While most people are rejoicing in the return of the sun, some restaurant owners may fear summer bringing a slightly darker cloud as more customers are enjoying the outdoors instead of dining in. However, by using marketing strategies that tie your restaurant to summer events, this exciting season can bring in even more business.
Here are our June and July marketing ideas for restaurants:
June 3—National Egg Day
As one of the top restaurant food trends in 2014, eggs are a delicious and easy way to enhance your entrees beyond the breakfast menu. From fried eggs on burgers to hardboiled salad toppers, your restaurant can hop on this hot food fad by featuring eggs in your daily specials or highlighting the egg-centric items already on your menu.
June 12-13—2014 FIFA World Cup
Take advantage of the global soccer smackdown with internationally-inspired fare. If your restaurant specializes in the cuisine of a competing country, specials and game-watching events will attract hungry fans. Or you can offer specials with themes of top teams, like Spanish tapas, German beers or Argentine empanadas. Of course, make sure your TVs are tuned to the big games so fans won’t miss any of the action.
June 15—Father’s Day
While Mother’s Day is the bigger brunch holiday, diners still want to honor their fathers will a special meal. You can make your Father’s Day promotions distinctive with “dad-centric” specials on items like barbeque, burgers, steak, and anything with bacon–even cocktails!
June 19—National Martini Day
Shaken or stirred, if martinis are already on your cocktail menu this is the day to push their promotion. Special prices attract more business, as many customers are more enticed to buy two (or more) at $5 than at $7. Your bartenders can also use the “holiday” to concoct new creations that will excite your regular customers and could expand your future cocktail offerings.
June 21—Summer Solstice
Refreshing drinks and light fare make for perfect summertime sipping and snacking. Launch your seasonal specials on this first day of summer with dishes that feature fresh fruits and veggies. Summer-inspired cocktails can also utilize fruity flavors with bubbly or frozen twists.
July 4—Independence Day; Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest
Promote your restaurant’s patriotism with specials celebrating quintessential American foods like hot dogs, burgers, and apple pie. If your restaurant doesn’t typically serve American food, consider putting an American twist on your cuisine—like Oreo-infused desserts or a sushi roll with fried chicken. And what’s more American than pigging out on food? If your restaurant has an all-you-can-eat deal or Man v. Food-style challenge, this is the time to push it in your marketing.
July 13—National French Fries Day
Celebrate one of the most popular sides on restaurant menus by offering fries at a special price or as a free side with the purchase of any entree, not just sandwiches or burgers. Even add some novelty to your promotion with different varieties like sweet potato or zucchini, seasonings like truffle salt or old bay, and dipping sauces like sweet chili or beer cheese.
July 17—Get to Know Your Customers Day
Show your regulars how much you appreciate their business with special offers promoted through social media and or from providing restaurant feedback requests. Your managers should also visit with customers to ask about their restaurant experience. This shows your customers that you value their engagement with you both in and out of the restaurant, while also providing insight into your customer base. (All good to keep in mind all year long, not just on this day!)
July 21—National Junk Food Day; Global Hug Your Kid Day
It’s ironic that we celebrate our children on the same day we praise the calorie bombs we want them to avoid. If you choose to target families, offer special deals on kids’ meals, such as “kids under age 12 eat free with a paying adult.” Other, less family-focused restaurants can play up junk food festivities with specials utilizing snacky ingredients like Cheetos in mac n’ cheese or Coca-Cola barbecue sauce.
No matter what you decide to do, be sure to give these marketing ideas for restaurants some legs – promote your message far and wide in-store and online through social media in advance and in real time. Pictures of events are a great way to engage your customers with your social media and can be used to promote in advance the following year.
Contact Rewards Network for more ways to market to your customers using proven, data-driven techniques.