November Restaurant Marketing Ideas

The months are flying by and we’re entering the second to last one of the year. You’re probably busy with menu changes, events, and just the typical hustle and bustle of a crowded dining room. We want to make your life as a restaurant owner easier by providing you with marketing ideas to use in November. Read on for November marketing ideas to fill seats in your restaurant.

World Vegan Day

The Vegan Society was established in 1994 and has been celebrating World Vegan Day on November 1st ever since. The entire month is celebrated by the society as a way to commemorate how the vegan movement has progressed.

If you’re a vegan restaurant, this is the perfect opportunity to celebrate! Run promotions, offer prizes, and introduce a limited-time menu for the day (or the entire month). If you’re not a vegan restaurant, you might still consider celebrating the holiday by offering discounts on your vegan menu items or offering an entirely vegan menu for the day.

Get creative and educate your guests on The Vegan Society and World Vegan Day. There is a lot of history and news associated with veganism. This is a great way to spark a conversation about the impact the movement has had.

You can incorporate social media efforts as well. Ask guests about their experience with veganism, what made them go vegan, or what some of their favorite vegan meals are. You can post customer highlights on your social media pages throughout the month and tag all relevant trending hashtags for more exposure.

World Sandwich Day

Just two days later, on November 3rd, is World Sandwich Day. Whether it’s a PB&J, a Philly Cheesesteak, or an Italian submarine, sandwich lovers rejoice!

If you serve up sandwiches, offer a buy-one-get-one deal on select, or even all, sandwiches on your menu. Create combos to sweeten the deal, offering a side of chips and a drink for a low price.

Make the celebration fun by creating a “World Sandwich Day” exclusive sandwich. Give the guests who order the item a discount card or code to be used for next time. This inspires repeat business through incentive.

You should start advertising for this holiday soon to create buzz and excitement. Send out a fun email blast letting customers know you’ll be celebrating on November 3rd. Spread the word on social media and post an announcement on your SinglePage menu.

If you’ve found success with direct mail, send out coupon cards to redeem in-store on November 3rd only. Testing out different marketing strategies can help bring in more business.

Remember, our new Holiday Calendar keeps you informed of all upcoming holidays relevant to your restaurant. Learn more about it here.

Fall Festival or Holiday Bash

If you didn’t ring in fall in September or October, it’s not too late! Host a fall festival or usher in the holiday season with a holiday bash. Offer guests complimentary cider and sweets, provide entertainment, and throw in a few contests or giveaways.

Plan this event at a time that’s typically slow for your business to get the most out of the gathering. Get people excited about upcoming holiday celebrations, surprise them with a seasonal menu, and give them a reason to leave the couch during hibernation season.

Thanksgiving

Arguably the most celebrated and most filling holiday of the month, Thanksgiving is taking place on November 22nd this year. Although many people cook their turkey and stuffing at home, some have made a tradition of dining out for the holiday.

In fact, the NRA found that in 2017, 1 out of 10 adults (9%) were planning to go to a restaurant for Thanksgiving.

If you’re open to serving guests on Thanksgiving, make sure they’re aware of it. If they haven’t already, people will soon be making reservations for the feast. There are limited dining options with some restaurants choosing to close for the day, so inform guests of your availability. Make sure your hours of operation are correct online so people can plan accordingly.

You’ll most likely serve a pre-fixe menu with all of the traditional fixings. Determine pricing for the event and advertise it by posting a Thanksgiving-specific menu online. People will want to weigh their options before making a reservation, so give them all the information they’re looking for. Need help? SinglePlatform can get your holiday menu and business information online ahead of Thanksgiving (contact us!)

Are there any other elements that help you stand out as the place to be on Thanksgiving? Maybe you’re streaming the Macy’s Day Parade or the sought-after football games. People are looking to celebrate by continuing the traditions they’ve had for years. Let them know about the entertainment you’ll be offering. Social media, your website, and emails are all great ways to keep guests informed.

Small Business Saturday

Riding on the coattails of Thanksgiving is Small Business Saturday on November 24th. Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season as a whole, but Small Business Saturday is a way to inspire communities to support their local businesses. It is supported and marketed by American Express; they even provide free marketing materials that you can use.

Small Business Saturday has seen success in recent years. According to American Express:

[In 2017, an estimated 108 million consumers reported shopping or dining at local independently-owned businesses on Small Business Saturday — generating roughly $12 billion in reported spend.]

Although you’re not a retail business, you can still participate. If you want to get involved by providing specials to people looking for a break from their shopping journey, go for it. Coffee, snack, and lunch specials can go a long way when serving hungry shoppers.

Do you offer holiday gift baskets, gift cards, or other items around this time of year? Promote the sale ahead of Saturday. You can even put up a sidewalk sign letting passersby know that you may just have the perfect gift.

Participating in Small Business Saturday is a great way to interact with your community and attract more business. In fact, according to Business Wire, 90% of consumers have noted that Small Business Saturday has had a positive impact on their community. Kick off the holiday season by getting involved this November.

In Closing

The calendar keeps turning and November is just days away. Plan your marketing strategies for the month now to get a head start on attracting customers to dine with you. There are plenty of holidays to recognize and events to host in order to make the most out of the month. Use these restaurant marketing ideas for November to inspire new business.

Interested in other generic restaurant marketing ideas? Check out our 9 Simple Restaurant Marketing Ideas blog.

Tricks & Treats: Halloween Restaurant Marketing Ideas

Spooky season has commenced and the Halloween holiday is just around the bend. Your restaurant can utilize the festivities of October 31st to do some effective marketing. We highlight the Halloween restaurant marketing ideas that will have guests in for a treat.

The Facts

Just how popular is Halloween? Well, in 2018 it’s projected that 175 million Americans will be celebrating! A total of 9 billion dollars is projected to be spent on the holiday alone this year.

Run a Costume Contest

Who doesn’t love to dress up and take on a new persona for Halloween? Sure, wearing a costume isn’t for everyone, but many people will be willing to participate, especially if there is an incentive.

Run a costume contest at your restaurant either the weekend before Halloween or the day of. You can even keep the party going all week long and have a different theme each day. Each day of the week can offer prizes for a new category, like scariest costume or most creative group idea. Allow all participants to vote on the best costume, tally the votes, and treat the winner of each category to a free meal on the house.

Or, let everyone win by offering a discount or free menu item to anyone who comes with a costume. Take photos of participants to post on your social pages so all of your followers can tune into the fun.

Quick Tip: You should start marketing your contest in email, on your social accounts, and on your SinglePage announcement now so customers can brainstorm ideas and put together a winning costume.

Cook Up Spooky Treats and Eats

Channel your inner ghoul or goblin and come up with an inventive Halloween exclusive menu that’s only available surrounding the holiday. You can incorporate autumn flavors, like maple, pumpkin, and cinnamon to create irresistible menu items for humans and zombies alike. Get creative with the names and descriptions, riffing on popular Halloween-related characters like Dracula, The Mummy, and The Addams Family (to name a few) to make it more fun.

Stir up some tasty elixirs, both alcoholic and non, to delight guests on the chilly autumn night. Witches’ brew, zombie potion, and Dark n’ Stormy cocktails will get diners in the spirit of spook. Take the presentation to the next level by serving the drinks in cauldrons or with dry ice.

Offering bar snacks? Make those festive too. Throw some candy corn into your Chex Mix or popcorn and add pieces of chocolate to your nut assortment. Because Halloween is mostly about the candy, right?

Quick Tip: Make sure to post your All Hallow’s Eve menu online early so hungry diners can make plans to visit your restaurant for the holiday.

Host a Trick-or-Treat Event

Although trick-or-treating is meant for kids, both youngsters and adults should be able to participate at your restaurant if they wish.

Offer up some candy treats or goodie bags to all of your ghoulish guests on Halloween night. If families know you’re hosting this type of event, they will be inspired to dine with you prior to their door-to-door candy-scoring journey. You can start their quest for candy on the right foot by getting in on the fun.

To make things more interesting, include some restaurant gift cards in random bags and let customers know they have a chance of winning a special prize.

Ask parents for permission to take photos for your social accounts and post them throughout the night on your Instagram story.

Quick Tip: Send out a reminder about your trick-or-treat event on social media and post about it on your website prior to Halloween.

Hire a Murder Mystery Company

There’s no better time of year to host a murder mystery dinner at your restaurant. There are companies that specialize in providing all the props, characters, and storylines needed so you can focus on the food. Ask guests to buy tickets in advance and come prepared for a challenging and suspenseful night.

Depending on the company you hire, you can choose from different themes, whether you want to host a roaring 1920s event or a creepy mystery from the 1980s. Encourage participants to come in a costume that reflects the theme to make it more genuine. And let the games begin!

Quick Tip: Do some research to see how much hiring a murder mystery company will cost you so you can properly price the tickets for the event. Then, market it to your customers!

Sponsor a Local Event

Your involvement in Halloween-related revelry doesn’t just have to take place inside your restaurant. Find out about Halloween events happening in your town and see if you can get involved.

The local school or rec center might host a scary movie night; find out if there’s opportunity for you to provide the snacks. Haunted trail rides are another popular activity at this time of year. Host a pop-up stand where people can find refreshments like apple cider and dessert.

Pumpkin picking, Jack-O-Lantern walks, and haunted houses are also common Halloween happenings. If you become a sponsor, you can hand out branded swag items for guests to take home. They’ll remember you next time they’re looking for a place to eat.

Even if you don’t participate in the event, you can sell tickets for the events at your restaurant to lend a helping hand to local efforts. Becoming a participant in your local community will go a long way for your business.

Decorate!

Arguably the easiest of all these Halloween restaurant marketing ideas, a little decoration goes a long way. Incorporate pumpkins or Jack-O-Lanterns, faux leaves, and other spooky elements can help set the tone for the holiday. You can find inexpensive decor online and in local craft stores. Use it and reuse it by storing it with the rest of your seasonal decorations.

In Closing

Ghosts, and monsters, and vampires, oh my! Halloween is approaching quickly, and similar to many other holidays, is the perfect reason to come up with some new restaurant marketing ideas. Whether you choose to host an event in your restaurant, get involved in your community, or just inspire some fright through your menu, there are plenty of ways to celebrate Halloween this October 31st.

For more restaurant marketing ideas, check out the homepage of our blog.

Don’t Miss These October Restaurant Marketing Ideas

October is just around the corner, so you should be preparing your business by utilizing new marketing ideas for the month. We give you some inspiration on how you can market your restaurant this October.

Every Day Is A New Holiday

If you look online or on social media, it seems like each new day is a different celebration of something food-related.

The 1st of October is World Vegetarian Day, the 17th is National Pasta Day, and the 27th is American Beer Day. Check out Restaurant News for the full list of October’s holidays and see what can work well for your restaurant.

Do you serve plant-based meals? Offer a discount or market an event for October 1st.

If you’re an Italian establishment, celebrate pasta on the 17th by introducing new macaroni dishes or offering up a two-for-one deal.

These are easy wins for your restaurant, not only for profit, but to create excitement.

We recently created an Upcoming Holidays calendar in our dashboard that you can use to stay in-the-know about relevant food holidays. If one fits your concept, easily post social messages to let followers know about the deals you’re offering in celebration. Don’t ever miss out on a marketing opportunity when it comes to food celebrations again.

October is National Pizza Month

Besides the daily food holidays, there’s also a monthly celebration of pizza. If  you’re a pizzeria, or even if you’re not but still have pizza on the menu, this applies to you. Keep the party going all month long by revealing weekly deals on pizza.

Make it interesting by posting the weekly special in advance to get customers interested in your offerings. Maybe the first week of October is half off on pepperoni pies, while the next week is buy-one-get-one slices of choice. Get creative.

Let your customers know you’ll be honoring pizza all month long by sending out email and social communications. Let’s be honest, pizza definitely is a great reason to celebrate.

Stake Out at Street Fairs

Autumn is the perfect time to check out local events like street fairs, food festivals, and other fall gatherings. Get in there! Find out about booth rentals or other vendor opportunities to help get the name out about your business. You want your restaurant to be a notable name in your community, so you have to put in the effort to get to know people.

Hand out business cards or free giveaways with your restaurant logo on it. Offer samples of your food and drinks. Ask people to follow you on social media. These little impressions go a long way, especially in a small community.

Even if you aren’t a booth vendor, you can stop by these events to get acquainted with attendees. Walk around, introduce yourself, and establish a presence. You can always find out more information on how you can become a full sponsor or vendor at the next event. Don’t miss the chance to get to know your neighbors and make a mark in your area.

Host an Event

We discussed 5 Restaurant Events to Host This Fall in a previous blog, so check that one out for some more ideas. October is when people really start to get into the autumn spirit, so take advantage. There’s an event opportunity for every business, whether you’re a craft beer bar or a Mexican restaurant. You can choose to create it around a theme, like Fall Harvest or Halloween, or just make it a gathering to ring in the new season.

Create Columbus Day Deals

Columbus Day is a national holiday taking place on Monday, October 8th this year. Most people have a day off from work and school, which means you have a pretty good chance of seeing a larger crowd than usual.

The purpose of the holiday is to commemorate Christopher Columbus’ arrival to the Americas in 1492. Come up with some creative deals, dishes, or drinks to pay homage.

Offer discounts on certain menu items or send out coupons ahead of time for guests to redeem money off the entire bill.

This is also a perfect opportunity to host an American Trivia night to test your guests’ United States knowledge. Have fun with it!

Praise Pumpkin

We all know that people get pretty crazy about these edible gourds come October. Delish.com notes that according to Nielsen data, sales of pumpkin-flavored products reached $488.7 million over the last year (from August 18, 2017 to August 18, 2018). That’s insane!

Suddenly when fall rolls around, we see pumpkin-flavored everything pop up in grocery stores, from cereals to pies, ice cream, and coffee creamer. Label Insight data provided by Nielsen says there are a crazy 446 pumpkin products in traditional grocery stores right now. It’s an epidemic and it’s pretty unstoppable.

So, as a restaurant owner, what should you do? Capitalize on the craze, of course!

Incorporate pumpkin as an ingredient in your recipes, introduce a pumpkin-flavored dessert, serve up pumpkin coffees during the season. Heck, you may just want to release an entirely pumpkinized menu (think pumpkin ravioli, risotto, soup, pie…you get the gist).

Of course, make sure your social followers and customers know about any new updates through social media, email blasts, and on your website.

Celebrate Halloween

October 31st falls on a Wednesday this year, are you going to celebrate? You can host an event the weekend before or after, or go all out on the actual holiday.

According to The National Retail Federation’s annual survey, 7 in 10 people planned to celebrate Halloween in 2017. Why not let them do so at your restaurant?

Some Halloween ideas at a glance:

  • Ask customers to dress up to receive 15% off their entire meal. Take photos to share on social media.

  • Get some buckets of candy (or make your own) and tell kids to make your restaurant a stop on their trick-or-treat trail.

  • Make something enticing for the adults, like a special potent potion only available for the week of Halloween.

  • Hit your guests with a little Halloween history by hosting a Trick-Or-Treat Trivia night on Wednesday.

  •  Host a costume contest and award the winner a gift certificate to dine with you in November.

  • Make the decor just a bit spooky by incorporating some skulls, dry ice cauldrons, and dim dining lights.

There are plenty of ideas to help make Halloween night at your restaurant a must-attend. Market it well throughout the month and make it worth the trip.

In Closing

Each new month brings unique market opportunities for your restaurant business. October is full of holidays, seasonal traditions, and celebration. Plan ahead and be cognicent of all the chances you have to bring in more customers. Get creative, market heavily, and have fun.

Should Your Restaurant or Bar Host an Oktoberfest Event?

It’s that time of year again. High-spirited diners and drinkers will be dusting off their Lederhosen for Oktoberfest celebrations. Taking place during September and October, the German revelry has become part of America’s party culture.

Should your restaurant host an Oktoberfest event?

The History

 Via Muenchen.de Via Muenchen.de

The official Oktoberfest is a 16-18 day festival held yearly in Munich, Germany. The celebration got its start in 1810 and now attracts more than six million people from around the world. It usually begins in mid-September and the party rages on for over two weeks.

Traditional Oktoberfest celebrations included horse races, but those became obsolete in 1960.

In modern times, the focus is on the festival. When it comes to food and drink, the centerpieces of Oktoberfest are German beer, bratwurst, and pretzels. Live music and polka dancing provide entertainment, and contests like stein holding competitions keep guests engaged.

The American Adaptation

 Via USAToday Via USAToday

We couldn’t just let Germany have all the fun! Americans have made our own versions of Oktoberfest celebrations, taking place in the same timeframe as the original. Major cities like New York, Cincinnati, and San Francisco host their own versions of the rowdy event. According to the Insider, some of the most authentic events in the U.S. take place in Frankenmuth, Michigan, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Fredericksburg, Texas.

Some take place in large halls or open fields, while some restaurants choose to host their own events. Regardless of where it takes place, you can guarantee there will be plenty of German beer flowing and European fare being consumed.

Should You Host One?

Events are great for attracting large crowds and making bigger profits. But, should your restaurant consider hosting an Oktoberfest event? We weigh in.

It Depends on Your Concept

This one is pretty obvious. We just can’t see an Italian fine dining establishment throwing an all-out German bash. But, you don’t need to be a German pub or restaurant to get in on the fun.

Sports bars, casual grills, and even Irish pubs and other drinking holes can consider hosting their own versions of Oktoberfest.

Zum Schneider on the East River in New York City has been putting on their own Oktoberfest event for five years. Guests are required to buy tickets for a select date within the ten day celebration period.

 Via Zum Schneider Via Zum Schneider

The restaurant describes their celebration as “an unforgettable and traditional Munchen Oktoberfest experience.” There is a decorated tent, original Oktoberfest beers, and traditional food as well as music and games.

Although not German, Bull McCabe’s Irish Pub in Durham, NC also throws a biergarten bash. Contrary to the sixteen day tradition, Bull McCabe’s event is only on one day, but still boasts traditional elements like beer, food, and music.

If you believe your restaurant or bar concept is capable of hosting an Oktoberfest event, you may want to consider it.  It’s a smart way to draw in large crowds who are willing to purchase tickets, sometimes even just for entrance with nothing else included in the fee. From there, they will be purchasing food and drink to help get the party started.

Consider the Food, Drink, and Entertainment

In order to make your celebration authentic, you should have the authentic German cuisine and beverages people will be looking for. Hofbrauhaus Munchen and Radeberger are a couple of the popular German brands of beer typically served. Do you already serve those brands? If not, can you get enough of those brands to keep the drinks flowing? How much will it cost you?

If large pretzels, bratwurst, and schnitzel aren’t a part of your regular menu, you’ll want to consider whether or not you’ll be serving it.

Having German food isn’t necessarily a requirement, but it boosts the authenticity of the event. And some die-hard Oktoberfest goers may be upset not to see their favorites on the menu.

When it comes to food, you could consider bringing in external vendors to serve up the sausage and Schweinebraten. This way, you can give some authenticity to the event and continue to also serve your usual menu. Of course, you’ll have to calculate the cost of bringing in vendors and decide if it makes sense based on the profits you project to make.

Delight revelers by consider the entertainment you’ll be providing. Will you bring in a live band or play traditional Oktoberfest tunes from a laptop or smartphone playlist? Weigh your options when it comes to entertainment.

Folk music and polka dancing are reminiscent of the original Oktoberfest celebrations and can help liven up the affair. You can even incorporate games and contests.

Decide whether or not you want to charge an additional fee for contest entrance and let guests know about all additional costs.

Think About the Aftermath

Unlike a typical busy dinner time rush, Oktoberfest may require more clean-up than you’re used to. Do you have the manpower and time to ensure your restaurant or bar will be in tip-top shape for the next day of business?

When it comes to transportation, you may want to team up with some local cab companies to provide rides for attendees.

Uber Events also allows you to purchase ride passes for a specific event. Guests will then have access to an event-specific code that is good for a discounted or free ride. Let guests know that the option is available and encourage ride-sharing.

Although you want your customers to have a great time, it’s also important for them to get home safely when the party’s over.

In Closing

Oktoberfest is a traditional German celebration that is steeped in history and provides a ton of fun to attendees. If your restaurant or bar concept is fitting for the event, consider hosting one of your own. Feel free to put your own spin on it and create your own traditions, but incorporate some of the authenticity that makes it one of the most popular and boisterous events of the year.

Can Being Involved in Charitable Efforts Boost Your Restaurant’s Marketing?

Giving back to your community or another organization that is meaningful to you is admirable in its own right. You should volunteer or donate to a cause because you want to, not because you feel pressure to. But, this type of charity is actually a great marketing tool that can influence marketing campaigns and involvement from your customers.

We explore how being involved with charitable causes is beneficial to your restaurant’s marketing.

The Numbers

Charitable efforts have increased in recent times. According to Charity Navigator, in 2017, an estimated $410.02 billion was given to charitable causes. This total was record breaking and an increase of 5.2% from 2016. This goes to show that people care about giving back to their local communities as well as philanthropic causes that they are passionate about.

Your customers appreciate your business’ involvement with the community and your support. Cone Communications put out a 2017 study that revealed 92% of respondents are more likely to have a more positive image of companies that support social and environmental issues. At the same time, 87% are more loyal to those brands. Your business’ support matters, not only to a charity or a cause, but to the customers who dine with you.

Customers also want you to be transparent. 90% of consumers want companies to tell them how they’re supporting charitable causes. Incorporating your charitable efforts into your marketing strategy and into your communication with your customers can help shed light on your involvement.

The Ideas

So, how can you get involved in charity? Community volunteer efforts, food donation, and monetary donation are all great ways to make a difference.

Community Volunteering

Check out local volunteer opportunities and see if you and your staff can be included. Places like soup kitchens, nursing homes, shelters, animal sanctuaries, and youth clubs are always looking for people to lend a helping hand. If you’re a business in a tight-knit community, it goes a long way to become heavily involved with local organizations. Choose one that means something to you and set aside some time to get involved. Ask some staff members to join you in your efforts and get ready to roll up your sleeves.

Make sure to document your volunteer work by posting updates on your social channels. Take high-quality photos of your staff being active in the community to share. Your customers and followers will appreciate that you’re being open about where your time is being spent in the community.

Community volunteering also poses an opportunity for co-marketing efforts. Team up with other small businesses in your area to jointly give back to a cause. You can then feature each other in marketing efforts, tag their business on social media, and share the wealth of exposure.

Food Donation

Food donation is a great way for a restaurant to give back. I mean, food is your thing after all! Research some local charities in need of meal donation and get to preparing and packing. Make sure the food you’re cooking is within the guidelines of what they need.

If places are looking for non-perishable items, set up a donation box at your restaurant. Food drives are popular during the holidays, so keep that in mind as the season approaches.

Let customers know that you’re running a food drive and list the items you need. This is a great way for the entire community to get involved. You can even offer an incentive for a donation from a diner, like 5% off their next bill.

Make this food drive a part of your marketing strategy by including it in your restaurant email newsletter, social media, and any other communications you’re having with patrons. Let them know how long you’ll be collecting for, who you’re donating to, and what you are offering participants in return (if anything). Giving as much detail as possible reinforces the transparency of your efforts.

Monetary Donation

Cash is king, or so they say. Plenty of charities are looking for monetary donations to help fund different things, from supplies to research for cures. If you want to make a monetary donation on behalf of your organization, do it! This is a win-win because charitable donations are usually tax deductible. To learn more about the nitty gritty of this process, read this article.

You can also dedicate a menu item to the cause and donate a percent of the proceeds to the charity of your choice. Let’s say you create a special pink Cosmopolitan for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. You can dedicate 10% of the proceeds from each drink to go to the cause. Most restaurants tend to give between 10-25% of the proceeds to charity and  local businesses tend to give a higher percentage than chains.

Sometimes, the charity will reach out to you to host this type of event at your location. This is great for your business as well because you probably see an increase in business due to the promotion of the event.

Make sure that you’re promoting the event or the special you’re running heavily before and during the time period it’s available. You want to raise more money for the charitable cause, so you need more people in seats!

Being involved in your community and donating to charitable causes are honorable and show your dedication to helping others. You should always participate in these efforts because you want to give back, not just for the recognition. However, research shows that customers appreciate when you let them know where you are donating or how you’re getting involved with philanthropic organizations. Make sure to let customers and followers know where you’re donating to, what events you’re running, or where you’re volunteering. They’ll appreciate that you’re going the extra mile to make the world a better place. Plus, this is a great marketing opportunity for you to spread the word about your business making a difference.

You Need These Restaurant Event and Promotion Ideas to Win More Business this Football Season

Whether you’re excited or not, football season is official back in America. After last week’s kickoff, games are in full swing and fans are in full celebration mode. If you’re running a sports bar or laid-back grill, this is the perfect opportunity to capitalize on the revelry.

We highlight restaurant event and promotion ideas that are perfect for football season.

Events

NFL Sunday Ticket

The most obvious, of course, is offering a place for rowdy fans to cheer on their favorite teams. Millions of Americans tune in each Sunday to watch their favorite teams play. Why not invite them to your place? Host an NFL ticket event each Sunday where you stream multiple games throughout the day. You can ask guests to pay a cover charge to access the live action but promise drink and food specials for select timeframes.

Make sure you market this event beforehand by sending out email blasts and doing some local paid advertising on social media. People will be looking for places to watch the game and you want to let locals know that your restaurant or bar is the place to be.

The Anti-Football Corner

Let’s face it, not everyone wants to sit around for hours and watch a sporting event. But, that doesn’t mean you don’t want them in your restaurant. Create a space for the non-sports enthusiasts to kick back and have a good time. You can offer a special menu for those who choose not to watch the game but still want to enjoy some good food and fun. Put some board games and icebreakers on tables to encourage group activity and let them pick the channel on the television. Football season can still be fun for everyone!

Make sure customers know you’re offering something for everyone by including this offering in your email newsletters and other marketing. Being inclusive and not just football-centric can help bring in larger crowds.

The After Party

The fun doesn’t have to stop when the last games end, keep guests around until closing time.  Release a “post-football” late night menu to keep guests ordering. Offerings can include fried food platters, beer pitcher specials, and dessert. Offer discounts on select food and drinks until closing time to keep the party going. You can even incorporate some fun post-football games like NFL trivia or bingo to keep guests engaged.

Promotions

Pick a Side Promotion

If you want to make things more exciting during the games, ask guests which team they’re rooting for upon arrival. Stamp their hands or give them a colored wristband based on the team they choose. If their team takes home the win, offer up a discounted drink or free appetizer for next time they visit.

If you incentivize guests with a prize that can be used later, they’ll want to come back next Sunday to redeem their winnings. Restaurants’ current customers spend 67% more than new customers, so you want this return business.

Right-Priced Platters and Buckets

Aside from the game, the most exciting part about football season is the food and drinks. Fan are looking for delicious things to drink and eat while they intently watch the screen. Create game day platters filled with football fan favorites like mozzarella sticks, wings, and potato skins. Shareable platters are perfect for large group events like these. Beer buckets are also great for game day. Offer deals on these platters and buckets to encourage more orders.

Referee Raffle for a Cause

Give guests a chance to enter into a contest to win a grand prize. Keep the raffle going for all of football season and choose a winner right before Super Bowl Sunday. And make it about charity! Ask participants to make a predetermined amount donation for a local charity with each ticket. Let guests know that they can enter once per visit; if they’re excited about the prize, they’ll be encouraged to come back multiple times in order to increase their chances to win.

The lucky raffle champion will receive an ultimate Super Bowl Sunday package, including everything they need to have a fun-filled celebration. The charity you select will also benefit from all the collected earnings.

Raffle basket item ideas include chips and dip, party noisemakers, promotional items from your restaurant (t-shirts, hats, and mugs), gift cards to other local businesses, and a gift card to your own restaurant.

If you want to take your raffle in a different direction, offer up a television as the grand prize ahead of Super Bowl Sunday. You can also provide runner-up prizes to two other guests.

**Before running a raffle, make sure you’re adhering to the laws of your state.

Plenty of people are pumped about the beginning of football season. The games have just begun and will be continuing on for a number of months, so use it as a chance to get more business!

Use marketing, events, and promotions to get famished fans into seats and stools. Keep them coming back all season with offers they can’t resist. Football is more than just America’s favorite game, it’s an opportunity for you to attract more guests and boost profits.

5 Restaurant Events to Host this Fall

Looking for some fresh ideas to bring in new customers this fall? Plan an autumn restaurant event! As summer winds down, people are returning from vacations, going back to school, and feeling an uptick in busyness at work. As everyone gets back into their routines, they’ll be looking for ways to take a break from their hectic schedules. Restaurant events can help take the edge off for them and bring in more business for you.

Below are 5 unique restaurant events you should consider hosting this autumn.

Fall Food and Wine Pairing

Nothing says autumn better than a hearty meal and robust wine to match. The summer beach body season has ended, so more people will be more willing to indulge than they were in the previous months.

Craft a creatively delicious fall menu with wine pairings for a prix fixe price. Appetizers, an entree, and dessert can be matched with complimentary drinks to create a memorable menu journey. Host the event on select nights and offer a limited amount of seating. This will encourage customers to purchase tickets in advance to secure a spot.

Is wine not a shining star of your restaurant concept? No problem. Change the narrative and make it a food and cocktail tasting event. Create autumn-inspired aperitifs to serve with your food selections. This will give guests a taste of your bar offerings for the season.

Local Taste Showcase

Are you surrounded by an agricultural goldmine? Know local farmers who sell product at the town market? Aware of a really great home-baker that hasn’t taken her talents to the next level? Host an event to pay homage to the talent that exists in your town. Reach out to these local businesses and individuals to purchase product from them. Utilize these ingredients in a special menu created for the event. Make sure that the menu descriptions showcase where the items were grown or who provided them.

Hosting an event of this kind is a great opportunity to get into the local press. You can also do some co-marketing efforts with the companies and people who get involved. Invite the contributors to dine at the event, and even mention them at some point in the night.

Being inclusive of others in your community helps to establish your presence within it. Utilize this event to build relationships with diners and contributors, and look for partnership opportunities for future endeavors.

Harvest Happy Hours

Happy hour is a common event at most bars and restaurants. And people love it! I consider myself somewhat of a happy hour connoisseur – I scour the area in search of them for a Friday night fix.

According to Statista, the top three reasons people attend happy hours because of food prices, drink prices, and because it’s an easy way to relax. Give your customers what they want! Offer great prices (while still considering your profit) on food and drinks and create a relaxing atmosphere for people to enjoy.

Something as simple as rebranding of an event can help you drive more business if you market it right. Maybe you switched up your specials for summer to offer more Mai Tais and Daiquiris and less cranberry and mint cocktails. It’s time to revamp the menu again to offer drinks and eats that people get excited about in autumn. Incorporating spiced elixirs and ingredients like pumpkin, apple, and cinnamon can entice those who are already in fall-mode.

Let customers know that you’ve introduced a new happy hour menu by posting on social media and updating your online menu. You can even make it a spotlight in your restaurant’s email newsletter. The more excitement you create will attract more eager people looking to eat, drink, and take the edge off.

Cozy Cooking Class

When the weather turns colder and the days get shorter, people look for ways to be entertained indoors. Draw in ambitious crowds by offering a cooking class. Host an autumn-inspired instructional that allows amateur cooks to create a memorable meal. Cooking classes are highly popular right now, so capitalize on the interest by having your own. Use recipes that are easy enough to teach to a large crowd, but still impressive enough for attendees to post on Instagram.

When it comes to executing the event, it’s wise to pick a time that’s usually slow for business. A mid-day class from 2-5pm could work well, or offering a weekend gathering from 10-1pm with a brunch how-to may make the most sense for your restaurant.

Encourage guests to post about the event to social media and tag your restaurant’s social channels. If you see an overwhelming success, consider putting on the event multiple times per year.

Murder Mystery Dinner

Things start to get a little eerie once October rolls around. Feed off this frightful revelry by hosting your own murder mystery dinner. Of course, you’ll want your food and service to be the spotlight of the event, but the element of thrill is sure to add a bit of excitement to the night.

Hire a crew that specializes in murder mystery to provide props, staff, and storyline. Charge guests a fee for the event that encompasses the experience and the food and drinks and make the menu fixed for the event to avoid any confusion or hiccups. Usually, murder mystery events are split into three acts, so you can serve a different course during each segment.

This event should be heavily pre-marketed to ensure you fill seats and sell out of tickets. Plan to start marketing at least a few weeks in advance of the planned date. This would be a great event to host around Halloween when people are in the spirit of spook.

In Closing

There are plenty of ways to drum up business in autumn, and hosting a unique event can help draw in large crowds looking for entertainment. Get creative when planning and executing your events in order to impress attendees. If you find success with the first event, you can host more in the future to keep bringing in additional business.