Mother’s Day and Memorial Day weekend saw a surge in restaurant to-go packages for family meals and grilling kits—and an uptick in sales. Father’s Day presents another opportunity to lure customers with these special promotions and deals. But now that more states are permitting restaurants to reopen, operators also are trying to entice dad to come in and sit down with the family to a chef-prepared meal.
According to data from Womply, a credit-card processor, the week leading up to and including Father’s Day 2019 was No. 1 in terms of consumer spending in local restaurants. With the pandemic still impacting openings and the economy, 2020 business will no doubt be down, but restaurants are innovating with both dine-in and to-go deals to boost Father’s Day sales.
1. Start with breakfast
Bob Evans Restaurants is launching curbside pickup and, for one week only, the chain is changing the name of its Farmers Choice Family Meal to Go to “Father’s Choice.” The breakfast or brunch package for four features scrambled eggs, sausage links, home fries and hotcakes for carryout and curbside pickup. Price is $24.99.
2. Taking a bagel break
Bruegger’s is enticing dad with special treats and an opportunity get take a little break from the home front. Bagel bundles with cream cheese spreads are available for pickup on Father’s Day, and fathers in the loyalty club can pick up a free order of hash browns to enjoy on the drive home.
Einstein Bros. also is touting a getaway for dad, encouraging families to order a Brunch Box ($29.99) or Bagelrito sandwich ahead for Father’s Day breakfast. Dads who come in to pick up the order will receive a free “roadie” hash brown to take home or eat in the car.
3. Grilling kits for barbecue fans
Guys love to grill and restaurants are feeding that passion with a wide variety of grilling kits. At Canela Bistro & Bar in San Francisco, chef Mat Shuster put together a kit that combines a gift for dad along with a meal. Included is chef’s knife, digital meat thermometer, tongs and a bottle of Spanish olive oil to cook up two beef filets wrapped in bacon or a marinated salmon filet, with housemade salsa verde to finish it off ($99).
Prairie Grass Cafe in Northbrook, Ill., is offering grilling kits to feed two with a choice of proteins: salmon, swordfish, housemade Italian or lamb sausage, ancho-marinated skirt steak, New York strip steaks or beef filets. Each comes with sides such as local tomatoes and asparagus, spring onions and scratch-baked chocolate chip cookies. Prices range from $39 to $98, customers can also add margaritas and rhubarb sangria to go for extra.
And Chef’s Warehouse, a foodservice supplier which is now selling restaurant-quality food direct to consumers, has a six-piece filet mignon grilling box for $90, a kit with 24 Wagyu burger patties for $70 and a BBQ Grill Masters kit with a whole beef brisket, two boneless pork butts and four racks of St. Louis ribs for $149. Chicken and assorted seafood boxes are also available.
4. Sit down to a steak dinner
Perhaps after three months of quarantine, dad is ready to dine in a restaurant for Father’s Day. In locations where this is now allowed, BJs Restaurant & Brewhouse is menuing a couple of specials. Slow-roasted tri-tip is geared to hearty male appetites. It’s glazed with BJ’s peppered barbecue sauce and comes with two signature sides. Guests have the option to add more protein to the plate, including shrimp scampi, grilled chicken or baby back ribs. For dessert there’s a new strawberry shortcake Pizookie—a buttery sugar cookie topped with fresh strawberries, strawberry purée, vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.
Cameron Mitchell’s Ocean Prime restaurants are serving dinner at 11 locations, including those that recently reopened in Denver, Beverly Hills and Troy, Mich. Dads can choose to accompany any steak with a chef-created hash made with a truffle-poached egg, lobster and bacon enriched with caramelized onions and Parmesan cream. Handpicked wines by the glass are available to sip.
5. Meaty meals with a global spin
Saigon Sisters in Chicago is preparing Beef 7 Ways, a Vietnamese dish that was a favorite of chef-owner Mary Nguyen Aregoni’s father. The to-go family meal feeds two to three and includes Wagyu beef dumpling soup, green papaya salad with beef jerky, Wagyu beef stew and roast beef pho ($75).
For a Father’s Day feast with a Latin beat, Carnivale in Chicago is offering The Big Papi Kit, available for curbside pickup. The package ($130 for four) includes an appetizer of guacamole or ropa vieja and a beefy entee of either ribeye gaucho, tenderloin with chimichurri or New York strip steak. Sides of mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus and Mexican street corn come with each order, along with salted caramel corn for dessert.
6. Save room for dessert
Bakery cafe chain Paris Baguette created a limited-edition cake to toast dad with something sweet. The Father’s Day Beer Cake is in the shape of a beer mug and features three layers of chocolate cake filled with soft cream. It’s available for takeout or delivery from June 15 to 21, starting at $17.99, depending on location.