Once a Year Marketing Adds Up


Anniversaries can provide many opportunities to promote your restaurant. Consider these three the next time you’re looking for a boost in traffic and sales:

Celebrate the anniversary of your opening. Feature several menu items that were available when your restaurant first opened its doors, and consider offering them at the same price. Be sure to train your servers to sell, pinpointing opportunities to upgrade orders around the promotion to make up for the narrowed profit margins on the featured items. The focus of the promotion might be “customer appreciation.” Promote the event on social media and to your local news outlets who are always looking for a hometown-fun story angle.

Celebrate the anniversary of local events. The wackier, the better — particularly if you’re a casual-theme restaurant. A sports bar, for instance, might celebrate the signing of a star baseball player who’s not doing well by poking fun at his performance on the field. The bar could offer legs of beer during happy hour at a price equivalent to the player’s paltry batting average. It would be important to keep it fun, not mean-spirited, then let the notoriety and customer traffic flow in the doors.

Celebrate the anniversary of your customers. Be ready to party on the spot if servers discover a couple who has come into the restaurant to celebrate their special day. Offer complimentary flutes of champagne, a dessert to share, or a special appetizer not necessarily on the menu, compliments of the chef.

Only good things can happen when guests are treated with this kind of fan-fare. The couple may celebrate future anniversaries, not to mention other special occasions, at your restaurant. They’ll tell stories about what happened, inspiring friends to visit your restaurant. Those seated near the couple, impressed by the special treatment, could decide to spend their special evenings at your restaurant.

The Domino Effect. The secret is to build onto the success of your anniversary marketing. Promote anniversary marketing on social media, pass out business cards, invite customers back for future visits, and hand out bounceback offers good the next time they come in. One success should lead to another. Just like dominoes — you push one down, then the next one falls, and then the one after that.

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