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Did you know 45% of U.S. customers say they’ve tried a new restaurant after seeing a restaurant’s post on social media? That’s why it’s more important than ever to make sure your restaurant is establishing an effective social media strategy to grab customers’ attention. One great way to make your restaurant stand out online is to celebrate national food holidays on social media.

Take a look at these tips on how you can take advantage of food holidays this month and keep scrolling to get the full September calendar.

What are national food holidays?

National food holidays are micro holidays that center around a certain cuisine. They are often celebrated on social media and encourage diners to band together to show appreciation for everything from pumpkin spice (October 1) to potatoes (October 27). While these holidays don’t warrant a day off, they can still be fun to observe and celebrate. As a restaurant owner, a food holiday is the perfect excuse to offer an irresistible promotion that will encourage diners to place an order.

Why your restaurant should celebrate national food holidays

Everyone loves having something to celebrate, and restaurants can use food holidays to build excitement around their dishes. Food holidays are particularly popular on social media as diners go online to share what cuisine they’re celebrating. Acknowledging a food holiday on social media by using the holiday’s hashtag can instantly make your restaurant relevant to a wider audience.

Food holidays put specific dishes top of mind. When diners are craving dessert on National Dessert Day (October 14), you want your sweet creations at the center of the celebration. Posting about your food can motivate diners to order from your restaurant. In fact, 53% of millennial TikTok users visited a restaurant after seeing it on the app. Incorporating food holidays in your social media strategy incentivizes hungry diners to check out your cuisine.

3 tips for marketing national food holidays

A successful food holiday marketing strategy begins with a strong digital presence. Modern diners flock online to discover new restaurants and place orders. Digital tactics are important for your restaurant marketing strategy.

To make your national food holiday celebrations as effective as possible, tie them into a larger restaurant marketing strategy that looks at the big picture, not just a single opportunity. A restaurant marketing strategy is a formal plan that documents, tracks and analyzes all your marketing efforts and activities.

1. Pile on promotions

Nothing motivates a diner to press ‘order now’ more than a discount. Rolling out promotions not only attracts more customers to your menu, but also encourages loyalty. Diners are more likely to place repeat orders if they think a restaurant has a good deal. In fact, 81% of consumers would switch restaurants if they saw a good deal. Your food holiday promotions can be the first thing that catches a potential customer’s eye.

Here are some promotion ideas that can get diners drooling for your dishes:

  • Discount dollar amounts: On National Taco Day (October 4), offer $1 off tacos.
  • Discounted items: Celebrate National Pasta Day (October 17) by offering 20% off all pasta dishes.
  • Discount-themed ingredients: Celebrate Greasy Foods Day (September 2) by offering 20% off all fried menu items.
  • Free item with purchase: On National Chocolate Cupcake Day (October 18), offer a free cupcake to every customer that orders online.

When you partner with Grubhub, launching promotions is as easy as pie. Restaurants that partner with Grubhub gain access to free-to-use promotional and marketing tools that are proven to increase orders and customers.

With Grubhub’s Promotions and Loyalty Tools, you can:

  • Run seasonal promotions to make the most of national food holidays
  • Offer your customer the right discount at the right time
  • Increase your ROI with our advanced technology and huge volumes of restaurant and customer data

2. Highlight online ordering

Getting customers excited about a food holiday is great, but unless you give them an easy avenue to place an order, all that momentum around your dishes will be lost.

Your restaurant’s website serves as the backbone of your digital presence. Your website should have all things a diner needs to know about your restaurant – this includes your menu, hours, location, story and an online ordering platform. Finding a platform that converts curious diners into satisfied customers can be difficult. That’s why restaurants are turning to Direct to reach more customers, drive online ordering and establish their advertising efforts with zero commission costs.

88% of restaurant operators stated a branded experience is very important for sales. With Direct, your restaurant can create an online ordering web page that’s designed and branded to match your existing restaurant’s look and feel. It can be easily integrated into your existing website (if you have one) or can act as your main site if need be. Learn more about how Direct can drive online ordering.

The Direct Success Playbook by Grubhub

Once your website is up and running, you want to make sure it’s searchable. When potential diners search your restaurant on Google, your Business Profile is usually the first thing to pop up. Claim your restaurant’s Google Business Profile so that you can make sure it correctly displays your hours, address, pricing and website link. When your Business Profile features the correct info and links, it’s far more likely a customer will place an order or come in to check you out.

3. Get social

Nobody will know your restaurant is celebrating a national food holiday unless you spread the word. That’s where social media comes in. TikTok, Instagram and Facebook are all powerful places to establish a restaurant social media presence.

Looking for some tips to make your restaurant pop on social media? Try these ideas:

  • Showcase your dishes by posting delectable photos and videos of them on national food holidays.
  • Use trending hashtags like #NationalNoodleDay or #NationalPumpkinDay to reach a larger audience beyond your social media followers.
  • Use local hashtags like #BostonFoodie or #NYCeats to connect with customers nearby.
  • Create a quiz about your dishes to boost engagement with your national food holiday promotions.
  • Launch a contest with prizes that relate to your restaurant and die in with your national food holiday promotion.

It’s easy for restaurant owners’ plates to pile up, leaving little time to strategize about marketing. That’s why developing a social media calendar is essential for planning out how you will roll out your promotions.

A social media calendar is a way to organize your upcoming social media posts and promotions by date. Planning posts in advance gives you time to lay out promotions, batch content and solidify your menu to align with your offerings.

Check out these tips on how to market national food holidays on social media.

What social media holidays are coming next?

September means the start of fall, and diners are returning to their busy routines. Fall is a great time to double down on delivery, and running a food holiday promotion is a great way to encourage customers to order. Your restaurant can celebrate popular foods like pumpkin spice (October 1), frappes (October 7), and potatoes (October 27). October also brings Halloween, a popular ordering holiday on Grubhub. Is your restaurant’s delivery and takeout service ready to fuel this celebration? No matter what cuisine you’re celebrating, it pays to run a food holiday promotion.

Download our Guide to National Food Holidays to learn how to spearhead your promotional marketing and elevate your digital presence. Use your new calendar to create a marketing plan or amplify your existing one. National food holidays could be your next step toward increased sales and a wealth of new customers.

Download National Food Holiday calendar

September national food holidays

October is National Chili Month and National Pizza Month.

  • National Pumpkin Spice Day (October 1)
  • National Taco Day (October 4)
  • National Kale Day (October 5)
  • National Noodle Day (October 6)
  • National Frappe Day (October 7)
  • National Angel Food Cake Day (October 10)
  • National Sausage Pizza Day (October 11)
  • National Gumbo Day (October 12)
  • National Dessert Day (October 14)
  • National Mushroom Day (October 15)
  • National Pasta Day (October 17)
  • National Chocolate Cupcake Day (October 18)
  • National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day (October 21)
  • National Boston Cream Pie Day (October 24)
  • National Greasy Foods Day (October 25)
  • National Pumpkin Day (October 26)
  • National Potato Day (October 27)