The holiday season is far behind us, and summer holidays are still a warm thought, not quite within our reach just yet. Fear not, there are still plenty of great reasons to celebrate this spring and even more great ways to help promote your restaurant. Check out our April and May marketing ideas for restaurants:
1 – April Fools’ Day: Depending on your audience, their loyalty and what tone your restaurant usually uses, you can throw a tasteful prank on your customers. Think of something creative that will leave them smiling afterwards without offending them or ruining your good reputation. Pretend it’s a loyal customer’s birthday, change your menus around (for example, offer breakfast at dinner or dinner at breakfast), or your staff can dress up like a big snowstorm is coming. Whatever it is, just be fun and make sure nobody will get offended. It’s only a good prank if the customer is laughing afterwards.
1-7 – The NCAA Basketball Tournament: March Madness will be finishing off in April with April 7 being the National Championship game. Offer specials at your bar to help make your location their first choice, and consider bringing in extra tv’s for your dining room and even the bathrooms.
11 – Pet Day: Due to most county laws, you probably can’t invite all the furry friends into your establishment, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate them. This is a great theme for your restaurant Pinterest boards, Instagram account and other social media platforms. Also, if you have a patio open and if your county and city laws allow, you can promote a celebration with customers and their pets. Just be sure to check with your local laws, set some ground rules for the pet party patio participation and be conscious of your staff’s needs, likes and dislikes in this arena.
20 – Easter Sunday: Did you know that buffets are one of the most sought-after menus during Easter? Consider this approach for a special Easter brunch offering and start promoting it right away – reservations will probably be necessary!
4 – Kentucky Derby: Make sure to promote this popular event if you will be showing it on your restaurant and bar televisions. This is a great day to have party and drink specials with a Kentucky cuisine theme. You can host a hat contest to encourage people to dress up and watch the race. Another great way to encourage participation is to allow guests to draw a horse’s name out of a hat where the winner of the corresponding horse gets a prize. No matter what you do, be sure to have your camera ready for your social media, customers love a great excuse to wear a big hat on Kentucky Derby Day.
5 – Cindo de Mayo: This is a great time to have tequila cocktails ready to go. If you are a Mexican restaurant, it makes sense to have party or catering menus around the restaurant prior to the day to promote the occasion, but you don’t have to be a Mexican restaurant to celebrate this fun day. Promote a special food and drink menu, offer hats and other accessories to guests and get in the spirit and in the door.
8 – NFL Draft: The 1st day of the NFL Draft can be an exciting time to bring back NFL fans to your bar. You can promote fantasy football parties as well to get them thinking about your place when next season rolls around.
11 – Mother’s Day: You already know this is one of the busiest times of the year for restaurants. Stand out from the crowd and offer all moms something special like complimentary appetizers or even a gift certificate for future visits.
18 – Billboard Music Awards: Have a viewing party at the bar area. Create specialized menus that are affiliated with the musical artists (e.g. the “Wrecking Meatball Sandwich” after the Miley Cyrus song “Wrecking Ball”). These could make great “punny” photos for your Facebook and Instagram pages leading up to the big day.
Whatever you celebrate in your restaurant this spring, and however you celebrate it, be sure to start promoting it in advance on your social media channels. And definitely take lots of pictures during so you have more current content for your channels and a great way to promote again next year. Stay tuned for more great marketing ideas for restaurants this summer!
Contact Rewards Network for more great ways to promote your restaurant to millions of frequent diners.