March Madness Restaurant Promotions For This Year's Tournament

January 28, 2022

Every year, more than 10 million people watch March Madness. 

Many of these individuals will go out to bars and restaurants to enjoy the games with friends, which makes this event a prime opportunity to bring in some additional revenue for your venue.

But to do that, you’ll need to find a way to entice people to come to your restaurant instead of going to another. In this article, we’ll cover 10 strategies that you can use to make this happen.

Let’s get into it.

1. Highlight the number of TVs that you have

Watching games at a bar or restaurant can be a totally different experience than viewing them at home. One of the biggest reasons for this is the sheer number of screens that restaurants and sports bars have.

That’s why it’s important to emphasize this while running your March Madness promotions. You want to make it super clear to people that you have more than enough screens for them to watch every game that they want to watch – at the same time!

This is especially important during the early stages of March Madness, during which games are being played constantly.

If you show potential guests that you have enough screens for them to catch all of the action, they’re much likelier to watch the games with you instead of trying to flip back and forth between channels on a single screen at home.

2. Offer the cheapest beer deals in town

Every year, beer companies have to produce an extra 3.5 million cases to keep up with the increased demand during March Madness. There’s something about the sporting event and America’s favorite alcoholic beverage that go hand-in-hand.

That’s why one of the most effective ways to get people to choose your restaurant instead of another in the area is to offer the best deals on beer.

There are lots of ways to do this. You can offer low prices on standalone beer purchases or offer heavily discounted beers to people who buy other dishes from you.

For example, a restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona, sold pitchers of beer for a penny during March Madness if customers also purchased at least three sliders.

3. Give great deals on wings

Chicken wings are another item that people tend to associate with big sporting events like March Madness. Appetizer platters are great for sharing and easy to offer deals on. 

Once again, there are lots of different ways that you can go about this. 

You might offer discounted wings during halftime to encourage people to stay in your restaurant during lulls in the action. Or, you could offer wing specials during slower nights of the week to get more people into your restaurant.

4. Get people in the spirit with themed drinks and dishes

Another great way to make your restaurant stand out is to offer customers special dishes and drinks that reflect the March Madness season.

Doing this can help make your restaurant more festive, which could motivate people to stay longer during March Madness season.

If you need some ideas for March Madness-themed recipes, check out this blog for inspiration.

5. Run contests

Contests help to get people into the March Madness spirit and can be an excellent way to attract more people to your restaurant.

Here are some ideas:

  • Put together a bracket challenge with a grand prize for the person with the most accurate one.
  • Offer game-by-game prediction contests with discounts on food and drinks for the winner.
  • Add sports betting to your restaurant to get customers more invested in the games.

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6. Put together March Madness-themed commercials and ads

No matter which of these marketing strategies you decide to use, they will only be as effective as your advertisements are. 

In other words, if people don’t know about your special deals, contests and promotions, they’re not all that likely to be very effective.

That’s why it’s important to run ads highlighting your March Madness offerings through a variety of marketing channels

It’s also important to know which channels are the most effective for reaching your target customer base and to focus your marketing budget there.

For example, if you’re appealing to a younger audience, then social media would likely be your most important channel. But if your average customer is in an older age bracket, other forms of marketing might be a better choice. 

7. Give something away for free

There’s nothing like getting something that you want for free. If you’re looking for a way to get more people in the door, then giving away something meaningful for free could be a great way to do it.

There are lots of directions that you can go with this. 

For example, you could give people a coupon for a free drink when they walk in the door. Or you could partner with a popular local business to give people a free discount at that establishment after they’ve purchased something from yours.

8. Don’t neglect customers who prefer to watch at home

It’s important to remember that, even though lots of people enjoy watching March Madness in bars and restaurants, some still prefer to do so at home. But that doesn’t mean you can’t win their business.

You can significantly expand your pool of potential customers during March Madness by offering catering. 

This will allow people who want to watch the games at home to still enjoy the delicious themed foods that you’re offering while also opening up a new revenue stream for your business. Talk about a win-win.

9. Bring standout experiences to your restaurant

Another way to make your restaurant stand out from others is to bring fun in-venue experiences to it during the biggest days of the tournament. 

For example, you could bring an arcade hoop shoot machine to your restaurant so that people can play basketball instead of just watching it. You could also bring a local school’s mascot to your restaurant to get people fired up for the big game.

Running in-game competitions, trivia, and prizes can also be a fun way to utilize the big screen in between games. UPshow’s Watch To Win tool is designed to maximize engagement and keep guests entertained.

10. Tie your promotions to game outcomes

A big part of making your restaurant stand out as the place to be for March Madness is creating a festive atmosphere that revolves around the games.

One great way to achieve this is to offer special discounts when certain in-game events happen. The required events to trigger discounts for customers, as well as the discounts themselves, can change from game to game.

Using this strategy can also help keep people in your restaurant for longer since many will want to stick around to see if the criteria for the next deal is reached. That could increase the value of the average customer that you get during March Madness.

Digital signage makes it easier to advertise your best March Madness promotions

As you go about advertising your restaurant’s March Madness offerings, it’s important not to neglect the customers that are already in your restaurant.

Digital signage is the most effective way to advertise to customers that are already in your business. It lets you create customized displays that rotate on your desired schedule.

You can use digital signage ahead of March Madness and during the event itself to advertise your special limited-time deals.

The best part is, getting started with digital signage is super easy. All that you need to do so is digital signage software, a media player and the screens that you already have.

You can even set up touchscreens with your digital signage software to allow customers to order their own drinks and dishes or participate in special game-day contests.

The bottom line is that digital signage is a versatile technology that can help you unlock the full potential of your restaurant’s March Madness event.

Use UPshow’s digital signage software for your March Madness promotions

UPshow makes digital signage software that can help you get more out of big events like March Madness. Our software provides a wide variety of features to help you unlock the full potential of the technology.

Features include:

  • A plethora of built-in templates and a wide variety of options to create customized displays.
  • Access to more than 500 channels of live video entertainment.
  • Data tracking to help you understand campaign performance.
  • Options for interactive features like games and self-ordering.

Collectively, these features make UPshow one of the most effective ways to both advertise your March Madness event and take the experience itself to the next level.

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