August can be a slow month for restaurants – many of your regulars are on vacation, on the beach, or staying in their air conditioned homes instead of going out to find food. A great marketing plan, on the other hand, can help draw your guests to your restaurants, as well as invite new ones. SM3’s Dane Rude has provided us with a crash course on handling the dog days of summer.
- Host a yappy hour. Does your restaurant have a terrace or patio? If so, a yappy hour may be a perfect promotion for your guests. Offer to provide free water and dog treats for those that bring their favorite furry friend. Get the kids involved too; think about giving a dollar off children’s entrees if the child brings their favorite stuffed animal.
- Look for a wacky holiday to celebrate. There’s an interesting “National Food Item Day” every week. The key is to know which holidays to leverage for your restaurant’s brand. The summer offers the following opportunities. Think about preparing a special dish for:
- July 21 – National Ice Cream Day…and National Junk Food Day!
- July 30 – National Cheesecake Day
- August 3 – National Watermelon Day
- August 10 – National S’mores Day
There’s also a National Senior Citizens Day on August 21. It’s a great time to publicize your senior discount… or create one just for this special day!
- Beat the heat with flash sales on cold beverages. Sometimes when temperatures creep towards the triple digits, people will be happy to come to your place just to cool off. Encourage them! Keep an eye on the thermometer – if your place reaches 100 degrees, send out a quick mailing or post on your social media that iced tea, lemonade, and frozen cocktails are half off as long as the heat holds.
These are just a few ideas to finish off the summer season with great sales. Find a promotion that fits your brand and turn a traditionally slow sales month into an opportunity to try something new with your marketing strategy.