Veterans Day is Friday, November 11. That means you have plenty of time to plan and execute a promotion honoring our veterans. After all, this important national holiday is about recognizing those who have served in our armed services. Our current political climate may be troubled, divisive and mired in vitriol, but we should all be able to set aside our differences and say thank you to those who have served our country irrespective of politics.
Whereas Memorial Day is a somber acknowledgement of service members who made the ultimate sacrifice defending our freedoms, Veterans Day can be celebrated more like other bar holidays. Take, for instance, the Ybor for Heroes’ annual pub crawl. This crawl is an annual celebration of the Marine Corps’ birthday (they’re 241 years old this year!) but is open to all veterans, as well as their friends and families. Three venues in Ybor City (a neighborhood located in Tampa, Florida) will be hosting the crawl, which includes dinner, cocktails, desserts, music, auctions and raffles: Gaspar’s Grotto, The Bad Monkey and The Lion’s Den Cigar Lounge Ybor. So, consider planning and participating in a similar pub crawl for Veterans Day (or, if you prefer, on November 10, the USMC birthday). If flying solo is more your thing, there’s no reason you can’t create a promotion honoring veterans that includes food and beverage specials, live music, raffles, and giveaways.
Speaking of food and beverages, several restaurants offer free food items or even meals to veterans on Veterans Day. Some of these promotions are general (free breakfast or entrée) while others are a bit more specific (free entrée under a certain price point, free dessert, free appetizer, etc.). The parameters are up to you. Known for your chicken wings? Offer veterans a portion in a size of your choosing for free with military ID. Have a well-curated craft beer selection? Get with your reps to see if any of their offerings have patriotic names and offer specials on those. A little creativity will serve you and the veterans in your area well.
Finally, Veterans Day offers you the opportunity to give back. Perhaps you, a manager at your bar or nightclub, or some on your staff are veterans. Without a doubt you have veterans living and working in your community. As temperatures drop now that we’re in autumn and winter is approaching, putting together a coat drive or other charity event is an excellent way to serve your local veterans. If you need assistance planning such an event there are several veterans services and other charitable organizations you can contact for help.
We should honor our veterans each and every day, and we should all go out of our way on November 11 to stop and say, “Thank you for your service,” to those who have served.