Here’s a cornucopia of fall marketing ideas you can use to get people off the count and into your restaurant in the next few weeks.
- If you regularly have TVs as part of your décor/ambiance, use your postcard marketing to publicize the remaining football or basketball games and times on your schedule. Create a special promotion (and menu) around the hottest rivalry game, whether it’s college or professional. Promote your regular take-out menu or special full-meal packages folks can take to tailgate parties at the game or back home in their living room.
- Seasonal produce offers endless opportunities for fall marketing. Create your own cranberry or pumpkin martini with a splash of trendy ginger liqueur or serve pear desserts instead of the usual apple, and entice people to try them by offering a “postcard only” discount. Or create several new dishes and list them on your postcard as a ballot recipients can bring in to vote for their favorite (and get special pricing on it).
- Advertise your in-house banquet facilities to local businesses looking for a “tasty” venue for their holiday party, employee luncheon or year-end Board meeting. Give them an incentive to pick you – an added perk for the group or a dinner-for-two gift certificate for the event planner.
- Advertise your off-site catering services, again with an incentive.
- Fall marketing is the perfect time to create and promote gift cards. Turn your postcard into a festive gift certificate – for a specific dollar value, overall discount, free appetizer or dessert – that your recipients can give away to a friend or use to treat themselves.
- Make it a “monthly” promotion. November and December are hosts to a plethora of food-oriented fall marketing tie-ins. For instance, November is The Month for Banana Pudding Lovers, Georgia Pecans, Peanut Butter Lovers and Vegans.
- Make it a “daily” special. Just in the latter half of November, there are specially-designated days for baklava, homemade bread, vichyssoise, peanut butter fudge, stuffing, cranberry relish, cashews, cranberries (other than relish, evidently), espresso, sardines, parfaits, cake, Bavarian cream pie, French toast, chocolates, lemon cream pie and mousse. November 29th is Throw Out Your Leftovers Day – why not create a promotion inviting patrons to leave their leftovers in the fridge and eat out with you instead?
- Food items offer virtually unlimited opportunities to create your own new menu items, of course. But why not hold a recipe contest using a designated food or beverage and recreate the winning entry as a promotional menu item? You could do wonders with that as a fall marketing campaign that combines postcard marketing with social media.
- Create a promotion that appeals to weary shoppers. By the end of Black Friday, people will be more than ready for yet one more great deal – your great food or drinks at a special price. If you serve breakfast, get them off to a well-fueled shopping start with an early morning special.
- And serve up a shopper special for Small Business Saturday. After all, you’re a small business, too, so you should get in on the action.
- Then there’s Thanksgiving. If you’ll be open, tell people. Consider offering a completely (or partially) non-traditional menu or offering packages of leftovers as part of the deal.
No matter what type of restaurant and/or bar you have, there is no shortage of “meaty” fall marketing material out there. Get creative – fall doesn’t officially end until December 21st. But be quick, so you can get your postcard marketing in the mail right away to guarantee the biggest turnout in response to your marketing efforts. If you do banquets or catering, consider a separate postcard marketing campaign aimed specifically at the businesses in your area.