5 Ways to Get More Customers on Pi Day

March 14 = 3/14 = 3.14… = π = Pi = PIE.
There are plenty of cool ideas for celebrating Pi Day at your business. (Photo: artskvortsova/Shutterstock)

Regardless of how “cool” you are the rest of the year, Pi Day, aka March 14, is the perfect opportunity to release your inner nerd. Need a mathematical refresher? Pi, represented by the Greek letter π, is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter — a never-ending, irrational number starting with 3.14159265359.

March 14, or 3/14, is, then, the natural date for celebrating geek culture. Since “pi” and “pie” are pronounced the same, Pi Day has also become an excuse to indulge in the circular pastry-based dessert.

As a business owner, you can use this fun, unofficial holiday to drive more traffic to your establishment on March 14. Here are six ideas to help you get your Pi on.

Related: 8 Fun and Funky Holidays Your Restaurant or Café Could Celebrate

Offer Pi Day promotions

The easiest approach: offer Pi Day specials.

Meghan Daly, owner of Daly Pie in New York City has an annual promotion on March 14, selling three slices for $14.


Three slices of pie for $14 at Daly Pie in NYC. (Photo: Carmen Ladipo)

Of course, pizzas are pies, too. On Pi Day, Stevi B’s drops the price of its unlimited pizza buffet to $3.14 at all locations. Another pizza franchise, Your Pie, celebrates with $3.14 specials on pizza, pints of craft beer and combos at all their 39 locations.

Pub favorites like shepherd’s pie and chicken pot pie can also be included in your Pi Day promotions.

Think circles and symbols

While circular thinking isn’t necessarily good for decision making, it’s okay on Pi Day. Since pi is related to circles, anything round or spherical in your establishment can be highlighted on this day, perhaps by incorporating the Greek letter π into your cookie and cake decorations, for example.

Or go meta and create pi symbols out of pie crusts, like this.

If you’re a Pi Day diehard, replace the numbers on your wall clocks with their radian equivalents.

Hold a contest or event

The town of Princeton, New Jersey, former home of Albert Einstein, gets serious about celebrating the holiday with “Pi Day Princeton.” The town and local businesses host a number of events, including a pi recitation contest, a pie eating contest and a create-your-own pizza contest for kids.

Use a contest or giveaway to draw in more traffic to your store. If you really want to win at Pi Day, do your prize drawing at 1:59 p.m. so the date and time correspond with the first six digits of pi.

Or do a pie-in-the-face fundraiser to support a local charity.

Looking to sponsor an event to get some free publicity? Consider a 3.14 mile “Pi Run.” (That’s just over a 5K.)

Sing “Happy Birthday” to Einstein


Hold an Einstein trivia game or host a look-a-like contest for the famous physicist’s birthday on Pie Day. (Photo: BarryTuck/Shutterstock)

Want to know what makes Pi Day even more special? It’s Albert Einstein’s birthday. Pi Day Princeton hosts an Einstein look-alike contest. Your store can do the same, or tip your hat to the physicist with Einstein trivia, a math competition or even a philosophical debate on relativity.

Each Pi Day, The Peacock Inn in Princeton, the first place Einstein stayed when he moved to the United States in 1933, celebrates his birth by offering a “Molecular Mixology Class” where visitors can learn how to mix cocktails from the inn’s master mixologist.

Leverage nerdy pop culture

Georgia Tech digital marketing lecturer Michael Buchanan said Pi Day is an open invitation to appeal to your customers’ inner nerd — but only if they know about it. Promote your upcoming Pi Day specials on social media, and consider using hashtags that will get noticed by people who might not have patronized your shop before.

“This is a nice little niche opportunity to take advantage of some of the nerdiness around pi or may be even popular TV shows that sort of have nerdy people on it,” he said.

By referencing nerdy pop culture, such as the CBS sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” or sci-fi favorite “Star Trek,” Buchanan said you can extend your typical social reach and leverage the fandom of those shows for a bigger slice of revenue on 3/14.

Related: How to Grow Your Twitter Following and Post Better Tweets


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