Want to build successful, content-driven marketing campaigns for your restaurant in 2019?
86% of B2C marketers agree that content marketing is a key part of overall marketing strategy.
Content marketing is typically built around key dates that happen throughout the year.
In the run up to Christmas, for example, you’ll be creating special menus, adverts and potentially other content to share online and in print.
But you shouldn’t limit yourself to celebrating the usual big events like Valentine’s Day and New Year.
January is your chance to plan out events and content campaigns that get people talking about you all year long.
There are three key elements to successful restaurant content planning.
Events and trends are the lifeblood of content calendars. They are strong foundations around which you can build your own campaigns.
But creating exciting campaigns that will get featured in local newspapers and shared on social media takes a little imagination as well.
For Valentine’s Day, for example, don’t stick with the same old stuffy menu. Do something more creative.
Why not get people in the mood by creating a new menu completely from aphrodisiacs.
Dates for Your Diary
In this blog post, we’ll be sharing five unorthodox dates for your content diary, along with some imaginative ideas to help you plan.
Not all these ideas will be appropriate for every restaurant. You can take the spirit of the event and apply it to your own eatery.
The Year of the Pig
Chinese New Year is on 5 February this year. And you don’t necessarily need to be a Chinese restaurant to hold an event.
Based in Manchester, we have also seen how people get into Chinese New Year celebrations – the fireworks, the dragon parade – the colourful event is very social media friendly.
There are several things that you can do to bring some of the Chinese New Year colour into your own restaurant.
Because it’s the Year of the Pig, you could mix-up your existing menu with some Chinese pork options.
We know of at least one pizza restaurant in Manchester that’s celebrating the event with a pork rib pizza.
And because Chinese New Year is all about good fortune, why not give anyone who was born in the Year of the Pig (1995, 1983, 1971) a special discount on their meal.
Is 2019 the year that marijuana goes mainstream? Probably not.
Weed is still illegal. But CBD products – products derived from cannabis plants that don’t contain THC – have become big business.
Even Holland and Barrett and Harvey Nichols have started stocking CBD products as an alternative remedy for skincare issues, chronic pain and disrupted sleep.
Also known as cannabidiol, CBD won’t get your customers high, but it’s use as a food supplement is growing.
In the United States, you can buy CBD sweets, cookies and dog treats.
It can also be infused into a whole range of drinks including tea, coffee and milkshakes. The word is that Coca-Cola is working on a CBD version of the world’s most famous brand.
Putting CBD-infused products on your menu full-time might feel like a bit of a risk. But you could experiment with it for one day only on international weed day on 420 (April 20th).
For counter-cultural restaurants it could be a great day to build a campaign around.
Cinqo de Mayo
Brits love Mexican street food. Fajitas have become a dinner-time staple and there’s a burrito bar on every high street.
The food is fast, fun and sociable. It’s perfect for a party.
Food is also a big part of Mexico and America’s Cinqo de Mayo (5 May) celebration.
Even if your bar or restaurant does not ordinarily serve Mexican food, Cinqo de Mayo falls on a weekend this year, so it is the perfect opportunity to have your own Mexican themed night complete with everyone’s favourite street food and tequila-based cocktails.
You could even put your own twist on Mexican food by wrapping your normal menu in a burrito.
British mushroom season
Nutrient-packed mushrooms are appearing everywhere these days.
Pintrest searches for the mushrooms were up 64% last year as more and more people look for new and exciting ways to eat the low-carb fungus.
Mushrooms grow all year round, but September, October and November tend to be the best times to find a large variety of wild mushrooms in the UK.
Jumping on popular food trends is a great way for restaurants to get noticed on Facebook and Instagram and in traditional and other digital media. But it requires a little imagination.
This year, you can look beyond the Closed Cup, Button and Chestnut and experiment with of some of the weirdest wild mushrooms you can find.
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Not only do these artisanal mushrooms look funky, but they also taste great.
We know mushrooms aren’t for everyone. But love them or hate them, they are always good for getting a conversation started.
Equal Pay Day
Equal pay day is how far into the year women must work to earn what mean earned in the previous year.
Worked out with the average difference in earnings, the day varies from year to year and from country to country but last year in the UK it was on November 10.
After this date, campaigners say, women are effectively working for free.
Spurred on by the #MeToo movement, the gender pay gap has become an issue that keeps hitting the headlines and has put pressure on government and employers to make changes.
One novel way that cafes, bars and restaurants can embrace the spirit of equal pay day is by launching a price structure based on women.
In Melbourne, one café owner got coverage in a huge range of national and international newspapers when her vegan café, The Handsome Her, asked men to pay 18% more than women.
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Our resident artist Jules Baby who’s sign went viral when we first opened last year. 🤙☝️ . . . . . #handsomeher #handsomecoffee #veganbrunswick #specialtycoffee #feminism #breakfastinmelbourne #brunswick #vegansofmelbourne #brunswickcafe #vegansofinstagram #melbournefood #melbournecafe #melbournecafes #vegan #veganfood #veganfoodhare #veganmelbourne #brunch #melbournebrunch #prilaga #whatveganseat #melbournefoodies #specialtycoffeeroasters #veganbreakfast #vegansofig #veganlife #veganeats #veganism #veganlifestyle
On Equal Pay Day 2019, your business could make similar headlines by asking men to pay a voluntary surcharge. Voluntary because otherwise you might fall foul of gender discrimination legislation.