With summer in full swing, chains are looking to promote their outdoor spaces as social, vacation-like destinations. Operators are rolling out patio-focused marketing campaigns that incorporate food and drink specials, giveaways and social media. Here are some recent summer campaigns centered around patios:
- Earls Kitchen + Bar launched a multi-strategy summer campaign inviting patrons to meet their friends at one of the chain’s many patios. The push includes food and beverage specials. Earls is offering $5 drinks with options like Corona beer; a Paloma cocktail made with aged tequila and grapefruit soda; a Michelada cocktail made with Modelo Especial, Valentina hot sauce, lime and salty Maggi seasoning; margaritas in classic, raspberry, strawberry and mango varieties; and a citrus-and-spice-infused sangrita. Food specials include guacamole and chips for $7 and nachos for $10. The summer deals are available Sundays and Mondays through September 8. The company is also asking guests to be a “summer hero” by entering for a chance to win a $50 gift card to treat their friends to a meal on the patio. Earls’ summer patio promotions are being marketed on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #summeratearls.
- Cactus Club Cafe launched its 98 Days of Summer promotion. The campaign includes seasonal menu offerings, billed as ideal options to enjoy on one of the chain’s patios. One seasonal menu offering is ceviche made with Lois Lake steelhead, sustainably harvested prawns, red onions, Thai basil, mint, cilantro and nuoc cham. The chain is also promoting its summer Watermelon Margarita made with freshsqueezed watermelon juice, Jose Cuervo Gold tequila and a splash of citrus. Cactus Club Cafe is promoting its summer campaign on social media with the hashtag #98DaysofSummer, which is accompanying all of the photo posts of its patios and drink special announcements.
Operators, especially those with a strong Millennial consumer base, can benefit from these types of patio-focused summer promotions. Chains that are positioned as social and energetic can promote their patios as a must-visit locale for summer gatherings through food and drink deals, patio-exclusive menus and special events. Effective patio-exclusive marketing strategies could include shareable menu items, beer buckets and outdoor entertainment.