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Are you trying to come up with some money-making restaurant event marketing ideas to boost sales?

Customers have a tendency to get bored with the same events and deals, week after week. It’s time to look for new ways to engage your restaurant customers.

Here are 3 effective restaurant event marketing ideas to boost sales:

Charity Events

Try hosting charity events that give back to the community.

Hosting an event for a charity will draw in local residents and support a good cause. Your event can be themed and include dinner or meal. For example, you can donate a portion of the proceeds to the cause or discount a portion of the meal served for the event.

Hosting an event like this shows you are supportive and passionate about something other than just your business. A recent Edelman study found that 57% of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand because of where it stands on a social or political issue. The survey also found that 60% of millennials, 53% of Gen Z, and 51% of Gen X said that a brand’s beliefs matter when it comes to purchasing decisions.

Supporting a meaningful cause adds a positively to your brand, which can drive long-term success. Customers want to buy from businesses that care about important causes. A charity event will reinforce why current customers buy from you. In turn, the event can open the door for new customers to experience your food and resonate with your brand.

Sports, Of Course

Dedicate an evening or day to your local sports team.

Dedicated fans go crazy for businesses that support or “go all in” for something they’re interested in. Give your chef the opportunity to come up with some dishes that relate to the sport or team.

If #87 (one of the best players on the team) scores – honor it by giving a huge discount on a popular item.

Several sports channels have adapted to customers wanting to watch sports out of the comforts of their own home. For example, SportsCenter saw an average lift of 5.8%; Monday Night Football rose 6.3% when out of home viewing was factored in, while NBA games increased by 9.6%.

Not surprisingly, bigger events saw greater out-of-home viewing levels: ESPN’s NFL wildcard game increased by 17%, while the College Football Playoff semifinals that aired on New Year’s Eve saw an 11.1% out-of-home lift.

Creating an event or deal that revolves around a sporting event can increase your chances of retaining customers. It’s also a great restaurant event marketing idea to boost your image and sense of community.

Seasons = Events

Get creative with seasonal specials.

Fall has now become synonymous with pumpkin spice anything and everything. Data from Mintel Menu Insights shows that the instances of pumpkin as a flavor on restaurant menus are up 21% since 2012. While just over half of this growth is in baked goods, statistics show we like everything from dressings (20% increase) and dips (6% increase) with a pumpkin flavor.

The same thing can be said about peppermint for winter. The changes of flavors can help keep your menu fresh and customers interested.

Get your customers excited about seasonal menu items in the months leading up to their launch. It’s a great way to get new customers to try your food and give current customers something to be excited for.

Bonus: Target Restaurant Events For Midweek

Karen Post, a restaurant branding expert, shared: “Getting customers to dine out during the week just takes a little creativity.” Here are her tips:

1. Make a midweek day so special, full of fun, and such great value that locals can’t resist. This does not require giving away the farm. It does necessitate delivering what’s important to your customers.

Depending on your market, this can range from a super social night where singles flock to your hotspot because of live music, or featuring popular menu items at a special price.

2. Make local groups feel like they belong. Designate a midweek day that’s focused on local businesses, neighborhood, community groups, or even unexpected special interest groups. Award the takers with special pricing or even a prix fixe menu named with the group in mind. This is a great reason to reach out and connect to groups or companies in your area.

In Summary

The key to successful restaurant event marketing is to make a fun connection between customers and your restaurant. You want to use these events as a way to connect with customers and communicate that you are thankful for their business. This connection will have more mileage to it than a limited time discount.

Activate Your NetWaiter Site

If you want to attract more local customers and keep them informed about your events, check out NetWaiter’s restaurant marketing platform and network. You can search for, and activate, your NetWaiter site and app here:

NetWaiter Team

Author NetWaiter Team

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