7 Summer Restaurant Promotion Ideas You Need to Try

With the steady increase in tourists, foot traffic and outdoor events, the summer season can be huge for many restaurants—while others find summer to be a sales challenge, with barbecues and sunny weather keeping guests at home (or at the beach). We’ve put together some promotion ideas to help you capitalize on this time of year to make the most of the summer season.

1. Partner with Local Businesses

The increase in tourism and travel during the summer means local hotels will be filling up with tourists looking to enjoy themselves. Consider partnering with a nearby hotel, offering coupons or discounts to guests looking for a local place for a meal. You could also collaborate with local shops or stores popular during the summer and offer mutual coupons for each other. Have a restaurant near the beach? Offer coupons for the closest paddleboard rental shop and have them do the same for you.

2. Leverage Local Events

Find out what’s happening in your community—and be a part of it. Whether it’s a local festival or street fair, concert, parade, or sporting event, find ways to leverage the buzz with focused promotions. For ticketed events, have customers show their tickets for a special discount. Capitalize on sporting events by hosting a viewing event with discounted drinks and appetizers. A parade or festival can be a great opportunity to provide samples or hand out coupons. Hop on Facebook, and see if you can find some upcoming events to be a part of.

Participating in local events will not only help boost sales, but will raise awareness of your brand in the local community. It also gives you the opportunity to promote event-specific offers on social media, and interact with more potential new customers.

local festival restaurant promotion

3. Capitalize on Holidays – Big and Small

Everyone knows the big ticket summer holidays: Father’s Day, the Fourth of July, Labor day. But there are more summer holidays restaurants can take advantage of to create a unique experience as well. Celebrate obscure summer holidays such as National Hot Dog Day, National Ice Cream Day, and Bastille Day (think French cuisine—or French fries!) with a special menu item or deal for the day only.

4. Revitalize Interest with a Seasonal Summer Menu

Try offering customers something new for the summer. Design a dessert pizza with fresh, local strawberries, or a colorful new cocktail for customers to relax with. Regular customers will be more willing to stop by more often if they can expect something new on the menu. New menu items are also attention-getters on social media marketing, so don’t forget to share a photo on your restaurant’s Facebook or Instagram page.

summer cocktail promotion

Another great way to freshen up your menu is by stopping by your local farmer’s market for some locally grown ingredients. In many parts of North America, the summer season offers plenty of fresh produce such as tomatoes, strawberries, zucchinis, arugula and bell peppers. Not only do fresh, locally grown ingredients taste delicious, but they make customers feel good about supporting local farmers.

Farm fresh strawberries promotion

5. Wine Tasting Night

Know of any local wineries? Call them up and ask if they’d be willing to sponsor a wine tasting night! It can be as simple as having a discount on wine during certain night and allowing customers to sample multiple bottles. Or, if you’re feeling particularly cultured, bring in a wine expert to lead the tasting event.

wine tasting promotion

6. Or, Beer Tasting Night

If wine isn’t the best fit for your customers, try a beer tasting event instead. Cold and refreshing, beer is always a hit during the hot summer days. Local microbreweries are always looking for more exposure and would likely be open to sponsoring an event at your restaurant. Customers will love the opportunity to support a local brand, and since summertime brings a myriad of seasonal wheat and fruit beers, there are often lots of options to offer your customers.

Have a food truck? Partner with a local winery or microbrewery that doesn’t offer a full menu. This can be a great way to supplement your regular festival schedule and attract new business for your brick and mortar store.

Case study: Freddy’s Food Truck Drives Sales and Service

7. Local Entertainment

People are always  looking for things to do during the summer. It’s the perfect time to get creative and think of ways to entertain them. Live music by a local musician? A charity fundraiser? Both? These are great ways to establish yourself as a market leader in the local restaurant scene. Think outside the box. Offering entertainment can also be way of connecting and partnering with local businesses willing to sponsor the event in exchange for exposure in the community.

Summer Promotions – Give em’ a shot!

Your turn: Summer’s already upon us, and the tourists and vacationers are on their way. Be ready with some special summer promotions to get their attention and boost traffic. Let us know how it goes!


Customer of the Month: Supremo’s Pizzeria

Supremo’s Pizzeria founders Don and Gayle Speicher set out with the goal of providing top notch customer satisfaction while making the best product possible—Where Taste Reigns SUPREME™.

The Speichers’ son, Steve, has been integral to the success of the family business. Steve’s passion for pizza started in college when he began driving for Supremo’s Pizza. Today, he keeps his parents’ goals in mind, managing the North Hills location as well as the company’s digital marketing materials and revisions to the point of sale menu and coupons.

We caught up with Steve to find out more about Supremo’s Pizzeria and the impact the SpeedLine point of sale system has had in many different areas of their business.

Operational Efficiency

On Point: What front of house changes have you seen since installing SpeedLine?

Steve: “Since our SpeedLine installation, we have drastically improved our order entry times. Our mistakes have dropped to minimal, and the remaining ones are volume based as opposed to system based.”

Cost Savings

On Point: It’s no secret that restaurant margins can be slim. How has SpeedLine helped you cut costs?

Steve: “Food and labor costs have dropped more than 20%. Labor is down due to faster order entry—we cut our phone calls down from 2 minutes to 30 seconds with SpeedLine, due in part to the integration of online ordering with [SpeedLine technology partner] Brygid. On top of that, we’ve saved nearly seven minutes on out-the-door time for delivery.”

Sales Increases

On Point: Many pizza operators find that the customer data in their point of sale systems is critical to growing the business. Has this been your experience?

Steve: “Our sales have been up every year since installation. In the first year, the amount of extra dressing and sauce cups we sold just about paid for our system, not to mention the upselling prompts helped increase our average ticket. Currently, we’re taking advantage of the back end of Store Manager to help with generating more sales. Having reports broken down into sizes and categories has helped us immensely with menu decisions.”

Delivery Performance

On Point: How has using SpeedLine LiveMaps impacted your delivery service?

Steve: “I don’t know how we got by without LiveMaps before SpeedLine. It is so crucial. Sometimes you’ll see a delivery come in on the ticket and think it’s going north, but really it’s going west and it just happens to have the same street name and zip, only differentiated by Drive/Lane/Road.”

“LiveMaps helps to keep our drivers headed in the right direction and helps us know when they are expected back so we can have the next order just out of the oven and ready to go the minute they’re back—which ensures the customer is getting the hottest food possible.
Our deliveries are getting to our customers faster due to LiveMaps and being able to email the map link to the drivers automatically at dispatch.”


On Point: “A technology solution is only as good as its support services. What has your experience been with SpeedLine Support?

Steve: “Support has provided a very positive experience. Our old POS system gave us problem after problem, but SpeedLine has given us the competitive advantage to dominate the markets we are in.”

Advice to Other Operators

On Point: Do you have any advice to share with other pizzeria operators?

Steve: “Don’t think about your cost to purchase the system. Think about how it’s going to improve your operation. In order entry alone, you’re going to save labor, and once you add in an online ordering system that goes directly to your POS, you’re really going to save time, labor, and overall stress in the kitchen.”

“SpeedLine has honestly been one of the best business decisions we’ve made. So much of our growth is due to SpeedLine; we’d never consider another POS at this point.”

More: SpeedLine POS Case Study: Supremo’s Pizza

Restaurant Marketing: Facebook Tips from Smart Pizza Marketing

FacebookWe at Smart Pizza Marketing, have spent thousands, and have been able to use the data obtained to really help others understand what is currently working. In this post, I am going to share the three specific things that are really working well right now on this incredible social network. Read more

From the Archives: Savvy Summer Hiring – How to Spot the Good Students

savvy summer hiringAre you fully staffed for summer? It’s that time of year when students are thinking about how they can earn some money during the summer break.

Many restaurant operators find that hiring reliable staff can present challenges on a regular basis. Hiring seasonal staff has its own unique set of challenges. Before you leap into recruiting, consider these quick tips for savvy summer hiring: Read more

Restaurant Marketing: 5 Ways to Boost Restaurant Sales

Boost Restaurant SalesIn the restaurant business, selling your service can be as important as selling your goods. Sure, you make great pizzas—but what are your out-the-door and delivery times? Is the pizza arriving to the customer hot? And your staff: how do they measure up?

No matter how great the food is, every restaurant has room for improvement, both in customer service and in bolstering sales.

Let’s take a closer look at 5 things you can use to market your service and your food while boosting profits: Read more

“Hey, Joe.” The Best Part About Pizza Expo 2017

Pizza ExpoA week after our return from the International Pizza Expo, we’re still digesting all that we saw and heard at this year’s big show.

Conversations with restaurant operators at the Expo are a crash course in how the industry is changing—and how it stays the same.

The radical changes that stood out to me were around mobile technology. Restaurant operators were looking for solutions for mobile order entry in the store. And flexible options to handle online orders from a surprisingly wide set of providers. Read more

From the Archives: Master Menus for Multi-Unit Restaurant Companies

With most of the crew at the International Pizza Expo this week (visit SpeedLine at booth #421), we’re featuring this article on master menus from the archives.

Many chains use master corporate menus to control food cost and brand consistency. By standardizing menu offerings, recipes, and portions, restaurant chains protect their margins, deliver a consistent product across multiple locations. This  streamlines IT operations.

Tastes can vary from one area to another. The leek-and-potato pizza that’s a hit in Oakland may not go over so well in Dallas. With regional differences in prices, coupons, and tastes, how do you put the concept of a corporate menu into practice? Read more

Restaurant Operations: 3 Equipment Essentials for Effective Pizzeria Operations

Equipment EssentialsAs we get ready to head to Pizza Expo 2017 next week, we’ve been thinking about what a fantastic opportunity it is to check out new pizza and delivery-related products. If you’re looking for ideas to improve operations in your pizzeria, Pizza Expo is a great place to start.

Are you opening a new restaurant, or replacing aging equipment? Ensuring your restaurant equipment is in tip-top shape is a key factor in fine tuning operations.

These are three equipment essentials for any pizza and delivery operation: Read more

Pizza Expo 2017 – The Final Countdown!

Pizza Expo

The team at SpeedLine is gearing up for the “Largest Pizza Show in the World.” International Pizza Expo will take over the Las Vegas Convention Center in less than two weeks.

SpeedLine POS at Pizza Expo

Visit SpeedLine at Pizza Expo 2017 in booth 421

Come down March 28-30, and check out what Pizza Expo 2017 has on the roster. This year there are many great seminars to check out.

Seminar Schedule

On top of that, attendees enjoy outstanding food samples, cooking and baking demonstrations, the International Pizza Challenge, and the World Pizza Games.  Attend the Pizza Expo Block Party or Acrobatic Dough Tossing Finals.  And new in 2017, sign up for Scott’s Las Vegas Pizza Tour.

See SpeedLine POS at Pizza Expo

Visit SpeedLine at Booth 421

Where we will be happy to show you the latest in pizza point of sale.

  • Bring your questions.
  • Learn how a POS designed for pizza delivery can streamline operations and help you see more clearly into every area of your business.

See SpeedLine LiveMaps at Pizza Expo

See the impact of LiveMaps Visual Dispatch on delivery profit.

In the market for a new POS? Expo booth visitors get the LiveMaps software free with purchase through May 31, 2017!

We are also giving away an Apple Watch each day of the show.

Win an iWatch at Pizza Expo

Enter to win at Booth 421 daily.

Not registered yet? Save $50 off a 3-day pass with code SPEE50.


Continuing Care: Does Your POS Vendor Offer After-Sale Services?

SpeedLine restaurant POSToo often, we hear stories of POS vendors whose attention to service tails off shortly after the check is cut. This can leave restaurant owners scrambling to maintain their systems. And from getting the most out of their technology investment.

If you’re shopping for a POS system or other restaurant technology, one of the important things to consider is what happens after the system is installed and paid for. Does the vendor offer ongoing support? Menu and setting management services? Online training materials? Aftermarket equipment options? Read more