8 Fun and Funky Holidays Your Restaurant or Café Could Celebrate

Looking for clever ways to promote your business in 2017? Let these holidays inspire out-of-the-box ideas.
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Celebrating unique holidays — such as World Heart Day — can give your business a chance to give back to the community. (Photo: Lithiumphoto/Shutterstock)

It’s a new year, and that means a fresh batch of holidays on the calendar that can help you promote your business. While you’re planning your Valentine’s Day menu, also look at some of the lesser-known holidays for inspiration.

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“Celebrating unique or uncommon holidays is a good way to create a sense of novelty, especially between the bigger and main holidays throughout the year.” -David Mitroff (Photo: David Mitroff)

“Celebrating unique or uncommon holidays is a good way to create a sense of novelty, especially between the bigger and main holidays throughout the year,” said David Mitroff, founder of Piedmont Avenue Consulting and instructor at the University of California, Berkeley. Business owners can leverage these days to boost revenue during during slow times.

Almost every day of the year is associated with some sort of bizarre or wonderful holiday. (And just about every food you can think of, from fritters to strawberry ice cream to cream puffs, has its own day). While Blame Someone Else Day (January 13) may not be the best one to celebrate, here are eight notable ones that can help you fill the promotions calendar for your restaurant, café, bar or bakery.

Related: 9 Food Trends You Need to Add to Your Menu

1) Lunar New Year – January 28

Even if your establishment doesn’t specialize in Asian food, you can still celebrate the Chinese New Year, or Lunar New Year. 2017 is the Year of the Rooster, said Mitroff, so highlight chicken dishes or create a new plate for the holiday.

2) National Drink Wine Day – February 18

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(Photo: Brooklyn Winery)

“Brooklyn Winery in New York celebrates a number of wine holidays throughout the year to spread awareness about our brand and to celebrate the love of wine,” said marketing manager Shelby Hearn. Every February for National Drink Wine Day, she said the winery runs a weekend-long promotion and sees a nice boost in retail sales.

Related: Should Your Fast Casual Restaurant Add Alcohol to the Menu?

3) St. Patrick’s Day – March 17

Many restaurants and bars celebrate St. Patty’s day, but you don’t have to do the same thing as everyone else. Be creative. While most places highlight their beer selections, said Mitroff, “St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect chance to market and promote orders for salads and vegetarian meals as well.” He suggested creating a salad “Happy Hour.”

4) National French Fries Day – July 13

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(Photo: margouillat photo/Shutterstock)

Does your restaurant offer fresh-cut French fries? Kim Randall, owner of social marketing firm KiMedia Strategies, suggested making a video for National French Fries Day showing how your business prepares everyone’s favorite side dish.

5) Best Friends Day – August 15

If you’re wanting to give a boost to your loyalty program, Randall said August 15th is a great day for it. Use Best Friends Day to encourage your rewards members to bring in a friend, she suggested. You can offer a free burger or dessert when they get their friend to sign up for the program.

6) World Heart Day – September 29

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(Photo: suns design/Shutterstock)

Awareness days are a great way for your business to give back to the community. Consider using a percent of your profits to make a charitable donation to the American Heart Association on World Heart Day or promoting some of your more heart-healthy dishes.

7) Waiters Day – October 20

Randall suggested using the various employee appreciation days, such as Waiters Day or Custodial Worker Day (October 2), for showcasing the people behind your brand. World Bartender Day is February 24.

8) Bittersweet Chocolate With Almonds Day – November 7

With so many days to choose from — especially with candy — you can get as specific as you like. This holiday celebrates the particularly yummy combo of almonds and dark chocolate. If you’re not a fan of bittersweet chocolate, you can always celebrate Milk Chocolate Day (July 28) or Nutty Fudge Day (May 12) instead.

Leveraging the special weeks, days and months throughout the year is a great way to bring more business into your establishment and also get more attention on social media, said Randall.

“It allows us to put the brand in front of a conversation that people are having surrounding a day, a topic or a holiday,” she explained. Customers who come in and participate may even snap a picture and share it online, giving you free advertising.

Find a long list of little-known holidays here.

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