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Make Dad’s Day

Father’s Day (16 June) is giving Mother’s Day a run for its money in the popularity stakes, and is now considered one of the industry’s busiest days. To make the most out of this special event, why not make the whole day about dad?

What to do
Instead of focusing on lunch or dinner, take a more flexible approach to Father’s Day. As well as a special dads’ lunch and dinner menu, why not start the special day with a breakfast offer?

Eating breakfast out of home is big business, so capitalise on the booming trade and serve a breakfast fit for a king. And think about serving an all-day snacking menu too. That way, you cater for those families who may be struggling to meet up to eat out during the traditional mealtime hours.

If the weather is on your side a BBQ is a fantastic way to attract trade. Combine it with a stream of music or entertainers performing at numerous times throughout the day to make it a real family event.

What to serve
It may sound like a stereotypical presumption, but most dads do like spices and steak – and sometimes together! However, make sure you have a menu that caters for the ages and dietary needs of all the family.

Roasts – Father’s Day is on a Sunday so a roast dinner is often a popular and traditional choice. Provide an option where groups can order a whole chicken to carve themselves, alongside big hot plates of sides including roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings and vegetables. “This way diners can take as little or as much as they want, particularly if there are children who may want a much smaller portion,” says Mark Rigby, executive chef at Premier Foods. “This style of dining brings the family group together and makes it a much more intimate experience which is ideal for the nature of the day.”

BBQ – On a sunny, dry day, BBQ food is a winning format, and remember to serve more than just burgers and sausages!

Sharing platters – These work well as an option on the main or snacking menu. Baked nachos with grated parmesan and sliced jalapeños, tear and share flavoured breads with warm butter and oils and halloumi fries are all firm favourites. Don’t forget garlic prawns, chicken wings and onion rings too. And pizza never fails to please. Meet the demand for Americana dishes by serving Chicago Town Pizza’s new Sticky Sweet Cola BBQ Stuffed Crust. Cooked from frozen, they are quick and easy to serve during the busy day.

Set menu – A set menu at a fixed price is a great way of getting customers through the door. Offer two or three courses at a set price so it’s easy for large groups when it comes to ordering and settling the bill. By creating a set menu you are also able to make the dishes listed really bespoke to the Father’s Day occasion – and be providing something different for your regular customers.

Get social
Using social media to shout about your event is crucial. “All of Instagram and Facebook’s features can be used to your advantage pre, during – and even post event,” says Hollie Pickles, account executive at the fabl, a marketing agency in Skipton, Yorkshire. “And the best thing about it, is it’s free!”

• Post in local community pages to drive interest
• Post on your feed and stories, giving a sneak peek at dishes you are serving, decorations, activities etc
• Host a Father’s Day competition – ask people to tag their dad/someone special on a post for the chance to win a free dinner on another date
• Use relevant hashtags – your location, the event itself – think of what
customers that could potentially visit you will be searching for on Instagram
• Tag local businesses in your posts about the event – they may share for you

On the day
• Live stream what’s going on in the restaurant so your followers can see
• Post videos and pictures of the event via your stories
• Announce the winner of the Father’s Day competition
• Meet the team – introduce your followers to your staff
• Tag your location

Added extras
The food served plays a large role in the overall experience of the day. However, it’s important not to forget other elements such as the setting and presentation of the table which are also important. Consider including a selection of mini quiz games on each table to keep groups entertained between courses and activities such as colouring sheets are ideal for younger children. With Father’s Day including all the family, why not encourage interaction by placing a designated amnesty box on the table where diners can place their phones or any other distracting devices.

What to pour
A special day calls for special drinks. Here are our suggestions…

Premium beers and ciders that are just that little bit different and dad will love
• Hoegaarden
• Duval
• Trappist Ale
• Old Speckled Hen Low Alcohol

Some ‘manly’ cocktails
• Old Fashioned
• Moscow Mule
• Dry Martini
• Negroni
• Non-alcoholic Roy Rogers

Full bodied red wines that go great with meats
• Châteauneuf-du-Pape
• Barolo
• Pinotage
• Pinot Noir

And don’t forget to have a range of soft drinks to suit dads who aren’t drinking alcohol, and of course children and teens.

View the recipes: Sticky Sausage Sarnie, Maple & Beer Bacon Burger & Roast Beef Sirloin with Tarragon & Port Gravy

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