April Fools’ Day offers jokers and pranksters of all ages the chance to let loose and get a couple good laughs. While formal restaurants probably shouldn’t dabble in April Fools’ Day festivities, laid-back foodservices can certainly get in on the fun. Ideally if you’re playing a prank on a patron, you’ll want him to be regular who you know will take it well. If you joke around with a new customer, there’s a chance he might not be appreciate it and consequently never come back. So be sure that a customer will be okay with a prank, as offending anyone is the last thing you want to do on April Fools’ Day. With that said, here are a couple of April Fools’ Day prank ideas for your restaurant or foodservice.
One of the safest and most fun ways to celebrate April Fools’ Day at your restaurant is to have staff deliver a cake to a table while singing Happy Birthday. If you can, make sure beforehand that nobody at the table is actually celebrating a birthday. At the end of the song, the staff yells out, “April Fools” and good times ensue. The cake stays with the table, and everyone’s happy.
Another option is to offer fake menus that contain ridiculous meals that would never be offered at your restaurant. Stuff like cereal in chocolate milk, toasted waffles with Jell-O, and maybe some Pop-Tart a la mode. Let your imagination run wild. After the patron’s confusion simmers for a minute, a server should stop by the table, drop an “April Fools” and deliver the proper menus.
Altering your restaurants music playlist to feature joke songs is another route to take. You can’t go wrong with classic parody songs by an artist like Weird Al Yankovic. Andy Samberg’s comedic trio the Lonely Island also has some great options that will leave your customers in stitches. You might need to seek out censored versions of those songs, as some might contain profanity. It’s always a good idea to listen to songs beforehand and making sure there aren’t lyrics that you don’t want to broadcast.
Complete Restaurant Transformation
For restaurants that want to go all out for April Fools’ Day, there’s always the option of a complete transformation. If you operate a Greek restaurant, consider offering Mexican food for the day instead. Servers can dress up in traditional Mexican clothing, and a classic Mariachi band can serenade your diners. Before doing this, you’ll want to make sure your chefs are capable of cooking Mexican food and they have the ingredients required to do so.
If you don’t want to stray too far from your restaurant’s typical offerings, try to stay within the same culinary region of the world. So if you operate a Chinese restaurant, maybe offer Thai food or Japanese dishes. If you’re an Italian restaurant, switching to Greek for a day is a fine choice.
The main thing to remember for April Fools’ Day at your restaurant is everything should be in good fun. What’s most important is that customers appreciate your joke and enjoy themselves. So above all, play to your customers’ tastes and never make them the punchline of a joke.