Pride Month is about to be celebrated throughout June and restaurants are getting ready to be the beating heart of it all. This year’s theme is “All in This Together” as #SFpride51 focuses on the local community. Although the main parade in San-Francisco was cancelled, several online events as well as two major outdoor in-person events will take place, all promoting solidarity, visibility and joy in celebration of the LGBTQ+ community.
There are many ways for your restaurant to take part both to celebrate and to leverage this special occasion to increase sales. Let’s dig in!
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Cornerstone Events During San Francisco Pride Month
The SF pride parade has been an international annual event since 1970. With an extravagant and colorful procession led by the main supporting groups like Dykes on Bikes and the Friends and Families organization.
Last year all events were held online but 2021 will have some cornerstone outdoor in-person events too.
On June 11-12, two film screenings will be held at Oracle Park by SFpride in cooperation with Frameline, the queer cinema NGO, and the San Francisco Giants. Frameline will also be hosting their own full schedule of outdoor and online screenings.
The second noteworthy event is Black Liberation Celebration, to be held on June 18, celebrating the shared fight for equality between African Americans and the LGBTQ+ culture.
For restaurants, it’s worth reaching out to explore collaboration surrounding these events, for example, for screening at your establishment. For food trucks, check out options for providing food at the events.
Why Supporting the LGBTQ+ Community Is Good for Business
It has been shown that businesses with a high sense of purpose enjoy increased consumer interest and higher growth rates than those who do not campaign for clear values when the time comes.
It’s no wonder then that for years food and beverage brands have been ‘cause marketing’ under the LGBTQ+ umbrella. This includes everything from special menu items and donation campaigns to apps like OpenTable showcasing gay owned restaurants. Remember Burger King’s 2014 ‘Pride Whopper’?
It also goes without saying that the LGBTQ+ community is not an isolated one anymore. The restaurant world is abundant with queer people, and they are being increasingly recognized. First and foremost, as successful restaurateurs but also as an integral part of the front- and back-of-house staff.
So supporting the LGBTQ+ community is only natural as your employees and patrons are all undoubtedly connected to it in some fashion.
Restaurants Celebrate Pride Month with Rainbow Colors and More
There are tons of ways restaurants can show their support without losing the integrity of their brand style, ambiance and attitude to food. Here’s a few.
As for restaurant design, a few well placed decorations will go a long way to signal that you support the cause and accept all customers equally. A flag or multicolor cocktail umbrellas should do the trick. If you want to go all-in on the festivities – be our guest!
When it comes to food, Pride Month is the perfect opportunity to experiment and play. Special dishes like rainbow pancakes and cocktails are a no-brainer, but if that doesn’t suit your style, remember that a multicolor kitchen doesn’t have to be kitsch.
Separating colors across the menu or alternating colors by day or week is simple and chic. This could even drive return customers wishing to complete the ‘rainbow tasting menu’. Don’t neglect to create a fun new menu design, whether it’s digital or in print and rebrand your promotions. 2-for-1 Queen Hour anyone?
Get Your Rainbow Supplies from Cheetah
After food and colors, go deeper into substance. Talk to your staff about their personal connection with the LGBTQ+ community. You might discover stories close to home that can be shared as examples of your restaurant’s support of the pride values.
The community extends beyond LGBTQ+ people themselves and Pride Month is a time when parents, family and friends of the community rally to show their support and love.
When customers see that dining with you directly means supporting what they believe in, you become a team. Donating a portion of every sale to a LGBTQ+ cause will ring clear with your clients. If you’re not sure which cause to choose, the official SF pride donation site could be just what you’re looking for.
This year the SF pride organization hopes to renew the dialog around equity in the local LGBTQ community. Hosting socially distanced discussions or lectures at your venue, perhaps even streamed with delivery service could be beneficial for everyone.
After you’ve decided how colorful your support will be, don’t forget to take all that to the digital space as well. Social media banners about promotions or donations and posts about the insider stories you want to share will go a long way in driving traffic to the dinner table.
Finally, reach out to your food app partners to be showcased. If you’re still deliberating about food delivery apps, check out our in-depth review of third party food delivery apps here.
Need-to-Know Social Distancing Updates for Pride Month
Note that restaurant social distancing guidelines in San Francisco are set to change on June 15, when all COVID restrictions on capacity and physical distancing will be removed. Follow us to stay up to date on the recent guidelines.
For now, when planning Pride Month, be sure to take the current conditions into account.
- Capacity: Indoor dining limited to 50% of capacity, bars to 25% capacity
- Groups: Up to 25 people with 8 per table and 6 ft apart
- Outside dining: If positioning outside seating, leave 6 ft. of sidewalk for pedestrians.
On a final note, remember that this month is all about celebrating our individual identity, so don’t lose your youness. That is exactly what Pride Month is about and it applies to everyone.