March Edit: Restaurant Marketing Ideas
March signals the onset of a beautiful spring. As the season changes, people are keen to shake off the dreary winter mood and be out and about. This provides a great opportunity for restaurants to whip up some fun marketing campaigns to draw customers to their doors.
Whether you do your own spring cleaning and hit reset on your menu or tap on sports enthusiasts as they gear up for the March Madness, there’s a ton of unique and exciting ways to celebrate this month with your customers.
Spring clean your menu
Dusting, scrubbing, mopping and spritzing at the beginning of spring season is an annual tradition in almost every American household. You can play on this common custom and revamp your regular menu to provide some seasonal specials.
Updating any menu can be a long-drawn-out process, so if that’s not possible you can still work around fun ideas around this theme. Clear out some excess inventory and share pictures of your spring cleaning your restaurant on social media asking your customers to do the same. This can spark off a communal feeling which is invaluable in building customer relationships.
Get in the Irish spirit
Each year March 17 is celebrated as St. Patrick’s Day but many restaurants around the country take the holiday as an opportunity to plan marketing events, not for a single day but the entire month. This is a great idea because it ensures customers are consistently engaged with your brand.
Celebrating St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland usually involves a whole lot of feasting but there are also other ways to make this a memorable experience for your diners. Besides some Irish food and drinks specials, you can have an Ireland trivia contest, lucky draws and live music gigs with a bagpipe thrown in for good measure.
Bring on the March Madness
If there’s one thing Americans unequivocally love its sports. Come March and everyone starts talking about the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men's and women's college basketball tournaments. This basketball fever is popularly referred to as March Madness for the extreme excitement it generates.
Restaurants sales show an upswing during this time of the year as fans get together to cheer for their favorite teams. Businesses are rushing to take advantage of this, as this new innovative Buffalo Wild Wings campaign shows, where they’re allowing two lucky diners and their friends to stay the night in a pop-up basketball bungalow called BnB-Dubs. So make sure you get innovative with your marketing campaign to stand out from the crowd.
Show appreciation for the women
Since March 8 is International Women’s Day, show appreciation for the ladies by offering discounts to your female customers. You can also highlight your women employees throughout the month. This shows that you care about your staff and fair employment practices are an important factor in customers choosing to advocate a brand.
Champion healthy eating
March is also the National Nutrition Month making this a perfect time to endorse healthy eating. Several studies have shown that more and more people are choosing to dine on healthy food with plant-based proteins, nutrition bowls, local organic ingredients, probiotic food and drink and non-alcoholic beverages leading the way.
Pop some wholesome dishes on your menu, share healthy recipes on your website and blog, give information on the benefits of following a nutritious diet and active lifestyle through your social media channels—these will definitely make your customers sit up and take notice of your brand.
Stand up for Mother Nature
Another major trend among today’s customers is that they tend to favor brands with a social consciousness. According to Accenture’s report titled To Affinity and Beyond: From Me to We, The Rise of the Purpose-Led Brand states that 62% of customers want companies to take a stand on current and broadly relevant issues like sustainability and transparency.
Climate change is a burning issue at the moment and on March 28, you can team up with your customers in standing up for Mother Nature by going electricity-free for an hour as the world celebrates Earth Hour. You can also collaborate with local activists and businesses to organize a more elaborate event to create awareness about climate change.
Plan early for Easter
With Easter just a month away, you can start planning early for the holiday to get a head start over your competitors. For one, you can host an Easter egg hunt that gets the whole family involved. Easter brunches are also popular with guests around this time of the year. During the holidays, a lot of people will want to dine at home with their families, so you can also offer discounts on online deliveries as part of your promotion.