As I’ve written these monthly restaurant marketing ideas articles for a few years now, I usually feature some quirky food holidays that would make for fun food and drink promotions at your restaurant or bar.
But on June 2, one of those food holidays really caught on: National Doughnut Day was everywhere.
That morning, I awoke to three new emails touting Doughnut Day specials. I walked to the gym and saw two shops with Doughnut Day signs in their windows (which almost deterred my workout). I opened Instagram and every foodie I follow from across the country had at least one Doughnut Day post.
To be honest, I’m not a doughnut person – I don’t even eat the ones coworkers bring to share in the office. But on that day, I really wanted a doughnut. So this month, make sure your business doesn’t miss out on the next big foodie holiday to drive traffic and increase sales with these restaurant marketing ideas for July.
National Ice Cream Month
Move over, Doughnut Day – we have a whole month dedicated to a treat that brings sweet relief from the summer heat.
Make your ice cream offerings stand out this month with trendy flavors and dessert creations. Charcoal ice cream is this summer’s hottest and darkest flavor, but other flavors piquing consumer interest include matcha (green tea), rosé, and strawberry balsamic.
Freakshakes, the calorie-bomb behemoths, are still highly trendy and can help stimulate buzz around your ice cream drinks. Thai-style rolled ice cream is also highly Instagrammable and easy to hack. Simply freeze a layer of mixed ice cream in a metal pan or skillet and use paint scrapers to roll it out once solidified.
For healthier and lactose-free options that are still trendy, you can use coconut milk as your ice cream’s base or create sorbets with fun fruits like lychee and prickly pear.
July 13: National French Fry Day
Regardless of whether McDonald’s fry-fork is the utensil of the future, the average American still eats 29 pounds of French fries a year. This is the day to capitalize on this consistent consumer demand for fried potatoes with French fry promotions.
The poutine fad is starting to decline, but it’s being replaced by “loaded” fries that swap the cheese curds and gravy for just about any other topping you can imagine. Taco Bell is testing “Supreme” nacho fries, Carl’s Jr. has beer cheese bacon fries, and the secret is out on In-N-Out’s Animal-style fries.
If fries are already on your menu, make sure to post tempting photos of your offerings across social media. I’ll even let you borrow this great caption: “It may be Thursday, but every day at [Your Restaurant] is FRYday! #nationalfrenchfryday” (You’re welcome.)
July 21: National Junk Food Day
As much as consumers claim to be increasingly health-conscious, we’re still seeing restaurant marketing ideas and food trends on the opposite extreme with Freakshakes, loaded fries, and Frappuccinos named after every mythical creature. Restaurant goers are still looking to indulge occasionally, so National Junk Food Day is a great excuse for a “cheat day.”
Promote your decadent dishes or create a daily special that incorporates junk food classics. Hot Cheetos mac and cheese? Yes, please. Fried chicken coated with Cap’n Crunch? Aye, aye, Cap’n. Homemade Pop-Tarts? The possibilities are endless!
July 24: National Tequila Day
Consider this holiday another shot at Cinco de Mayo. Your National Tequila Day promotion could be as simple as a classic margarita special or deals on tequila shots, which can attract a happy hour crowd looking to cure the Monday blues.
If your city doesn’t allow happy hour specials or discounts on alcohol in general, you can still celebrate National Tequila Day with unique cocktail offerings highlighting the Mexican liquor. Pineapple or blood orange juice make refreshing pairings with tequila for a twist on a Paloma, or add some jalapeno to a classic grapefruit Paloma for a fiery special. Take a Moscow Mule south of the border by substituting the vodka for tequila with ginger beer. Or for a special that’ll pop, combine tequila, St. Germain, and sparkling wine. Cheers!
July 26: National Bagelfest Day
You know what looks like bagels? Doughnuts. Since National Doughnut Day was such a big hit, so you don’t want to miss this second chance at foodie holiday success. If your restaurant makes its own bagels, use Bagelfest to experiment with some new toppings and schmears.
For inspiration, check out the source of the bagel craze: The Bagel Store in Brooklyn, NY, home of the original Rainbow Bagel. Then there are the trendy creations at The Bagel Nook in Freehold, NJ. From their famous Flamin’ Hot Cheeto bagel and highly-Instagrammed Oreo bagel, to the new cotton candy bagel, this spot is becoming one of the leaders of the bagel revolution.
So whether you stick to the classic flavors and bagel sandwiches, or want to flex your creative muscles with some original creations, National Bagelfest Day specials can help your restaurant or bakery see the customers (and revenue) come rolling in.
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