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National Restaurant Association - Making "mad" money in March

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Making "mad" money in March

Many eyes turn to the annual NCAA basketball tournament in March. If your restaurant has a loyal clientele of sports enthusiasts, this is a great opportunity to drive sales, particularly if the home team is playing. If not, your restaurant can capitalize on one of the biggest sports events of the year.

Here are three strategies for more impactful March marketing:

  1. Ride off the momentum of Selection Sunday. After the NCAA announces which college teams will play in the tournament, all college basketball fans want to see what happens next. Offer discounts to those dressed in the local team’s colors or particularly extravagant spirit wear.  
  2. Host a bracket party. One of the greatest joys and frustrations of the tournament is to try to predict who will come out on top. Draw in guests by sponsoring a bracket pool. Complete a bracket for the restaurant and post it on a prominent wall. Encourage guests to print a copy of their completed bracket and bring it in for a free appetizer.  
  3. Use agile marketing. A savvy marketer watches what’s going on and plans new promotions appropriately. Use an unexpected upset to offer free wings or discounted drinks. Cheer on the home team with increasingly rich rewards as they progress through the month. Did they reach the Final Four? Give guests free desserts for groups of four. Consider hosting a Facebook sweepstakes for free access to your party room. 

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