US restaurants look to Father’s Day seafood promotions for boost

While United States restaurants continue to feel the pain of having dining rooms closed for several months, many are counting on seafood promotions to boost sales for Father’s Day.

Restaurants are creative with their promotions, knowing that some customers will be comfortable dining in – restaurants are in different phases of re-opening, depending on the state – and some will prefer take-out.

Tampa, Florida-based Bonefish Grill is offering a USD 19.90 (EUR 17.81) three-course lobster tail dinner through 21 June. The offer, available for dine-in only, includes a fresh steamed lobster tail, sides, house salad, and Classic Cheesecake.

Bonefish Grill is also offering several Family Bundle meals, which can be ordered for takeout. One of the Family Bundle meals includes bourbon-glazed salmon, a choice of salad, choice of a side, fresh bread with pesto, and fresh baked cookies. The salmon meal serves five people.

On 21 June, Carlsbad, California-based Rubio’s Coastal Grille is offering a free adult entree with the purchase of another adult entree, after customers download a coupon.

Rubio’s also reminded customers that it offers “easy ordering through the app, online at, or in-store.” It is offering free delivery on all orders of USD 20 (EUR 17.85) or more through 30 June. 

New Orleans, Louisiana-based Link Restaurant Group, which operates several restaurants including Cochon and Butcher in New Orleans, is offering several different options for dine-in and take-out for Father’s Day.

“Order your Father’s Day Meat Packages to cook at home OR take dad out and make your reservations at Cochon, Peche, and Gianna,” Link said in a email to customers, along with photos of meat and fish dishes.

Bahama Breeze, owned by Orlando, Florida-based Darden gave customers two options for Father’s Day: “Treat your dad to our deck [or] bring the islands home to dad’s deck,” it said in an email to customers.

Meanwhile, Boston, Massachusetts-based Legal Sea Foods, which closed all of its restaurants in mid-March, is slowly re-opening some of its restaurants for takeout. It re-opened its Legal Harborside location for takeout on 18 June and will re-open Legal Sea Foods in Chestnut Hill on 25 June, the restaurant operator said in an email to customers.

The company also reminded customers that its online fish market is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“We ship our clam chowder, lobster, and fish anywhere in the continental USA,” Legal said.

While all restaurants are working hard to regain business lost due to the pandemic, they face an uphill battle for the remainder of this year and possibly beyond.

Forty-nine percent of consumers said they will not return to pre-COVID-19 levels of activity until there is a vaccine available, according to a recent KPMG survey.

Plus, a recent report found that 85 percent of independent restaurants may close by the end of the year if direct government aid is not provided.

“The collapse of independent restaurants would ignite a downward economic spiral with ripple effects in other already hard-hit industries in the travel, hospitality, and leisure sector that would be felt for years,” according to the Independent Restaurant Coalition and Compass Lexecon’s economic report, which was released on 10 June.

Overall restaurant revenues plummeted 64 percent in April and May, the IRC said. Restaurant revenue in counties that have reopened remain about 45 percent below prior year levels, the report found.

Already, some well-known seafood chains, such as McCormick & Schmick’s, have been forced to close some restaurants due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result, the restaurant industry is praising legislation such as the new Real Economic Support That Acknowledges Unique Restaurant Assistance Needed to Survive (RESTAURANTS) Act of 2020, which would establish a USD 120 billion (EUR 107 billion) revitalization fund to help independent restaurants deal with the long-term structural challenges facing the industry caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The need for relief for independent restaurants cannot be overstated in a time of so much uncertainty. Independent restaurants that had limited openings are now closing again,” IRC said in a press release.

“Many still wait for Paycheck Protection Program loans and are accumulating more and more debt in the process. This is about more than preserving our most cherished places of celebration and gathering – it’s about bringing a massive economy of over 16 million workers and billions of dollars in spending back to life,” IRC added.

Photo courtesy of Rubio’s


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