Promoting your independent restaurant to both fans and local sports teams

Oct 16, 2023

If you’ve ever played on a local sports team or had a child in athletics, you know how important those post-game hangouts can be to a team. Whether they’re kids looking for chicken tenders and fountain pop or adults craving some delicious wings and a great beer, sports and restaurants go hand-in-hand. Knowing this, Morton Food Service encourages all independent restaurants to develop a strategy for marketing their establishment to local sports teams—and local sports fans, for that matter. Because even if they aren’t playing sports, your customers will be happy to watch the game on a big screen with their favourite food, friends and fellow sports fans all around 

If your independent restaurant plans on screening the game, we recommend investing in high-quality televisions and audio systems to provide an immersive sports viewing experience. You should also consider showing multiple games simultaneously to cater to fans of different sports. Here are a few complementary marketing strategies to consider—for personalized advice from our team of food service experts, please contact us. We’d be glad to discuss your goals and provide suggestions to help you achieve them.

Tailgate Packages

Offer special tailgate packages that include a variety of food and drink options for sports fans to enjoy before or after the game. Creating a themed menu with fan-favourite dishes can add to the excitement.

Game-Day Specials

Introduce game-day specials featuring discounts on appetizers, drinks, or meals during the game hours. Promote these specials on social media, your website, and through email newsletters.

Sports-Themed Decor

Decorate your restaurant with sports memorabilia and team colours to create a welcoming atmosphere for sports enthusiasts. Consider hosting viewing parties for key games and matches.

Social Media Engagement

Leverage social media platforms to engage with sports fans. Post updates, scores, and highlights from the games, and encourage fans to share their experiences at your restaurant using dedicated hashtags.

Team Discounts and Sponsorships

Offer special discounts or perks to members of local sports teams. This can include coaches, players, and their families. Building strong relationships with local sports teams can lead to recurring business. You can also partner with local sports leagues or organizations as sponsors. This can give you exposure to their members and attendees, and you might even be able to host events at their venues.

Fantasy League Events

Host fantasy football or hockey league events, complete with draft parties, bracket challenges, and rewards for winners. This can encourage leagues to choose your restaurant as their gathering spot.

 Themed Menu Items

Create menu items named after famous athletes or local sports heroes. Develop dishes that tie into the sport’s theme and highlight popular game-day foods.

Social Media and Game Day Prediction Contests

Hold social media contests where fans can participate to win free meals, merchandise, or tickets to local games. Encourage participants to share their love for sports and your restaurant. You can also ask customers to predict game outcomes or player performances. Offer rewards to those who make accurate predictions.

Sports Trivia Nights 

Organize sports trivia nights to engage fans in friendly competition while enjoying your food and drinks. Offer prizes for the winning team or individual.

Game-Day Delivery Specials

For fans who prefer to watch the game at home, offer special discounts on delivery orders during game hours.

Email Campaigns

Send out targeted email campaigns to your subscriber list, highlighting upcoming game schedules, specials, and events. Include eye-catching visuals and engaging copy.

Be the place your community gathers on game day

By incorporating these strategies into your marketing plan, you can successfully attract sports fans and local teams to your independent restaurant, creating an exciting and engaging experience for all. Remember to tailor your efforts to your local sports culture and preferences to best connect with your audience—our team of food service experts knows your community well and is here to help.