RESTAURANT INDUSTRY INSIGHTS

Tips, trends, and marketing advice to help you grow your business.

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

host an autumn 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.

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