Whether we like it or not, pumpkin spice-flavored everything is back in our lives, so it’s time to admit that autumn is here. Get your business into gear after the summertime slump and increase restaurant sales this season by falling into these marketing ideas for restaurants.
October Marketing Ideas for Restaurants:
October: National Dessert Month
Sweeten October with promotions celebrating National Dessert Month! Attract more diners by offering a free mini-dessert with every entrée purchase or for each table to share. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, but a unique creation or signature dessert would be good choices. Dessert photos also are also highly-effective social media content, so you can increase your reach and engagement by posting intriguing photos of the desserts your restaurant offers on your Facebook and Instagram pages.
October: National Pasta Month
From spaghetti to soba, these doughy delights are staples at many restaurants across cuisine types. Pasta specials are a simple way to integrate this “holiday” into your marketing strategy, and this ingredient’s flexibility (pun intended) makes it easier to feature a new special each week. Races and marathons are also very popular October events due to the cooler weather, and runners love to carbo-load before a race. Use the big running events in your area as a tie-in promotion offering free pasta dishes for those running the day before the race.
October 1: World Vegetarian Day
Barbecue spots and steakhouses might have more difficulty jumping on board with this idea, but most restaurants can shine with specials on meatless options for this event. As healthier options are becoming more prominent in the restaurant industry, this is also the perfect day to introduce a veggie-focused menu item, whether it’s a new entrée or side. Just make sure there are absolutely no meat, fish, or poultry by-products in the dish!
October 27: Cranky Co-Workers Day
I’m not a morning person, but my mood instantly improves when someone brings treats into the office to share. Increase your restaurant sales and put smiles on some cranky faces by offering specials on popular takeout items like bakery goods or sandwiches, encouraging your customers to buy these items to share at their workplace. Your restaurant can also offer a special on office lunch catering, which boosts to your catering business and expands your brand’s reach to future customers within those offices. Just be sure to promote it in advance with nearby companies so they can plan accordingly.
November Marketing Ideas for Restaurants:
November: No Shave November
Join this popular, annual campaign to raise cancer awareness by offering a half-priced order of your messiest food, like ribs, to customers sporting a beard during November. Whether the customer has the real deal or a fake version (extending the offer to women), this would also provide photo ops that you can use as engaging social media content. Don’t forget to get your staff involved and to post pictures of them as well. Just be sure to make a donation to the American Cancer Society in your restaurant’s name and post about it on social media, encouraging others to donate too, since that is what No Shave November is all about.
November: National Pepper Month
Kick up your marketing with specials featuring flavorful heat! Pepper is one of the most common spices in the culinary world, so restaurants can readily execute this idea. Pick the most peppery item on your menu for the promotion, or whip up something new with more unique varieties like pink peppercorns or the outrageously spicy Ghost Pepper as a limited time offer (LTO) for November.
November 15: America Recycles Day
According to the National Restaurant Association, 60% of customers said they prefer to patronize restaurants that recycle, so share your restaurant’s recycling efforts on social media this environment-loving “holiday”. LSRs can also assign an employee to sort recycling at the restaurant’s trash receptacles. This shows your restaurant cares about the environment while providing another touch point with customers thanking them for their business.
November 29: Small Business Saturday
Independent restaurants can easily use this shopping holiday to attract diners with window signage and social media posts showing support for their community. Larger restaurant groups can use this as a promotion, too, by featuring locally-sourced ingredients from small farms and artisans. Is your restaurant in a popular shopping district? Use window signage and social media posts to encourage local shoppers to take a break and fuel up with a delicious meal. Remember to use the hashtag #SmallBusinessSaturday!
However you decide to promote them, these marketing ideas for restaurants are great ways to increase your customer engagement across all your restaurant social media and expand your customer base. Post to Facebook, tweet, create Pinterest boards, and Instagram photos or videos that tie into these special days leading up to, during, and after the promo. Try to include photos of your restaurant and food as much as possible – customers love a good #foodselfie!