January 5, 2024
Lauren Platero

The Ultimate Game Day Guide For Sports Bars & Football Fans

Festivities that take place throughout football season are full of food, drinks, and parties. From tailgating at a stadium near you to cheering on your favorite team from your couch, there are so many ways to prepare. With this being said, you’re about to embark on the ultimate game day guide for football fanatics and foodies alike. Now, let’s “kickoff” this resource on everything you need to know!

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Super Bowl Restaurant Marketing Tactics to Increase Profits

The implementation of restaurant marketing strategies is a tried and tested way to maximize profits. Doing so for the Super Bowl is also a great way to kickstart the year on a positive note. Whether you need ideas for in-house events or catering ideas for those hosting at-home watch parties, we’ve got you covered. 

As millions of football fans look forward to tuning into the big game, it’s your job as a business owner to stir up the excitement. So, read on for over ten restaurant marketing ideas that make sense toward the end of football season. 

11 Super Bowl-Related Marketing Ideas

Football is one of the most beloved sports of all time. As a result, there are many themes and approaches you can take in advertising the NFL’s most anticipated game. In fact, there are eleven creative options right here:

  1. Create a Super Bowl Menu: Offer a limited edition thematic menu on Super Bowl Sunday to pique everyone’s interest and accelerate the total order volume.
  2. Offer Catering Services: Some people prefer hosting events from home. Be one of the few sports bars in your area to offer catering services, and maximize revenue from off-premise dining, too. 
  3. Offer Team Spirit Discounts: See any customers wearing team colors or merchandise? Offer them a discount when the bill arrives. 
  4. Serve Family Style Dining Platters: Contribute to the festive atmosphere that’s associated with Super Bowl Sunday by adding shareable platters to the menu.
  5. Come Up With Team-Inspired Drink Specials: Drive liquor sales by creating original cocktails that are inspired by the two teams as well as the halftime performer. 
  6. Price Some Dishes At Half Price During Halftime: Keep customers at your restaurant throughout the whole game by cutting the cost of appetizers in half during halftime. 
  7. Design Super Bowl-Related Social Media Posts: Don’t forget to create a social media cadence that revolves around your restaurant’s Super Bowl weekend plans. 
  8. Host Contests and Offer Fun Prizes: Advertise that there will be contests at your restaurant the night of the Super Bowl, where customers can win one-of-a-kind prizes. 
  9. Partner With Local Teams and Organizations: Conduct cross-promotional efforts with local non-profits and sporting goods retailers to boost brand awareness. 
  10. Begin the Year By Offering Free Super Bowl Tickets: That’s right–host an opportunity to win Super Bowl tickets, where people can get a chance to enter each time they dine at your establishment during January. 
  11. Send Out Restaurant Email and SMS Alerts: Be front and center in your customer’s inbox with messages about your restaurant’s Super Bowl festivities.

Game Day Marketing Ideas for Super Results

When you combine festive game day activities, thematic menu items, and so much more, you’ll have a recipe for a fun and memorable Super Bowl Sunday. So, craft your day-of plans accordingly. Before you know it, Super Bowl weekend will be upon us and it’ll be time to contribute to all the fun. 

Here’s Why All Football Bars Need Online Ordering Tools

There’s no better place to cheer on your favorite football teams than within the walls of sports and football bars. Well, aside from actual stadiums, of course. So, that’s why sports and football bars are such profitable ventures to embark on in the restaurant industry

But here’s the thing–there are tools that are designed to make restaurant business models even more lucrative. More specifically, online ordering tools carry the potential to accelerate cash flow from off-premise dining. Now, read on to learn about the many reasons why your sports bar should invest in them –especially during football season.

The Top 11 Reasons Why Your Sports Bar Should Use Online Ordering Tools

Not all football fanatics will be able to make it to your bar every game day. However, that doesn’t mean that they can’t indulge in all their food favorites as they cheer on their most beloved team. So, without further ado, read on for eleven perks of offering online ordering solutions:

  1. Your sports bar can stand out amongst local competitors by offering 24 7 food delivery
  2. Your brand can increase its customer reach by selling to more than what the brick and mortar capacity can accommodate. 
  3. Food delivery apps make it easy to browse through your various menu types.
  4. All of your off-premise customers will have the option to customize their orders. 
  5. Prompts on digital checkout pages make it simpler than ever to implement upselling techniques.
  6. With the ability to refer to digital copies of each order, there’s a lesser chance of committing human errors. 
  7. Since you won’t have to employ as large of a wait staff, you’ll automatically be reducing the amount of manual labor required in order to fulfill operations. 
  8. There are numerous online ordering solutions that consolidate all orders into one platform, making it easy to manage each transaction.
  9. Online ordering solutions allow restaurants to initiate marketing efforts and demand creation in the backend. 
  10. Digital systems instantly collect and store customer data that you’ll have access to.
  11. Many people prefer contactless payments and deliveries, which they can opt for when ordering online. 

Use Online Ordering Tools to Offer the Ultimate At-Home Fan Experience

You can’t enjoy a football game, let alone a football party, without food and drinks being part of the equation. By adding online ordering tools to your restaurant’s strategy, it’ll quickly become the go-to caterer for game day festivities. 

Football Party Ideas for the Best Game Days

Whether you’re hosting a football watch party at your sports bar or from the comfort of your own home, you need excellent ideas for a memorable day. Luckily, there are so many ways to succeed at being a party host. So, what are you waiting for? Continue reading for everything you need to know before planning your next football watch party!

11 Creative and Productive Football Party Ideas

When planning festivities for upcoming game days, you’ll get to put all your party-planning skills to good use. From decorative abilities to mixology concoctions, football party ideas stem from creativity on all levels. Here are eleven ideas that can kick start your party prep and keep it going until the final score:

  1. Put together large, shareable trays of food.
  2. If you’re hosting a party at home, send out invitations about a week or so before the game. 
  3. Decorate the party area with streamers and balloons that match the team’s colors.
  4. Ensure that the TV screens are visible from all angles. 
  5. Offer your guests a wide selection of soft drinks, beer brands, and mixed drink recipes. 
  6. If you need it, invest in a high-quality sound system. 
  7. Set up ample seating arrangements in view of the TV screens. 
  8. Organize a music playlist to keep guests entertained before and after the game.
  9. Host game-related contests where guests can win fun prizes. 
  10. Ensure that all your technology, from TVs to sound systems, are working properly.
  11. Clean the area as you go to eliminate work overload once everyone goes home.

Now, Let’s Get to Planning Upcoming Football Parties!

Once you combine a variety of football party ideas, you’ll be hosting some of the best, most memorable football parties. But the preparation isn’t over just yet! Check out the next section to discover more details on which food items to serve.

The Tastiest Football Party Finger Food Ideas

Finger foods are staples for football games. Not only are they super easy to prepare, but they’re simple to consume, too. This is especially true for those hosting football watch parties from home. Many dishes can be messy when you’re viewing games from the couch. But with finger foods, you don’t encounter this issue. 

The 20 Best Finger Food Ideas for Your Next Game Day

If you’re unsure of which finger foods to serve on game days, get inspiration from the appetizer list at any of your favorite restaurants. Below, you’ll find twenty options that are ideal when rooting for your favorite teams:

  1. Mini Tacos: One of the best Mexican appetizers of all time. 
  2. Mozzarella Sticks: A savory blend of cheese, breading, and marinara sauce that everyone loves. 
  3. Pigs In a Blanket: Instead of serving hot dogs, make miniature versions. 
  4. Mini Sandwiches: Regular subs are quite heavy; so, cut them up into two-bite servings. 
  5. Potato Skins: By combining potatoes with cheese and bacon bits, this is sure to be a hit. 
  6. Chicken Wings: Inspired by practically every sports bar, you can’t have a football party without wings. 
  7. Chicken and Waffle Bites: This is a delicious toothpick appetizer that you can drizzle with organic maple syrup. 
  8. Deviled Eggs: Not only are deviled eggs a great football party finger food, but they are one of the best keto Super Bowl snacks
  9. Sliders: Burgers are another sports bar staple that you can easily turn into a bite-size finger food. 
  10. Guacamole and Tortilla Chips: Instead of regular chips and dip, spice things up with homemade guacamole. 
  11. Cheese and Crackers: You can’t go wrong with cheese and cracker assortments. If you want to take things up a notch, create a charcuterie board.
  12. Pretzel Bites: Use your favorite beer to create a cheese dip, and warm up pretzel bites for the ultimate combo. 
  13. Sweet Potato Fries: Everyone serves regular fries. So, make this finger food just a tad bit sweeter. 
  14. Mini Quiche: This healthy tailgate food option is ideal for its protein and healthy fat content. 
  15. Fried Pickles: If you’re in search of something savory and spicy, look no further than fried pickles. 
  16. Chicken Nuggets: For guests who are opposed to wings due to the bone, offer nuggets with a selection of sauces. This option will also be ideal for the kid’s menu. 
  17. Cookies: If you’re considering the most mess-free sweet treats of all, cookies will be your best option.
  18. Cupcakes: One of the best things about cupcakes is that you can customize the batter and icing to represent the playing teams. So, it can make for a festive dessert. 
  19. Cake Pops: Actual cakes might be too formal for game days. So, opt for something more casual with cake pops, which are just one serving a piece. 
  20. Brownies: As one of the most decadent dessert menu items, everyone will surely gravitate towards them. 

The Ultimate List of Football Party Finger Food

Even if you add just a few of these items to your game day menu, there’ll be enough food to serve quite a large group. Plus, everyone will have a wide selection to choose from.

The Greatest Half Time Snacks for Football Fanatics

Okay, so we’ve discussed the importance of serving food during a football game. But what about dishes specifically made for halftime? This is a point in the game when people are getting more anxious or excited about the score. But in some cases, the winning team is obvious, and fans begin losing interest. 

In either case, it’s your duty as either a party host or a restaurant’s business owner to keep guests around for as long as possible. One way to do this is to make certain dishes with halftime in mind. Now, let’s look at a handful of options.

4 Tasty Snacks to Serve During Halftime 

Maybe you’re interested in food trends. Or, perhaps you’d like to stick to the classics. Though it’s a brief list, we think that the following options have a little of both:

  1. Mini Pizza Bites: Pizza is a whole meal on its own. So, make miniature versions to serve during halftime–or any time for that matter!
  2. Gourmet Popcorn: Serve different varieties of light and airy popcorn during halftime. It’ll have the same purpose as movie theater popcorn, since people will likely be glued to the screen.  
  3. Veggies and Dip: Chances are, everyone will have already eaten something by the time halftime rolls around. So, offering something light and healthy is a smart move. 
  4. Hummus and Pita Chips: Similar to popcorn, chips and dip are another halftime snack that guests can munch on. Plus, it’s healthier than other types of fattening dips and greasy chips. 

Half Off Prices for Halftime Football Snacks

If you operate a bar and restaurant, consider pricing certain dishes at half the cost during halftime. Everyone loves a good play on words. But more importantly, this is a great way to increase the inventory turnover rate, as well as keep customers at your restaurant until the end of the game.

Halftime Snacks That Keep the Festivities Going

A snack menu for halftime has a sole purpose: to maintain an energetic atmosphere. For businesses, the ability to generate a last-minute surge of revenue is also a valuable feature.

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The Best-Selling Super Bowl Catering Menu Items

Most football festivities are fairly casual. You’ll even notice that sports bar marketing plans have a pretty laid back undertone. However, it’s safe to say that football fans across the nation like to go all out for the Super Bowl. It’s the most anticipated game of the year, so there’s a party going on in countless American households. 

When hosting a party, serving a large number of people can be an overwhelming task. So, that’s where catering services come to the rescue. Read on for a ton of culinary inspiration for your Super Bowl catering menu!

13 Menu Items to Add to Your Super Bowl Catering Menu 

When crafting a Super Bowl menu, there’s a couple of things you should keep in mind. For one, all the dishes should be mess-free, since everyone will probably be eating in front of the TV. Secondly, Super Bowl parties aren’t formal in any sense of the word. So, shareable snacks are ideal. Below, you’ll find thirteen options that may spark some inspiration:

  1. Chicken wings and various sauces. 
  2. Buffalo chicken dip served with tortilla chips and veggies. 
  3. Spinach and artichoke dip served with chips or toast. 
  4. Loaded baked potato skins served with sour cream.
  5. Guacamole made with fresh produce and corn chips. 
  6. Nachos, made with either ground meat products or refried beans.
  7. Traditional seven layer bean dip served with fresh tortilla chips. 
  8. Pigs in a blanket, which are simply mini hot dogs inside a puff pastry.
  9. Deviled eggs, but remember to deliver them in cool containers. 
  10. Sliders that resemble miniature versions of traditional burgers. 
  11. Sandwich platters full of your best-selling sandwich combos. 
  12. Freshly baked brownies with icing and sprinkles.
  13. Cupcakes that are dyed to match the playing team’s color schemes.

Pro-TIp: Sell Super Bowl Catering Add-Ons

If you’re considering how to get more catering orders, implement ways to make each sale a package deal. An easy way to accomplish this is to sell add-ons for each catering order. Such items can include the following products and features:

Catering to All the Football Fans In Your Town 

The addition of catering services can make a restaurant more profitable in general. But when you have such a food-centric holiday around the corner, it’s certainly a period when your sales trends will experience a massive boost. Just make sure that you allow enough time before Super Bowl weekend to promote such services.

Cold Tailgate Food That Restaurants Should Offer Via Digital Apps

Many people ditch the living room and sports bars for big games and head straight to the stadium. Upon arrival, the tailgate parties can begin. But what kinds of dishes should football fans store in their coolers? Keep reading this section for several easy and delicious ideas.

9 Cold Tailgate Food Ideas for Game Day Festivities 

Aside from dishes that you can grill, tailgate food should consist of items that are supposed to be served cold or at room temperature.  Not only will you be outside, but football season can be quite chilly in most cities. Here are nine options that you can’t go wrong with when planning a cold tailgate food selection:

  1. Mini Sandwiches: Cold subs might be a bit much, but smaller versions will make for a great lunch or early dinner on game days. 
  2. Coleslaw: Not only is coleslaw one of the healthier options, but it will pair perfectly with any foods that you throw on the grill. 
  3. Potato Salad: Potato-based foods like fries and potato skins must be warm. But when you’re tailgating, potato salad is a great alternative.
  4. Macaroni Salad: As one of the most versatile dishes, macaroni salad will likely be a hit at your tailgate parties. 
  5. Fresh Fruit Skewers: Using skewer rods is one of the most convenient ways to serve fruit, especially at outdoor events. 
  6. Mixed Nuts: Add a variety of nuts to ziploc bags or containers to have a healthy source of energy on hand during the game. 
  7. Cookies: Platters of cookies are a mess-free, convenient, and delicious dessert for tailgate festivities. 
  8. Brownies: If you opt against cookies, bring a tray of brownies to your next tailgate cookout for a decadent finale before kickoff. 
  9. Dips: Invest in airtight containers that resemble snack packs. Then, separate dips from chips, crackers, or veggies. This way, it’ll all stay organized in your coolers.

Cold Tailgate Food Ideas to Fill Up Your Coolers

Aside from foods that you cook on a grill, tailgate food should consist of anything you can leave in a cooler. So, consider what’s tasty when cold or room temperature, and use the items listed above as inspiration for upcoming game days at the stadium.

How to Own the Best Sports Bar to Watch Football

Football fans exist all across the nation. If you work as the restaurant manager or owner of a casual dining establishment, we recommend creating a sporty atmosphere. Converting the brand shouldn’t be too extensive or expensive. Meanwhile, you can quickly end up operating the go-to bar for football games. That sure sounds like a win to us!

As we begin wrapping up this guide, we’ll go over everything you must know about operating a successful sports bar. So, let’s dive right in!

Make Your Sports Bar the Best In Your Town With These 13 Tips

With the help of restaurant technology, restaurant marketing done right, and beyond, you can someday own the best sports bar in your area. Before you know it, football fans and foodies alike will flock to your establishment whenever there’s a major sporting event. Follow the thirteen steps below to achieve restaurant success:

  1. Choose a convenient and accessible location.
  2. Invest in dozens of high-definition televisions. 
  3. Decorate the bar with football memorabilia.
  4. Host an annual Super Bowl watch party. 
  5. Invest in innovative restaurant technology
  6. Hire an experienced team of marketing professionals. 
  7. Furnish the space with comfortable restaurant seating
  8. Source the best ingredients with an app like BlueCart.
  9. Create unique and mouth-watering food menus.
  10. Install sound systems throughout the bar. 
  11. Create a drink menu full of original and popular cocktails
  12. Thoroughly train the whole staff and each bartender
  13. Steadily maintain health and safety standards. 

Now It’s Time to Transform Your Business Into the Best Sports Bar

Prior to making any major changes to your business, conduct a thorough competitive or SWOT analysis for restaurant brands. As a result, you’ll have a clear understanding of where there is room for improvement. Then, you can make any necessary changes and swiftly become the best sports bar possible.

Best Sports Bars to Watch Football In the United States

Every American city is home to numerous sports bars. But which ones are the best? In this final section of the ultimate game day guide, we’ll put an end to this debate. See below for the breakdown of the nation’s ten best sports bars. 

The 10 Top Sports Bars In the US 

Can you take a guess as to which sports bars across the United States made our list of the top ten? If not, no worries–here they are:

  1. All Stars Sports Bar and Grill in New York, NY: Just a quick stroll from Central Park, you’re bound to find a little bit of everything in the vicinity of this popular sports bar. 
  2. XFINITY Live! in Philadelphia, PA: This is more than just a sports bar, but an entire complex full of various eateries. So, all Eagles fans can find something they like here
  3. Clover 3 in Austin, TX: As one of the more upscale bars on the list, Clover 3 is a popular destination for football fans in the Austin metropolitan area.
  4. Timothy O’Toole’s Pub in Chicago, IL: The “Windy City” is full of sports bars to cheer on the Bears, but many locals enjoy Timothy O’Toole’s daily food and drink specials. 
  5. Stats Brewpub in Atlanta, GA: Big enough to accommodate a large and energetic crowd, this brewpub even has a few different levels. 
  6. Harry’s Detroit Bar and Grill in Detroit, MI: One of the best parts about Harry’s is that they have a shuttle that goes to and from the stadium, which makes it perfect for game day festivities.
  7. Fleet Street Pub in Nashville, TN: Positioned amongst the loud music of downtown Nashville is one of the city’s best sports bars. Because who doesn’t love a sense of balance?
  8. Batch Gastropub in Miami, FL: With a bar and lounge, this gastropub creates a comfortable atmosphere for Miami locals to cheer on the Dolphins. Plus, their entire menu consists of local cuisine
  9. BoomerJack’s in Dallas, TX: Fans of the Dallas Cowboys get to enjoy a laid back atmosphere, happy hour, and an extensive menu at BoomerJack’s. The endless amount of positive customer reviews speaks for themselves!
  10. Brass Rail Sports Bar in Kansas City, MO: Cheering on the Chiefs has never been more enjoyable than at Brass Rail. From its lengthy menu to various forms of entertainment like darts and pool, there’s something for everyone.

Did Your Favorite Sports Bar Make the List?

It’s important to remember that qualities that make up the best sports bars to watch football for us might be different for someone else. It’s completely subjective and will vary depending on your interests and culinary preferences. However, there’s bound to be a sports bar you’ll love just a quick drive away!