Are you trying to come up with some money-making events at your restaurant to boost sales? It’s time to put a charge into your restaurant marketing efforts. Customers have a tendency to get bored with the same events and deals week after week and look to new ways to engage with their favorite restaurants. Here are three effective restaurant event ideas to boost sales.

Charity Event

Try hosting a charity event that  gives back to the community. Doing this will draw in local residents since all will be supporting a good cause. Your event can be themed and includedinner or meal. For example, if you are donating a portion of the day’s proceeds to a local animal shelter, you can serve salead  at a discounted price. Hosting an event like this shows your area that you are supportive and passionate about something other than just your business. A recent Edelman study found that 57% of consumers are more likely to buy from or boycott a brand because of where it stands on a social or political issue. The survey also found that 60% of millennials, 53% of Gen Z, and 51% of Gen X said that a brand’s beliefs matter when it comes to purchasing decisions. Supporting a meaningful casue adds a positive influence to your brand which can drive long-term success. Customers want to buy from businesses that are caring and allow customers into some of their personal interests. A charity event will reinforce current customers why they buy food from you. In turn, the event could open the door for new customers to experience your food and resonate with your brand.

Sports, Of Course

Dedicating an evening or day to your local sports team can go a long way. Dedicated fans go crazy for businesses that support or “go all in” for something they’re interested in. Give your chef the opportunity to come up with some dishes that relate  to the event. If #87 (one of your best players ) scores a goal, makes a touchdown, hits a home run – honor that with a free item. Several sports channels have adapted to customers wanting to watch sports out of the comforts of their own home. For example, SportsCenter saw an average lift of 5.8%; Monday Night Football rose 6.3% when out of home viewing was factored in, while NBA games increased by 9.6%. Not surprisingly, bigger events saw greater out-of-home viewing levels: ESPN’s NFL wildcard game increased by 17%, while the College Football Playoff semifinals that aired on New Year’s Eve saw an 11.1% out-of-home lift. Creating an event or deal that revolves around a repeated sports activity can increase your chances of retaining customers. Having repeat customers can not only help boost your sales, but it can give a boost to your image and sense of community.

Deal of the Season

Get creative with seasonal specials. . Fall has now become synonymous with pumpkin spice anything and everything. Data from Mintel Menu Insights shows that the instances of pumpkin as a flavor on restaurant menus are up 21% since 2012. While just over half of this growth is in baked goods, statistics show we like everything from dressings (20% increase) and dips (6% increase) with a pumpkin flavor. The same thing can be said about peppermint for winter. The changes of flavors can help keep your menu fresh and customers interested.Your restaurant might have a special burrito each Thanksgiving that has turkey, cranberries, gravy, and mashed potatoes in it during the entire month of November. Get your customers excited about these new menu items in the months leading up to their launch. This is a great way to get new customers trying your food and to give current customers something to be excited for.

Karen Post, a restaurant branding expert, shared: “Getting customers to dine out during the week just takes a little creativity. 1. Make a midweek day so special, full of fun, and such great value that locals can’t resist. This does not require giving away the farm. It does necessitate delivering what’s important to your customers. Depending on your market, this can range from a super social night where singles flock to your hotspot because of live music, or featuring popular menu items at a special price. 2. Make local groups feel like they belong. Designate a midweek day that’s focused on local businesses, neighborhood, community groups, or even unexpected special interest groups like black cat owners. Have patrons show proof like a business card, driver’s license, or have them show you a post on social media with a black cat — whatever is relevant to that group. Award the takers with special pricing or even a prix fixe menu named with the group in mind. This is a great reason to reach out and connect to groups or companies in your area.”

The key to running a successful event is to give the impression of a fun connection with the restaurant and not just a quick way to make money. You want to use these events as a way to connect with your customers and communicate that you are thankful for their business. This connection will have more mileage to it than a quick fix discount.

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