Summer can be a difficult time in our industry. It’s notoriously slow, especially for sports-themed operators where there is very little in the way of compelling live sports on TV.
When you’re competing with beach, boats, and beautiful sunny days, you have to make your own events to excite your guests to return.
Fortunately, every year, July 29th marks National Chicken Wing Day. While we don’t need to convince you wings are a guest favorite, we do think you should be using this incredibly popular menu item to drive traffic.
To that end, we have four creative ideas you can implement to make National Chicken Wing Day a new holiday in your location.
Make it Social
Whether you are promoting a menu special or inviting guests to visit for the big game, leveraging your social media audience is a standard method for driving traffic. In fact, in a Twitter Customer Insights survey, 93.3% of respondents plan to purchase from businesses they follow. That’s great news! However, you must be careful that your messaging and content isn’t standard – aka, like everyone else.
That’s where events like National Chicken Wing Day can help.
Since the popularity of wings is undeniable, turn your observance of National Chicken Wing Day into a July-long event.
- Start by posting content about the history of the chicken wing and the day that is dedicated to it
- Highlight the socialness of wings. Wings are perfect for sharing with friends. Millennials and Gen Z patrons look at dining as a key opportunity to share time with friends.
- Then deliver special offers leading up to July 29th that will pique your guests’ interest.
- Finally, plan an event that will both attract guests and sell some wings.
Check out our idea for such an event in the next section.
Wings & Beer, Duh!
Few things pair better than wings and beer. So in service of National Chicken Wing Day, how about you do a simple specials menu that pairs your wing flavors with the appropriate beer?
If you don’t feel confident about pairing, check out this great resource from Frank’s King of Wings that gives you some suggested pairings. It’s another great opportunity to work directly with one of your wholesalers to support your efforts. From custom POP to special incentives to feature their products, this is just the type of thing your beer vendors will love to support.
Yes, a wing-eating contest. Done correctly, this event will not only drive traffic, but could easily grab you some local free press coverage. Also, it’s a terrific event to invite a beer sponsor to join, like Dos Equis or Heineken.
Run it for four weeks with the final event on July 29th. During the full month, allow people to qualify by being timed in how long it takes them to eat your standard order of wings. Take the top qualifiers and invite them to be participate in the finals on National Chicken Wing Day. You can even turn the final contest into a great social content by live streaming it on your Facebook or Instagram.
By working with a beverage wholesaler you can offer some fun schwag and get all the POP materials you need to attract your guests to enter the contest.
This year National Chicken Wing Day falls on a Saturday, which is a perfect day of the week to have an event like this. It creates fun for your guests, and the irony is they still pay for their order of wings to qualify. For the finals, entrants will undoubtedly invite their friends and you can encourage them to post to their own social to amplify the event.
Nothing says you are celebrating National Chicken Wing Day better than more chicken wings. By offering some cool package pricing for wings, you can encourage your guests to buy more in celebration of wing day.
For the three weeks leading to July 29th, offer a different special wing package and then have all three of them available for the week before National Chicken Wing Day. Whether, it’s a “Pick 3 Sampler” or a “Wing Combo” (add salad, side or beverage), giving your guests new plates to consider will solidify your places as their go to wing joint well past July 29th.
While these four ideas can fit any operation, those are not the limit of what you can do with these perfectly timed summer event opportunity. So, stop complaining that summer time is slow. Take action now and you can drive real traffic in the heart of the summer doldrums.
If you have your own great chicken wing promotions ideas, please share them in the comments below and we will publish them during July for our own celebration of National Chicken Wing Day.