4 summer restaurant promotions

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It’s officially summer, and for many in the restaurant industry it’s a time to tap into consumers’ warmer-weather dining mindset with promotions designed for picnics, barbecues, later-night dinners and playing outdoors.

Boston Market, Panda Express, Burger King and Sonic have all introduced limited-time offers designed to drive traffic through the warmer months. Here’s a look at their summer promotions.

Boston Market

Golden, Colo.-based Boston Market has officially declared itself the “Unofficial Sponsor of Summer” with a campaign that will run through August.

During the first leg, which runs through July 29, children 12 and under who visit their local Boston Market wearing a team uniform for any sport will get a free dessert with any kids’ meal purchase.

From June 25 to July 29, the chain will offer a “Summer at Its Best” sweepstakes, giving guests a chance to win a vacation for four to Maui and other prizes. Guests can enter by scanning a QR code found in every restaurant or by visiting www.bostonmarket.com.

From July 16 through July 20, in honor of the Tour de France, guests who ride their bike to a Boston Market can get a free individual meal with the purchase of another meal and drink.

In August, Boston Market is promising a special event hosted by “one of extreme sports’ most notable athletes” in a nationwide deal, but they won’t say just yet who it will be and when.

“Summer is the time to get out and get moving and Boston Market intends to provide our guests with quality meals and reasons to have fun in the months ahead,” said Sara Bittorf, chief brand officer. “As the temperatures rise, our diners — from the youngest sports fanatics to followers of the season’s most anticipated athletic events — will be rewarded with plenty of cool incentives.”

Boston Market has 476 locations nationwide.

Panda Express

Starting Friday, Panda Express is extending its hours for summer, through Labor Day.

Hours vary by location, but most restaurants are staying open until 11 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 10:30 p.m. on Sunday. Typically restaurants close by 10 p.m.

The extended hours start June 22, and that night, Panda Express is offering a Facebook coupon for a free single serving of orange chicken, from 9 p.m. to closing.

Panda Express has 1,500 locations in 42 states, Puerto Rico and Mexico.

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