The holiday season and Valentine’s Day are long gone, but not to worry—March has officially arrived with some excellent marketing opportunities for your business. There’s Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day of course, but what about the other 29 days of the month? Take a stab at marketing some of the lesser know celebrations in March to stand out against your competition, boost sales, and gain more attention within your community.
National Girl Scout Day, March 12th
Did you know that Americans spent roughly $785 million on Girl Scout Cookies last year? That’s a lot of money spent on cookies—especially because these cookies are only sold during the first three months of the year! These sweet treats, which dominate the entire cookie industry for the first quarter of each year, are so well loved that even Dunkin Donuts has incorporated them into their coffee lineup. If a national chain is in on this trend, then you know it’s popular! Think about ways that you can get creative with Girl Scout cookies too by adding them to your own coffees, cocktails, desserts, or snacks to create a buzz. Start the conversation with your followers online to ask what their favorite cookies are and to see if they have any strong opinions on what you should try out. Personally, we think it’ll be difficult for your guests to resist a Samoa milkshake or any of these 30 delicious Girl Scout Cookie creations, for that matter. Feeling extra creative? Get to work to try tying in Girl Scout cookies and pop culture together, like this little clever girl did who ended up seeing a major increase in her own sales!
If you want to get involved but don’t have the time to try any new recipes, just showing people that you care can also draw more attention to your establishment. There are 2.5 million Girl Scouts out there who are doing amazing things to make the world a better place, and you can use your voice in the community to empower them. Consider donating a small portion of what you earn on March 12th to the organization to help their cause and get more eyes on your business. Let your followers on social media know what’s going on by posting pictures of the Scouts selling their cookies at your restaurant, or enjoying a meal with you. With a little effort, you can make money off this AND do a great thing for your community. Show everyone how you stepped out of the cookie cutter mold to really knock this one out of the park.
National Puppy Day, March 23rd
Not all marketing opportunities are food related, sometimes they’re just adorable! National Puppy Day is the perfect chance for you to gain popularity just by recognizing something everyone loves—puppies! Even if your establishment isn’t pet-friendly, there are still lots of ways you can benefit from celebrating your community’s furry loved ones. Having a ruff time thinking of how to get started? Consider the ideas below:
- If you are pet-friendly, make this day the grand opening of your amazing patio or outdoor seating space and consider offering a discount or freebie to guests who bring their pups!
- Get people talking online. Start a social media contest that requires your followers to tag your business in photos of their dogs, or share funny dog memes and stories with you. The person whose photo or comment gets the most likes wins a gift card!
- Is your establishment a no-pet zone? Use this as a chance to partner with a local pet shop or groomer to give away gift cards and goodies to your guests. Who doesn’t love free stuff?
- You can also use this chance to spread awareness about the importance of adoption, like celebs Adam Levine and Julianne Hough both have. Host an event at your establishment with a special menu and donate a portion of your earnings to the pet adoption nonprofit of your choice. Your community will be glad to give towards a cause that helps animals in need!
National Sauce Month & National Noodle Month
For some chefs, throwing some noodles and sauce together might seem like a cop-out, but for consumers, you can never go wrong with these 2 comfort classics that are used in so many cultures of the world. Back when you were a kid, there was nothing better than sitting down for a family dinner, smelling the simmering sauce that was about to fill your bowl or plate. It’s funny how these scents can still bring you back to those memories and are capable of evoking such strong emotions for people. Use these 2 staples to provide your customers with that same feeling of “home” and focus on a month of filled with comforting pasta and noodle dishes from around the globe.
There are lots of options out there, so if you’re unsure of where to start, just ask your loyal customers and followers online. They’ll be happy to contribute their ideas, and even happier to see one of their ideas come to life at your restaurant. This way, you can get the word out while also getting people excited about something new. Keep it simple by starting a poll, or sticking with one type of cuisine, like Italian. Check out this list of favorite types of pasta ranked and try your hand at making fresh, homemade pasta to use in some incredible dishes. If not Italian, try out a Thai or different Asian style fusion dish to serve. Better yet, give your customers the option to build their own pasta dish; just list their options for the base, sauce, add-ins, and protein. This is a trend that’s huge right now and only growing! Remember, it never hurts to throw a discount in when possible. Make sure your dishes get the attention they deserve by doing a promotion, like offering a free dessert or appetizer with the purchase of 2 pasta entrees, or a complimentary drink with the purchase of one. The pasta-bilities are endless!
National Nutrition Month
There’s no denying that nutrition and personal health are in right now. Many restaurants around the country have seen this and adapted their menu to include more health-conscious options—have you? Even if you don’t identify as a healthy eatery, there’s no excuse. You can still incorporate nutrition into your dishes without making too many changes. Here are two simple ways how:
- Offer some vegan and vegetarian options. There’s been a 600% increase of veganism in the US within the past three years (wow!), which means you’d be excluding a huge group of consumers by not offering these dishes. Check out some meatless proteins on the rise and start incorporating them into your everyday dishes today.
- More and more people are adopting gluten and dairy-free diets also. Adding the option to sub regular pasta and bread for gluten-free varieties gives your gluten-sensitive guests more choices, and the same goes for your dairy products. Look into other substitutions for dairy products like coconut or oat milk.
Building healthier options for your guests will only make your establishment more accessible to a wider range of people. Check out our other blog post on nutrition for more tips on gettings started.
So, how will you get involved this month? Whether it’s through food or not, there are countless ways to get out there and promote your business, increase your sales, and stand out in your community in March. Share your photos and tell us how you’re getting involved on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!