As a restaurant owner or operator, chances are you’re ready for summer’s high season. Children, families, and vacationers are slipping into the dog days of July and August. They long to escape the house and enjoy the lingering light—and your restaurant can give them unique opportunities to do just that.
What can you do this season to grow your restaurant business? Consider launching one or more of the following unique summer restaurant promotions.
1. Offer a food and drink pairing event.
A food and drink pairing event is a great way to boost revenue, showcase your culinary and beverage expertise, engage with your diners, and give your guests a nuanced, enjoyable dining experience beyond the simple consumption of food. To add an element of discovery and sophistication to the diner’s experience, pair complementary flavors, textures, and aromas.
If you run a casual restaurant, consider beer and burger pairings focusing on your craft beers and signature burgers. You can even offer beer and tasting flights that pair small samples of each beer with a corresponding burger that enhances its flavor. Other options for casual restaurants include taco and margarita pairings and wine and tapas pairings.
If fine dining is the name of your game, create a prix fixe tasting menu that pairs each course with a wine that enhances the flavor. You could also pair courses with artisanal spirits, as well as champagne and seafood. In any case, consider printing a card or handout that explains each pairing choice to educate and engage with your guests. Also, train your staff on the pairings so they can answer questions, offer recommendations, and guide guests through the pairing journey.
2. Serve an outdoor yoga or tai chi brunch.
The wellness industry is growing—and growing rich. According to McKinsey, consumers in the U.S. spend more than $450 billion on wellness products and services each year. Why shouldn’t your restaurant tap into this demographic?
Yoga and tai chi aren’t the only options for attracting health-conscious diners to your restaurant this summer, though. You could also offer pilates, kickboxing, meditation, or dance. What’s important is to create a distinct, memorable experience that lets people participate in a wellness session followed by a delicious meal in a serene, natural setting.
Contact yoga, tai chi, or other practitioners in your area to see who’s interested in collaborating with you. You and your partner can cross-promote to each other’s audiences via email and social media, expanding your restaurant’s visibility and research.
To generate revenue beyond your regular brunch service, offer outdoor brunches on weekends and special occasions as ticketed events or fixed-price packages.
3. Host an ice cream social.
Ice cream is synonymous with warm weather, making the ice cream social a perfect event for the summer season. Although particularly good for drawing in families and children, an ice cream social brings joy to diners of all ages because it gives everyone an excuse to indulge, socialize, and feel like part of the community. It’s also a perfect excuse to indulge in a refreshing treat while enjoying the outdoors or a festively decorated indoor space.
Set up a buffet with ice cream flavors and toppings to guests can personalize their creations. Or, create different stations, each offering a unique ice cream creation—for instance, a banana split station and a sundae station. You can even feature your restaurant’s unique ice cream treats to lure diners back in for seconds, thirds, and more.
4. Create a summer cookbook.
Looking for ways to establish your culinary authority, deepen relationships with guests, generate additional revenue, and expand your brand’s reach? A summer cookbook could be the answer.
A summer cookbook lets you share your favorite summer recipes and showcase the unique flavors, techniques, and creativity that combine to set your restaurant apart. It also extends the reach of your restaurant beyond its physical location, as you can sell it online and in local bookstores and gift shops.
Cookbooks also make excellent gifts, especially during summer when people host barbeques, picnics, and parties. You can bundle your cookbook with other merchandise, too, like branded aprons and mixing spoons, creating even more opportunities for sales and brand exposure.
5. Organize a beach, lake, or river cleanup initiative.
Want to showcase your restaurant’s commitment to community, responsible business practices, and environmental stewardship and sustainability? Consider organizing a cleanup initiative at a local beach, lake, or river.
This summer event allows you to engage with your local community and foster a sense of civic responsibility. By organizing and leading a cleanup initiative, you’ll also strengthen your restaurant’s brand reputation by showing that you care about more than just profit, which can lead to increased customer loyalty and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.
A cleanup initiative can raise awareness about local environmental challenges while educating the community about reducing waste, recycling, and responsible waste management practices. Such events attract volunteers from diverse backgrounds, including residents, environmentalists, and community leaders, providing networking opportunities to benefit your restaurant.
Don’t forget to let the local newspapers, radio stations, TV stations, and online platforms know about your event. Media members are often interested in highlighting such community-driven efforts, which means free media coverage and positive publicity for your restaurant.
When it’s time to promote your summer event, consider using the Stellar Menus Intelligent Menu platform. With just a few clicks, you can promote and sell tickets to your event directly from the front page of your website and mobile menus. Schedule a demo. We’d love to show you how easy it is and how the platform can help you grow and profit more from your restaurant.