As summertime winds down and kids begrudgingly return to school, wrap up the season by increasing restaurant sales and traffic with these marketing ideas. From quirky holidays to annual gatherings, these fun promos will get your restaurant in gear by creating buzz and attracting customers.
August Marketing Ideas for Restaurants:
August – National Sandwich/Panini Month
As an LTO, your menu can feature a new sandwich every week during the month of August. This gives your chefs the chance to experiment with what they can put between two slices of bread, and you can consider putting the big sellers on the menu permanently. Don’t normally offer sandwiches? Get creative with specials like ice cream sandwiches for dessert. Even a stacked creation with the same top and bottom layers could qualify as a “sandwich”.
August 3 – Friendship Day/Sisters Day
To celebrate the bonds of sisterhood and friendship, your restaurant can offer customers a deal if they bring a friend or sister with them to dine at your restaurant. Whether it’s buy one, get one half off entrees, free appetizers or a special dessert, this promotion will encourage diners to increase their party size and possibly introduce your restaurant to new loyal customers.
August 13 – Left Hander’s Day
Make southpaws feel special with a promotion offering a free appetizer or dessert to lefties who dine in your restaurant. If you don’t want to just take your customers’ word for it, have them sign a guestbook with their left hand and post a photo of the signatures on your social media pages. You can even increase engagement with your social media by asking your followers if they can spot any fakers!
Mid-August-Early September – Fantasy Football Drafts
When groups gather to choose players for their fantasy football league teams, they’re bound to work up an appetite. Make your restaurant part of the draft parties by offering private event spaces for on-site parties and ensuring your restaurant’s Wi-Fi is reliable and free for your customers. Wi-Fi is key for these folks, so if you don’t have it, consider getting it, at least for these two months. For off-site draft parties, feature specials on popular picks like wings and pizza for pick up, delivery, or catering.
September Marketing Ideas for Restaurants:
September 5 – Be Late for Something Day
Normally lingering diners would decrease table turnover, but a promotion for this “holiday” would encourage diners to order something extra at the end of their meal that they wouldn’t have otherwise. Offer specials such as half-price desserts or BOGO martinis, and your diners will be persuaded to stay, spend more, and catch the later movie instead.
September 13 – Fortune Cookie Day
Even if you don’t own a Chinese restaurant, this is an easy giveaway to show appreciation for your customers. Purchase a hearty supply of the treats to serve at the end of your diners’ meals, or try making your own. You can also create your own fortunes to put inside that could thank customers for dining or even serve as a coupon for a future dine.
September 19 – International Talk Like A Pirate Day
Pirates love rewarrrrds! Get your staff to dress like buccaneers (eyeliner on men is encouraged) and brush up on their pirate lingo to make the day fun for both your employees and customers. Sea-worthy specials like surf ‘n’ turf or tropical rum-based drinks will drum up merriment among diners. You can also offer special deals if customers order while talking like a pirate – I’ll have the barrrrbecue chicken, matey!
September 20-October 5 – Oktoberfest
A restaurant doesn’t have to be strictly German to celebrate Oktoberfest. Get into the spirit of the world’s largest fair with specials on German beers like Beck’s, Spaten, or any Oktoberfest variety from breweries like Sam Adams or Leinenkugel. Food specials could also incorporate German ingredients like bratwurst, sauerkraut, pretzels, or beer. Asking your staff to dress in lederhosen or dirndl dresses is a fun idea if they can polka too.
No matter what you promote, these August and September marketing ideas for restaurants offer some great cross-promotion opportunities across all your social channels – before, during and after the promo. Give your great idea legs and keep your engagement up – don’t forget to snap photos and take 15-second videos for your Instagram pages, to create boards on Pinterest, and to tweet and Facebook about the big days, and don’t forget the hashtags.
Contact Rewards Network for more ways to market your restaurant and attract customers.