A country of varied language, cuisine & local culture agrees on one thing and one thing only; cricket. A passion for many that is no less than a religion for a country of 1.3 billion people, it holds a special place in our hearts. As cricket returns to primetime, it ushered in a rewarding season for restaurants.
The official cricket season kicked off this month with the inaugural match of Mumbai Indians Vs Chennai Super Kings. As per BARC India, viewership data for 2019 shared by the official broadcaster Star India, a massive audience of 463 million Indians watched the IPL in 2019. This season with most tournaments cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic, IPL 2020 is predicted to garner 550+ million viewers.
The three main ingredients to amplify the zeal of cheering up for any cricket match are always friends, families and good food 🙂
Want to learn how to maximise your revenue this cricket season through innovative restaurant marketing ideas? We have got you covered!
Your restaurant can be a hub for cricket lovers, even amidst the ongoing pandemic. This can be successfully pulled off by hosting your diners in spaced out dining areas, observing social distancing guidelines, enforcing mask-wearing and ensuring capacity management at your restaurant.
Here’s how to host a cricket watch party and what to include in your restaurant marketing plan to bring your diners through the door.
Capacity Management / Emphasize on Pre-bookings
There have been enough dialogues about the importance of capacity management, which reinforces the critical nature of pre-bookings/reservations. It not only helps you avoid overcrowding and ensure that social distancing regulations are met, but also provides a seamless approach to capture diner data. This can be later used to retarget and re-engage with your loyal diners.
Do you want to encourage your diners to reserve beforehand and drive urgency? Mention limited availability to create a sense of restriction. This will prompt action from your diners and also give them a sense of safety due to lack of overcrowding. You can use various social media platforms to spread the word and amplify traffi
Set the Right Expectations
While pre-booking you can get a projection of interested diners keen on visiting your restaurant. Some of those diners might make last-minute changes to their plans and cancel.
And such no shows can have a significant impact on the revenue. But with the right technology in place, you can implement a virtual waitlist for your interested diners. This means you always have diners who can fill up any last-minute availability.
Curate Custom Packages & Take Bookings
Another way to maximise revenue ahead of game day is customised food & drinks combos and pre-paid table minimums. Using your existing diner data, you can create compelling packages and target your diners via SMS, email, and social media campaigns to get your kitchen buzzing even before the diners arrive.
You can also float a cover charge that can later be used by diners to buy food & drinks. Another way to make extra profits is by selling game day branded merchandise.
Offer a Special Menu for Game Day
There is no doubt that your diners missed restaurant-quality food, but that’s no reason to hold back from reengineering your menu. Go ahead and create a game-day menu to peak your diners interested. These could be customised basis the teams playing the live innings.
Example: Special Puckkas or Jhalmuri with beer when Kolkata Knight Riders are playing.
And no game is complete without friends cheering to their favourite teams. Highlight special cocktails or drinks commons to leverage your beverage program to boost alcohol sales. To garner more interest and excitement, you can also publish your on-premise game day menu across your website, social channels, emails and SMS(s).
We understand you can only entertain so many diners in your restaurant dining space. So what about the ones who are still at home? They are watching the matches too; only they are also annoyed running to the kitchen for a popcorn refill. And here is how you come into the picture.
Bank on Takeaway & Home Delivery
Restaurants have the vast majority of their diners watching these matches from home, and these are left untapped. Take this moment and get creative with your takeaway and a home delivery menu that sparks joy in your diners heart and easily travels to their doorsteps.
Selling fan favourites — like burgers, wings, chips and dips, and cocktail mixers– in a curated package makes it seamless for diners to order. Make it simpler for your diners to reach out by tapping into direct ordering from your social media channels. Give your diners a direct connect through your online ordering platform and increase your profit margins.
Cricket Season Catering Menu
Don’t miss out on family-size food combos as more and more people begin to welcome their friends and family over for gatherings. To save you the operational headache, you can choose food items that can be easily made in bulk and are travel friendly. Make sure you promote these several days in advance and witness your order carts buzzing!
Step-up your Social Media Game
With limited options of entertainment and engagement, fans across the country love to participate in various contests and giveaways. Take this opportunity to run some engaging marketing campaigns to drive both virtual & physical traffic to your restaurant.
Monetize platforms like Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp to build an instant connection with your diners, engage and get direct orders. You can also offer discounts on your bestsellers to boost the revenue.
It’s time to get back in the game and swing for the stars. With these handful of marketing initiatives and the right operational technology, you can prepare better for this season of cricket, reconnect with loyal diners, and re-live the joy of dining out.