For Father’s Day June 19, Philly-area small businesses will offer discounts, gift cards and more

Have you heard the old adage that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach? When it comes to Father’s Day this coming weekend, that adage seems to be a marketing tactic for many small businesses in the area.

According to the US Census Bureau, the idea of ​​Father’s Day was conceived more than a century ago by a young woman in Spokane, Washington, to honor her father, a widowed Civil War veteran who stayed behind to raise her six children on a farm. The day was formalized as a national holiday on the third Sunday in June 1972 by then-President Nixon, and its popularity has skyrocketed ever since.

The National Retail Federation estimates that consumer spending this Father’s Day will be around $20 billion with around 76 percent of American adults celebrating the occasion.

For local small businesses, it looks like much of this celebration will be centered around the two things parents love best: food and drink.

“We’re going to do an all-you-can-eat buffet for Father’s Day,” said Brooke Higgins, chef and owner of Sweet Lucy’s Smokehouse in Northeast Philadelphia. Father’s Day and Mother’s Day are among the busiest days of the year for the restaurant, which has been in business since 2003 and employs about 20 people full time.

“It’s a crazy day, and we do our best to keep up and ‘serve happiness,'” says Higgins.

Plenty of food is also on the table at Center City’s Iron Brewery. The restaurant chain, which has more than a dozen locations in the Philadelphia area, is preparing a special menu and running a gift card promotion in honor of the big day. “It’s an important day for us,” says Brendan Mullan, the restaurant’s regional chef. “Of course, any holiday that involves celebration combined with great food and beer is a solid day for us.”

BBQ and beer rings right up dad’s alley. But some also like a good glass of wine… or bourbon. And to serve that audience, Carley Razzi, co-owner of Penns Woods Winery in Chadds Ford, is hosting a special Father’s Day wine and whiskey event where two experts will guide guests through the creation of cocktails that include both in a classroom located inside the closed courtyard of the warehouse. Razzi, like many other small business owners, sees events like Father’s Day as an opportunity to attract new customers to her business.

“People looking for a fun and unique way to celebrate a holiday will attend one of our events and hopefully become long-term customers, or even members of the Wine Club,” he says.

Matt Hendricks, the owner of Thirsty Dice, which has been offering food, drinks (and shakes!) along with games since 2018, likens Father’s Day to yet another reason to bring families together for a common activity. “Certain holidays have been great for welcoming families, like Mother’s Day brunch or Halloween,” says Hendricks. “But with Father’s Day, it’s become much more focused on outdoor activities.”

And Kensington Community Food Co-Op, a member-owned grocery store, cafe and bar serving Kensington, Fishtown, Port Richmond, will offer Father’s Day specials throughout the weekend on local beers, organic vegetables and ” happy meat” (local meat raised sustainably). products).

I know it sounds like I’m insisting on food and drink…and I am. But other small businesses in the area that aren’t in the restaurant or bar industry are also taking advantage of Father’s Day to boost their sales.

For example, The Philadelphia Barber Co. and Hemlock Grooming Supply, which provides haircuts and sells grooming products to both barbers and consumers, is offering two Father’s Day promotions that offer discounts on their grooming supplies and even offer a special price on a father/son haircut.

“Father’s Day is always a great time in the store,” says Ken Cairns, co-owner. “We have many clients who bring their children with them for their own services, and we love having the opportunity to develop those relationships.”

Will higher prices keep buyers away? It doesn’t seem that way. Most of the small business owners I spoke with have done a good job of restructuring their menus and product offerings to balance inflation and supply chain issues so they can still serve their guests within their budgets. Prices have gone up, for sure. And some are offering a little less for the same price. But these changes are not expected to have a significant impact on demand.

“My expectation is that if we maintain a reasonable retail price, we can work together to overcome any inflation that is coming, allowing our business to remain open and produce high quality wines from locally grown grapes, and happy customers who are not seeing prices that are completely out of our reach,” says Razzi.

But some, like Hendricks, see higher prices already having an impact on their buying behavior.

“I think homeowners are running out of gimmicks and customers still need to find efficiencies in their own budgets, so they are increasingly turning to lower-cost alternatives,” he says. “With Father’s Day focusing more on outdoor activities, I’m guessing some families will opt for a picnic and a hike over a ball game or going out to dinner.”

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