Summer Kickoff—5 Ways to Attract Guests this Memorial Day Weekend



Memorial Day weekend will be here before you know it. Here, we’ll give you five tips on how to drive customers to your establishment to celebrate the start of the summer season.

 1. Offer Specials for Veterans

Sure, it’s not Veteran’s Day, but it’s a nice gesture anyway. Offering special deals and discounts or even a free meal to veterans to thank them for their sacrifice is never a bad idea. Specials could include a free drink for veterans, 20% off meals, 50% off appetizers, buy one get ones or even a free experience altogether. 

An additional way to remember those who lost their lives while serving is to provide the families that lost their loved ones a free or discounted meal for their difficult sacrifice. Offer the family a special memento, like a memorial charm of VIP meal pass for them to use again or simply list them names of any local fallen heroes.

2. Have a Cookout or a Summer-Friendly Menu

While Memorial Day is a somber holiday, it is also the official kickoff to the summer season and the first thing people want to do in the summer is enjoy delicious summer foods. If you have the outdoor space to do so, try a cookout. People love being outdoors this time of year, so instead of stuffing folks inside your establishment, fire up the barbecue.

Try selling box or picnic lunches, hosting a competition and if you’re a family-friendly establishment, provide some activities for younger guests like face painting, balloon animals or even a simple arts and crafts table.

Lacking an outdoor space? Then bring the summer fun inside. Create a special, summer-friendly menu introducing the tastes of the season. Think strawberries in deserts or cocktails, deli salads, fried chicken, barbecued ribs, grilled vegetables and grilled burgers and veggie burgers. It’s your choice to keep the menu on all summer long or introduce it only for a limited time. Either way, you’ll have mouths watering and guests pouring in your doors.

3. Provide Drink Specials

Drink specials are another great way to get patrons in your door—and get creative with it! We’ve mentioned a free drink for veterans or fallen hero’s families, but you can introduce specials to the general public, too.

Think half-priced bottles of wine at happy hour, open bars, well drink specials or half price summer drinks (think Margaritas, Mojitos and other light, refreshing beverages). And if you really want to be creative, invent a summer-themed cocktail or select a charity that supports the armed forces and donate 10% of the bar profit to that charity.

4. Post on Social Media

One of the best ways to get the word out is to post your specials, menus and events on your social media networks. Whether its Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or all of the above, entice people with sneak peeks or even special coupons.

Change your banners and backgrounds to red, white and blue and make sure you allow plenty of time for promotions around your event. Driving people to your spot will require some pre-planning, so find ways to be respectful and commemorate Memorial Day and celebrate the start of the summer. And never, ever say “Happy Memorial Day.” Those that have lost loved ones use this day as a day of remembrance, so be respectful.

6. Get Festive with your Music 

Keep the crowd coming and excited to stay longer with the right playlists. Select your background music to fit the changing crowds, energy levels and dayparts and even use digital signage to promote your Memorial Day specials and menu. Custom-built playlists by a passionate team of music-obsessed folks will get your crowd moving and keep them coming back for more. Not only that, but the right music will increase customer satisfaction and boost your bottom line. 

To learn more about ControlPlay and how we use our ten years of experience to provide superior entertainment for thousands of bars and restaurants, click below.

Learn More


Posted by Control Play