Veteran's Day is November 11th, a holiday that honors the brave men and women who fought for our country. Veterans are a rare breed of people that were willing to sacrifice everything for the good of the nation. While the holiday is an important one to say thank you to this group of people, your organization has an opportunity to say thank you to these courageous folks with discounts and special offers year round. Since these men and women put their lives on the line for our freedom, you can provide the perfect atmosphere to show appreciation to all of these individuals (and their families!) To say thank you to vets every day, check out some of our suggestions to honor veterans in your operation.
Of course you will want to provide special offers during Veteran's Day to say thank you to vets, but there are other holidays throughout the year that are important to the vet community. Create special offers for veterans and their families during Memorial Day, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. While your location may have larger special offers for each of these holidays, it is good to have an sub-emphasis on the specific special offer you can provide veterans who stop into your restaurant with their families on these important holidays.
Many restaurants honor senior citizen discounts, but there are few that provide an ongoing discount for those who served the country. Establish an ongoing discount throughout the year that is provided to customers who show a military ID or VA card. This can be a nominal amount, such as 10-15%, but every little bit of discount you provide is a wonderful way to say thank you.
In addition to an ongoing veteran discount, consider establishing vet days throughout the year. Every few months, hold a Veteran Appreciation Day at your restaurant. The discount can be higher than your normal vet rate, such a 30% off the total bill, or it can be a special offer, such as BOGO meals so vets can take their families out for a nice meal. Not only is this a great way to say thanks, but it is a good way to drive more people into your restaurant during slow days or spotty times of the year. Offering these discounts help your restaurant build a rapport with the veteran community to create regulars at your restaurant for little off your bottom dollar.
Vets Eat Free Days
On Veteran's Day, there are many restaurants that will offer free meals to veterans. This is something you can offer as well, although it will be competitive. Also, vets may only stop into your restaurant for the one free meal and not make it a point to come back any time soon. To get a foothold of veteran regulars, try offering a quarterly Vets Eat Free Day (including Veteran's Day). This can establish your restaurant as someone who cares for veterans and make your location a destination for vet get-togethers and family meals.
Veteran Inspired Dishes
Showcase your love for veterans by having a special marker on your menu for dishes inspired by vets. This can be a twist on dishes that were popular during wartime, from WWII to the modern Iraq and Iran wars. Throwback dishes provide a sense of nostalgia and home for veterans and can become a favorite at your restaurant. Likewise, you can begin to monitor what dishes veteran customers order often and create a marker for vet favorites. For both of these options, you can provide a special price or discount for ordering these dishes to help show your love for the men and women of the military.
Go the Next Step - Support Local Veteran Charities
One of the most contentious topics in politics is the quality of life veterans receive when they return home from war. If you want to truly say thank you to vets and showcase your support, consider having your facility support a veteran-focused charity. This could be funding or providing volunteers to build tiny homes for homeless veterans, having employees volunteer at a local VA, or becoming a patron for a veteran group.
These ideas to honor those who served can make your facility a veteran destination. Not only does this create loyal customers who will continue to come back and provide revenue, but it also helps give back to those who served our country and helped secure our freedom.