Restaurants are all about celebrations—a coming together of friends, family and strangers that soon become friends. They are the first to step up when the community that gives so generously to them falls upon hard times or an organization needs support. In light of the role they play in celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and special hallmark events in individual lives, using the National Day Calendar as a marketing tool just makes sense. And your loyal customers will appreciate the chance to celebrate yet another glorious occasion at their favorite neighborhood eatery. Let’s take a look at just a few of the “special” days coming up in October and how you can give a shout-out to your fans.
Here’s what’s Happening in October
- October 1st brings us National Homemade Cookies Day. Consider sharing your all-time favorites with your customers and creating an Instagram opportunity in which your guest that posts the “best homemade cookie” picture wins a complimentary appetizer.
- October 2nd is National Fried Scallops Day. Need we say more?
- October 4th brings two celebrations that are difficult to choose from: National Taco and National Vodka Day. On second thought, why choose? Trade in the Patron Silver for that bottle of Absolut and create colorful pairings that your customers will be blowing up Instagram and Snapchat with. Think shrimp, avocado and lime alongside a Tito’s American Mule or a jalapeno vodka spritzer paired with crispy carnitas tacos laced with cilantro.
- The first Friday in October, which arrives on the 6th this year, is World Smile Day—a great day to entice customers to post pictures of themselves on your social media sites with their best smile lighting up their face. This positive engagement can turn into a friendly competition when the “best smile” wins a select entree.
- If you only choose one “National Day” a month to celebrate, consider October 8th which is National Pierogi Day. Yum. These delicious versatile dumplings can be geared toward your most ethnic-oriented guest looking for a new experience to your Sunday game-day nachos and draft clientele. Consider caramelized onions, mushrooms, spinach, cheese and a sage butter sauce pierogi alongside your Philly cheesesteak pierogi.
- Is there a better way to celebrate Hump Day than with National Sausage Pizza Day? Step away from the ordinary by offering elk or boar along with wild mushrooms and red onions on October 11th.
- National Dessert Day on October 14th gives you the opportunity to post your delicious and beautiful creations on social media using #NationalDessertDay.
- If you’re from Wisconsin, you probably already have this celebration on your calendar—National Cheese Curd Day—which falls on October 15th. Consider making these an appetizer special. The traditional creamy, rich and salty cheddar curd goes well with chardonnay or a strong ale.
- National Seafood Bisque Day on Thursday, October 19th, sounds just a little too delicious to pass up. The perfect before-dinner staple or lunch entrée can be created with your favorite crustacean and served with crunchy sourdough bread.
- October 22nd will have you bringing out the nuts. National Nut Day is a good time to create a special charcuterie board that’s filled with hard salami, various sausages, mustards, crunchy nuts and a unique cheese such as blueberry feta or triple cream brie.
- The stars are definitely aligned on October 27th when National American Beer Day and National Breadstick Day both fall on a Friday. Consider printing off the Brewers Association’s Beer & Food Matching Chart and offer beer flights so your guests can try several different beer varieties at one time.
- Of course, the end of the month brings Halloween. If your establishment is family oriented, this is a great opportunity to offer something special for kids that come dressed in their costumes. For venues geared toward the older crowd, consider hosting a masquerade party or create a special menu dedicated to this Celtic festival. Don’t forget to include a costume contest on your social media calendar.
Getting the Word Out
Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube are some of the best tools to use to get the word out about your “special” events. If you’re having trouble managing these sites and keeping them active, consider a social media management tool such as Hootsuite. Press releases are also helpful in sharing information with the generations that are not constantly tweeting, posting and snapping. Create a flyer in the beginning of the month that lists all the National Days you are celebrating, include in your monthly newsletter that always keeps your brand and voice in mind, and, of course, don’t forget to update your website with these days that provide a way of increasing profits while saying “Thank you” to your loyal customers.