Although the temperature’s still in the 80s and 90s, thoughts of fall are in the air, with school restarting, vacation season ending, and prayers for cooler weather rising.
It’s also time to consider your restaurant’s social media strategies for autumn.
Consider The Smith Restaurant in New York City. With 60,000 Instagram followers, this establishment regularly posts images of its beverages and dishes—and diners enjoying them.
Then look at Wave Asian Bistro & Sushi in Mount Dora, Florida. This restaurant has 412,000 followers on Instagram and 132,000 followers on Facebook. On both channels, it regularly posts images and reels that generate engagement.
Upper Crust Pizzeria, serving up “sort of famous” pizza and chicken in Boston and Los Angeles, is another restaurant using social media successfully.
The eatery has 4,300 followers on Twitter and approximately 5,000 each on Facebook and Instagram.
If that’s the kind of growth and success you’d like for your social media channels—not to mention your restaurant—read on.
In this post, we dish on five social-media growth strategies to boost revenue, build relationships, and engender loyalty this autumn.
1. Fall menu teasers
Does your fall menu offer an Autumn Harvest Salad or Pumpkin Raviolo with Sage Brown Sugar? How about a Spiced Pumpkin Bisque or Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie?
Create enticing teasers and sneak peeks of your fall menu items to share across social media channels.
According to RestaurantDive, the largest social drivers of restaurant visits are the appearance of food in videos and the introduction of new menu items.
Snack food aficionado Markie Devo says Starbucks and Wendy’s are ramping up for fall 2023 by teasing new menu offerings.
If so inspired, you can do the same.
Consider hiring a photographer to capture high-quality images, and then pair those images with captivating descriptions to build a buzz among your followers and encourage them to visit your restaurant to try your seasonal delights.
2. Fall hashtag campaign
Launch a fall-themed hashtag campaign to share your fall menu items and encourage customers to share their favorite fall moments at your restaurant.
To launch a hashtag campaign, create a new hashtag or lean on or tweak popular hashtags to fit your location or restaurant.
For example, #FallEats, a popular hashtag on Instagram, could become #FallEatsBoston or #FallEatsTheTavern.
Mantunuck Oyster Bar in South Kingstown, Rhode Island, uses the #AutumnEats hashtag to encourage participation on Facebook. And it works.
Create flyers for your website and placards for the tables to tell your diners about the campaign and encourage them to participate. Doing so will increase user-generated content and create excitement around your fall offerings.
3. Autumn gift card giveaways
Image from DepositPhotos.com
According to Full Service Restaurant News, gift card giveaways are a great way to attract new customers, encourage repeat visits, and boost sales.
Consider the statistics:
- 56% of customers want a gift card from their favorite restaurant.
- 65% of gift card recipients spend 38% more than the face value of the gift card.
- 44% of consumers said gift cards encourage them to try new restaurants they would not have visited.
You can also host fall-themed giveaways on your social media channels to give participants a chance to win gift cards, seasonal dishes, or autumn-inspired drinks.
To win, ask diners to follow your page, like your lost, and tag friends to increase engagement and expand your reach.
4. Fall food holidays
According to RestaurantDive, 53% of millennial TikTok users visited a restaurant after seeing it on the app. And according to Gitnux Market Data, 63% of consumers use social media to find new restaurants or explore new menu items.
Those statistics illustrate how important it is to ramp up your social media activity. And autumn, with its many food holidays, is the perfect time to get ramping.
Check out GrubHub’s restaurant guide to National Food Holidays 2023. You’ll be sure to find a few holidays to work with this fall, such as:
- September 26 – National Dumpling Day
- October 4 – National Taco Day
- October 17 – National Pasta Day
- November 9 – National Fried Chicken Sandwich Day
- November 11 – National Sundae Day
Meerkat Media says you can increase foot traffic by offering a special on the celebrated dish or ingredient for one day only.Promote the holiday and special on social media. Share about it multiple times in the week leading up to it to increase anticipation and give guests time to share it with friends.
5. Fall-themed charity drive
A final idea to get your register ringing this fall is an autumn charity drive to let your community know that your outstanding service and hospitality don’t stop with serving what’s on your menu.
Although it’s no longer fall-specific, the Cheesecake Factory has been giving back with charity drives for many years through its Slice campaign. This year, for every slice of Cookie Dough Lover’s cheesecake sold, the Cheesecake Factory will donate 25 cents to Feeding America. As another example, Wingstop Restaurants is partnering with No Kid Hungry by asking diners to “round up” to the nearest dollar, with 100% of the funds collected in August and September 2023 to be donated to the program.
Image from Depositphotos.com
Consider teaming up with a local charity or nonprofit organization that aligns with your restaurant’s values and mission. For example, you could support a local food bank to help fight food insecurity in your community during the fall season.
To promote the event, highlight the cause, the charity you support, and how your customers can help on social media. Use powerful visuals that spark emotion, heartwarming stories, and even compelling statistics to tug the heartstrings of your followers and inspire them to join you.
Also, consider offering incentives to encourage customers to participate. For instance, offer every customer who donates a certain amount a discount on their next meal or a free dessert.
You could also partner with local influencers or personalities passionate about the same cause. They can help spread the message and attract more support for your charity drive.
To make your fall season even more profitable, consider the Stellar Menus Intelligent Menu platform. It helps you price your menu for maximum profit and protect your margin by effortlessly managing prices.
Schedule a demo today. We’d love to show you how it works.