Skip navigation

Tax Day promos show consumers the money

Restaurant large and small say special ‘holiday’ deals drive traffic, awareness

Restaurants from high-end independents to nationwide fast-food chains are helping American income earners keep a little more of their hard-earned cash as they wade through this year’s extended “Tax Weekend.”

With the Internal Revenue Service’s federal tax filing deadline extended to April 18, rather than the standard April 15, the extra days give restaurants like Atlanta-based Arby’s Restaurant Group time to tie in special promotions. Operators that spoke to Nation’s Restaurant News said these campaigns increase sales and help keep brands top of mind.

Arby’s has declared April 15 as Free FryDay at all its locations, tying the Curly Fries giveaway to a required coupon printed from its Facebook page.

“Now that Tax Day has turned into Tax Weekend, we think everyone could use a little break,” Bob Kraut, Arby’s senior vice president for advertising and marketing communications, said in a statement. “We hope Free FryDay brings some much needed cheer to those who still need to finish their tax returns.”

All sizes of restaurant companies are getting in on the promotions as well. Go Roma, the six-unit Chicago-area Italian chain, will pick up the sales tax on all dine-in and carryout orders on Friday.

Jeff Drake, Go Roma’s president and co-founder, said: “These types of events have proven to increase traffic and sales, but more importantly they allow us to reward and continue the relationship with our fans, the guest who are true believers in what we do.”

Drake went on to say, “These types of ‘holidays’ give us the chance to thank them for their support and the guest another reason to use us.”

Margo Kesler of MMPR Marketing in Phoenix, Ariz., said tax-day promotions helps create appreciation among customers. “The one thing it does for the restaurant I create ‘top-of-mind’ recognition,” Kesler said.

Kesler’s firm is promoting a special “Tax Day Blues” dinner for fine-dining chef Michael DeMaria’s Heirloom American Restaurant in Scottsdale, Ariz. Heirloom is offering a special three-course dinner on Friday for $55.

Among other food and beverage promotions among chains and independents around the nation:

• Hooters: On Monday, April 18, Hooters of America LLC offers customers a “buy 10 get 10 wings for free.”
• Cinnabon: Bakeries on Monday will be giving away two Cinnabon Bites from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
• P.F. Chang’s China Bistro: Chang’s customers get a 15 percent discount on Monday.
• Subway: Starting Monday, and lasting to April 29, the sandwich chain offers customers a “tax break” with deal to buy one Footlong and get one free. The limit is one per customer.
• McCormick & Schmick’s: The seafood chain is giving $10.40 “tax relief certificates” all this week to customers who order drinks at the bar.
• Bruegger’s: The bagel chain offers a pack of 13 bagels and two tubs of cream cheese for $10.40 through Monday with a coupon downloaded from its Facebook page.
• Bull & Bear: The Chicago public house on Friday is offering 25 percent off meals and drinks for any certified public accountant.
• Chili’s Grill & Bar: The casual-dining chain is offering a free appetizer or dessert through Monday with a coupon printed from its Facebook page.
• RA Sushi: The 25-unit division of Benihana is hosting a “Manic Monday” promotion nationwide, extending happy hour from 3 p.m. to close at all locations.
• Steel in Dallas is offering a bento box lunch special all week for the form-fitting price of $10.40.
• 701, Oval Room and Bibiana Osteria-Enoteca: Ashok Baja’s three Washington, D.C., restaurants on Monday will serve a special three-course lunch menu for $20.11. Menus will vary at each restaurant.
• Spice Market: The dinner-only restaurant in the W Atlanta-Midtown is offering 50 percent off bottles of wine for the entire month of April.
• Locanda del Lago: The Santa Monica, Calif., northern Italian restaurant on Friday offers the “1099 Sweet Return” cocktail for a $10.99.
• Napa Valley Grille: Throughout Tax Day weekend, the Westwood Village, Calif., restaurant will pour “The Write Off,” a twist on the classic Manhattan for $14.
• Gladstones: The Malibu, Calif., seaside restaurant will feature a special “Refund Punch” cocktail all-day on Friday, playing off the date and offering it for $4.15.
• Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop: The Los Angeles salad restaurant will help guests “Get Their Greens Back” by paying the tax on all menu items purchased at the Beverly Hills and Century City locations on Friday.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected].

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.