It might not rank up there with Mother’s Day or Easter, but business is expected to be brisk for many of you this weekend, as about 50 million Americans celebrate Father’s Day with at least one restaurant meal. Children of all ages are slated to spend about $2.1 billion treating Dad to meals out and other activities, with many making up for low-key and cheaper Father’s Days in recent years, according to the National Retail Federation. The group’s surveys show consumers plan to spend more on Dad this year than they have in at least eight years.
Most people plan to take Dad out for dinner, and 10% will enjoy more than one restaurant meal Sunday, according to the National Restaurant Association. Sixty percent of consumers said they will treat Pop to a meal at his favorite restaurant, whether there’s a special, but news outlets nationwide have been compiling lists of freebies and promotions, just in case.
In Chicago, chefs from Carnivale are holding a class on grilling in the kitchen in honor of Father’s Day, and the $25 admission includes a free cocktail. Elsewhere in the city, pubs, pizzerias and even a country club are lining up to offer free entrees for Dad, according to a list from Dining Chicago.
IHOP urges consumers to drag Dad away from his summertime spot in front of the grill to dine on one of five versions of the chain’s bacon-and-beef burger, which is also featured in an ad campaign. In fact, burgers and steak seem to be a theme in food media this week, including stories on grilling the perfect piece of beef at home and a Zagat Survey list of the best eight steakhouses in New York. Texas Roadhouse is celebrating its Rib Fest special this month, Applebee’s is taking $5 off Dad’s steak Sunday and Charley’s Steak House locations in the Orlando, Fla., area are offering Dad a free rib eye dinner with the purchase of another entrée.
Dads and beer go together well in many families, but one restaurant chain is putting a twist on the combo, thanks to social media. T.G.I. Friday’s is going social for Father’s Day this year, with a Facebook application that lets users buy Dad – or anyone else – an e-gift card good for one beer at any of the chain’s 600 locations nationwide, USA TODAY reported.
Restaurants also are promoting gift cards as an alternative to sharing a meal on Father’s Day. Chili’s is offering 10% off gift cards of $100 or more and will even send the card directly to a recipient, along with a personal message. Ruby Tuesday is offering a $5 coupon with the purchase of a $25 gift card and a $15 coupon with a $50 card.
What are you doing for Father’s Day, and how are you marketing it? Tell us about it in the comments.