Last year, 77% of Americans still found ways to celebrate Easter during COVID-19, according to a survey by National Retail Federation.
Now that it’s 2021, celebrating looks a little different. Many consumers are putting their own twist on their usual Easter celebration and will be ordering their Easter meals to go or getting their Easter meal delivered.
Here are six ways foodservice operators can build sales by helping their patrons celebrate Lent and Easter:
Create an Epic Easter Brunch
It’s the perfect time to offer a catered Easter brunch. Your guests ordering takeout and delivery will appreciate the brunch options and enjoy celebrating safely with their family. For those who can and choose to dine in, offer a prix-fixe Easter brunch menu to take the stress out of cooking at home.
Plan Your Holiday Menu
Try incorporating global flavors into your Lenten menu options or Easter brunch menu. In lieu of traveling, many people are seeking exotic flavors that satisfy food cravings. Incorporate plant-based options for those who are giving up meat for Lent. Try offering brunch smoothies and fresh-pressed juice specials. Our Waypoint corporate chefs have provided recipe ideas to incorporate into your menu to delight and excite your guests.
Let your patrons know about your Lent and Easter menu options and promotions early. It’s also a good idea to let your customers know about the overall cleanliness of your establishment and that you’re following all current safety guidelines to assure them you’re committed to helping them celebrate Easter and observe Lent as safely as possible. Build awareness with your regular patrons by adding promo flyers in takeout bags.
Turn to social media, such as Facebook and Instagram Stories, to get the word out. Create excitement and awareness with a contest and post it across your social media channels. Ask followers to share a picture of a order, along with what they are giving up for Lent or how they are celebrating Easter. Have them tag your business for a chance to win a gift card to your restaurant.
Maximize Your Takeout and Catering
Consider adding online ordering, supported by posts about your Easter and Lent takeout and catering services, on social media. Construct your restaurant menu options carefully to provide meatless or vegetarian options for those observing Lent. Upgrade your packaging containers so that the food will stay warm and fresh for delivery. Check for accuracy during and after order production to ensure the food prepared aligns with what the consumer wanted.
Craft Cocktails and Mocktails To Go
Appeal to those looking to enjoy a festive drink for their holiday celebration by creating Easter-themed cocktail and mocktail options. Offer prepared cocktails and mocktails to go for takeout and catering sales as permitted by state and local laws. Rely on seasonal ingredients in your cocktails and mocktails to make them fresh, enjoyable and perfect for celebrating the arrival of spring.
Offer Contactless Everything
As consumers look to restaurants to provide them Easter menu options, they will still be seeking safe ways to order, receive and pay for their take out and catered meals, and touch-free technology has become essential. In fact, contactless transactions saw 40% growth globally, according to a recent report by MasterCard, and CDC guidelines encourage businesses to use touchless payment options. Touch-free technology prioritizes guest safety and offers several other benefits, including faster checkouts and increased customer satisfaction. Look to touch-free solutions to thrive now and post-pandemic.
As families look for ways to celebrate Easter, restaurant operators have an opportunity to make new community connections that can last beyond Spring.