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As summer comes to an end..

and people start to feel the downward swing into colder weather and seasonal festivities, restaurant dining behavior begins to shift. Towards the end of September and properly, October, customers of restaurants begin to seek out seasonal opportunities- those experiences that give them a sense of seasonal spirit and fills both their hearts (and stomachs) with warmth.

But more than just for the customers well being, the season of autumn poses a unique opportunity for restaurants to go wild with marketing ideas, rebranding, promotional offers, and more. It’s important for restaurant owners to see this time of the year as a chance to give more from their restaurant than just food- but rather an experience. So, let’s have a look at four marketing ideas (topics) for restaurants to take advantage of in October and beyond.

1. Create seasonal menu items

This is kind of a no-brainer. With the ideas of pumpkins, tea, turkey and more, on the minds of customers (not to mention any kind of food item pertaining to Halloween), it’s pretty easy to swing a restaurants menu and create a seasonal dish, or drink. This is especially true for the adult drinker, who will gladly take on a round of seasonal-themed ales or mixed drinks with their friends. If you live somewhere cold, perhaps a drink that makes people feel warm both in the belly and in the mind. If you’re in an area that doesn’t really seem to get colder, perhaps a cold drink themed after the coming of autumn, or the preparation of winter?

It’s with the same voracity as national pasta day and national pizza month that customers flock to dining establishments to enjoy seasonal foods and beverages. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to listen to the trends of your guests, and give them the seasonal experience they’re looking for.

2. Decorate your restaurant (and website)

People are visual, which means even just a few pumpkins, candles and cobwebs can give the seasonal impression that customers are looking for. A simple tip- try dimming the lights and lighting candles- this will also help with your electric bill! The same can be said for your website- adding autumn themed imagery will not only bestow your virtual guests with the feelings of seasonal joy, but it will also show attentiveness to your website and the changes of time. Too many restaurants have websites that are horribly outdated and reflect poorly on the business.

If you’re in need of a website for your restaurant, our team at BizPappa can create custom landing pages for just $49. To learn more about this, visit our website.

3. Name your seasonal specials/discounts

Kind of tying back into the promotional aspect of your food and beverage choices, giving your items seasonal names can help spice up the experience for returning customers, and invoke interest from new customers. There’s no “best way” to name your seasonal items, but a great way is to lean on movies and artistic works that reflect the seasonal mood.

Another great way to explore the nomenclature of your offerings is to try a variety of slogans or catch phrases on your business cards/gift cards. This way, you can try different themes and put them out on your front counter for customers to pick up at will. Those that get taken the most, are the ones that have a theme that resonates best with your diners.

4. Spice up your social media game

Specifically I’m talking about digital marketing- leveraging the virtual world to show your followers (and customers) that you’re serious about the seasons. Instead of hosting local events at your restaurant, why not host a virtual I-spy game on an Instagram photo? Or perhaps a survey on Twitter that will determine the name of your next seasonal drink, or special offer? You have every opportunity to engage your customers, regardless of if they’re inside or out, of your establishments doors.

In conclusion, leveraging the spirit of the season is more than beneficial to getting customers- its a great idea for building community within your team, as well as in your establishment. Plus, it can be fun! If you’re looking for seasonal themed assets like paper menus or virtual website landing pages, contact our team at BizPappa and we can help!