring all students and faculty to wear masks on campus. Will that hold? Let’s see if in-person classes continue should an outbreak occur, or whether football games and other Fall activities will go on as planned. Right now, there are a lot of unanswered questions, and yet one constant remains – life goes on. People have to eat and restaurants want to stay in business. To bring those truths together and make life easier for both groups, here are 6 restaurant promotions that drive traffic now that kids are back in school:
1–Lean in to To-Go ordering with special offers
When COVID-19 first emerged in 2019, restaurants had to find ways to disrupt the national shutdown and entice people to venture out to eat. Most restaurants did a hard turn to delivery and To-Go orders. In many cases, that transition saved them. Having patrons enjoy their food off-premise has become a new normal for restaurants, with healthy sales to match. If you’re not one of them, it’s time to catch up and quick.
As concern over the super-contagious Delta variant grows, many people will once again revert to picking up their favorite foods or having them delivered. The fact that school has started and parents are busy juggling work and back-to-school activities only adds to the likelihood of ordering out. That presents a great opportunity for restaurants to drive traffic and it doesn’t have to be anything complicated or difficult.
Throughout COVID, Chili’s has done an outstanding job offering simple, but effective promotions that drive traffic. For instance, not a week has gone by when I didn’t get an email with an offer for a FREE appetizer, a FREE dessert, or a specially priced family meal. And while I didn’t eat at Chili’s every week, the emails certainly kept it top of mind. More importantly, the sustained promotions have worked Chili’s into my default consideration set.