Fall is everyone’s favorite season!
Today, 33% of Americans state that fall is their favorite season. One of the biggest reasons so many American love fall? Enjoying delicious fall flavors. According to the recent survey, fall is the best season because of aspects like “drinking hot chocolate, having cinnamon apple food and drinks, having pumpkin spice-flavored food and drinks, drinking hot apple cider, and making pumpkin bread.”
For restaurant owners and operators, this frenzy for fall makes autumn the perfect time to market your restaurant with fall-themed marketing promotions and bring in more customers.
As the temperatures continue to drop, try out a few of these fall-themed marketing tactics to entice customers to visit your restaurant and to drive up your takeout and delivery orders.
Fall marketing tactics for restaurant owners and managers:
- Incorporate fall flavors into your menu
- Set a cozy mood
- Offer autumn-themed specials
- Celebrate local flavors and engage with your community
Incorporate fall flavors into your menu
Fall is synonymous with ingredients like apples, pumpkins, pears, cider, squash, and warming spices. Consider offering limited time only fall forward meals, menu items, beverages, and desserts to entice customers to place a takeout order from your restaurant.
Additionally, now that the temperature is dropping, many customers are ready to dig into comforting, hot meals like soups, stews, casseroles, braises, and roasted vegetables and meats. Consider adding more hearty, wintery fare to your menu to encourage customers to place an order.
Finally, be sure to share your special fall-forward menu items on social media with mouthwatering descriptions and photographs. Instagram and TikTok are the perfect platforms to show off delicious dishes and offer limited-time promo codes to followers.
Set a cozy mood
Autumn is a season that celebrates chilly temperatures, changing leaves, and cozy activities inside and out. To set the mood at your restaurant, consider tweaking your decor to reflect everyone’s favorite season and encourage more customers to visit.
Fall decorations for restaurant owners and operators:
- Play Halloween movies or stock footage of fall landscapes (changing leaves, golden hills, apple orchards, pumpkin patches) on your televisions.
- If your restaurant offers outside seating, make it extra cozy with heat lamps and string lights.
- If your restaurant has a fireplace, now is the time to use it!
- Incorporate fall colors, prints, or illustrations on your takeout and carryout bags, containers, and cups. Plaid, illustrations of apples or pumpkins, and warming colors like maroon, rust, and marigold all add to an inviting fall atmosphere.
- Use fall decor inside and outside your restaurant to draw customers in. Try hay bales, scarecrows, pumpkins, gourds, baskets of fall fruit, garlands, or wreathes.
- Celebrate Halloween with spooky, scary, and silly decorations.
Offer autumn-themed specials
This fall, restaurant owners and operators can also make the most of the season by marketing autumn-themed events.
Special events help to draw more customers in to your restaurant, create a reason for you to be in touch with customers over email (“Visit next week for our scary good Halloween specials!”), and boos excitement around your restaurant and menu.
Consider hosting a fall-themed special event like:
- Offer “happy hours” on non-alcoholic beverages with fall flavors. Think: apple cider slushies, pumpkin-flavored coffee drinks, or milkshake flavors like apple spice, pecan pie, pumpkin, or cinnamon swirl.
- Run happy hours with discounted prices on fall-flavored drinks like spiked apple cider, hard cider, pumpkin beers, Oktoberfest beers, or fall-harvested wines.
- Host a fall-themed party. Consider options like: Fall into Fall Fest, Oktoberfest, or a Halloween event. Bring in live music and offer specials on a LTO fall-flavored dishes, desserts, and drinks.
- Sell kits of menu items that travel well as part of an “Apple Picking Picnic” or “Pumpkin Patch Picnic.” Be sure to include utensils, napkins, and seasonings, so orderers have everything they need to enjoy your restaurant’s food outdoors.
- Run a theme week like Pumpkin Fest, Apple Fest, or Harvest Fest. Offer a special menu for the week that highlights the star food in mains, sides, desserts, and beverages.
Celebrate local flavors
Another great marketing tactic for restaurant owners and operators in the fall? Introduce your customers to local farmers, food producers, breweries, coffee roasters and more with special menus that highlight products from your zip code.
How to highlight local makers at your restaurant:
- Use local fruits and vegetables in your menu items. Share the story of the farm on your menu or on social media.
- Decorate your restaurant with locally sourced decor like pumpkins, gourds, hay bales, wreaths, and more. Add signage around displays to highlight where the decorations came from.
- Serve local beer, wines, or liquors on your drinks menu. Highlight offerings with fall-forward flavors like pumpkin, apple, pear, or Oktoberfest style beers.
- Brew local coffee beans for special fall-flavored coffee treats like lattes, cappuccinos,, and frappes.
- Consider offering fall flavored desserts from local bakers or bakeries.
- Try serving seasonal ice cream from a local scoop shop.