Restaurant Toolkit

Restaurant Ideas for Labor Day, Back to School, and more

Get restaurant ideas for Labor Day, back-to-school planning, and more in today's blog.
min. read

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Somehow, summer is coming to an end—and too soon!

Still, we can look forward to a new season full of fall colors, new customers, and a chance to refresh your restaurant’s marketing strategy.

But before we get all pumpkin spice latte and school supplies on you, we still have Labor Day in the pipeline. In fact, DoorDash and Grubhub have coined Labor Day as one of the biggest holidays for food delivery. So how can we ensure your restaurant closes summer out with a bang (with a fall plan in place)?  

This article includes free ideas for how to promote your restaurant for Labor Day and plan Back to School Promotions. Keep reading for inspiration!

5 ways to promote your restaurant this Labor Day Weekend

1. Offer Labor Day Delivery Deals

As we’ve mentioned, Labor Day is one of the busiest days for food delivery. If you’re short on staff (or can’t find employees to work the holiday), consider operating as a delivery-only restaurant for the long weekend. Focusing your efforts on delivery sales can give you time back to go all-in on promoting special Labor Day delivery promotions on social media. Even if you’re planning on keeping dine-in operations, as usual, make sure to give the delivery side of your business some extra love with an End of Summer discount. Since your customers will most likely be with family and friends over the long weekend, center your promotions around group deals (i.e., orders of more than x amount get a dessert free or 10% off).

2. Make To-Go Cocktails

Your customers are sad that summer is ending and looking to relax with one last sunny hurrah. Not to mention most people get a three-day weekend which means… it’s time to break out your best cocktails and mocktails!

Don’t cop out on the alc-free substitutions so everyone can join in on the fun and, if possible, offer the drinks to-go so people can bring them on their boats, patios, or backyards. You can also provide a Labor Day Weekend Happy Hour Deal or Boozy Brunch (where you discount drinks just for those hours) to drive dine-in sales.

3. Throw an All-White Party

If your restaurant has excellent space for events (especially outdoor), why not host  a Labor Day Weekend All-white party? The event idea is simple but fun: all customers are required to wear white. Customers who wear white get discounts on drinks, and those who do not have to pay the total price. An all-white party is a great way to get your customers to take pictures, tag your restaurant, and use the UGC (user-generated content) on your own social media to drive business. What’s more? If you have the budget, reach out to local musicians or DJs to create the vibe you want for the party.

4. Make a “Kids Eat Free” Rule

Many families are looking for kid-friendly fun on Labor Day Weekend. Giving all kids a free meal on the day is a fantastic way to drive families to dine or order in from your restaurant. Not to mention groups with kids are usually larger, which means more sales, and let’s face it, kids don’t eat much as it is!

5. Host a Social Media Giveaway

Hosting a Labor Day Giveaway on your social media is a great way to drive engagement and followers to your restaurant beyond the holiday. Post the giveaway a few days in advance with the requirements to enter: a) must follow your restaurant, b) like the post c) repost the giveaway. Consider gifting a weekend of free delivery orders, a 150-dollar gift card, or free drinks until the end of August!

6 back-to-school promotions ideas for your restaurant

1. Update Your Restaurant Decor

The fall season is all about fresh starts and cozy vibes. We’re not saying to invest all your money in a total decor makeover, but to consider minor updates that make all the difference!

Perhaps there’s an opportunity to switch up your restaurant’s lighting for more ambiance, add some cute plants or get creative with our 43 Chalkboard and Tip Jar Saying Ideas for your Restaurant. If your restaurant is near a local school, consider adding the school flag, branded swag, or sign to welcome students and entice them to frequent your restaurant.

2. Offer a Student Discount

Make sure to offer an entire fall season back-to-school discount for customers who show their student ID. You’ll have students flocking to your business in no time! Add a “We Love Teachers”  discount for the back-to-school season. Choose whatever value works for your restaurant and promote the deal on social media and with a sign outside your restaurant!

3. Make a School Night Delivery Special

We all know fall is a busy time, and sometimes it takes students and their families to get back in the groove of the school calendar, sports, and extracurricular activities. With a busy schedule comes ample opportunity to tap into growing your delivery business. Consider offering a School Night Delivery Special for the first day back for schools in your areas.

4. Check out Community Social Calendars

If there are pre-schools, elementary schools, high schools, or colleges in your area, now is the time to head over to their websites to check out their social calendars. This is a proactive and strategic way to get ahead of game days and events - and be part of the larger community. You can reach out and offer to cater these events, stay open later, or offer delivery discounts for college game days and more.

5. Set up a School Supply Donation Bin

Encourage customers to help students and teachers start the school year off right by setting up a donation box based on the teacher wishlists in your area. This will give your restaurant amazing karma and position your business as a community advocate and drive more foot traffic through the door.

6. Make a Back-to-School Loyalty Program

Pull your current customer list and send them an email reminding them of any special discounts you offer for repeat customers (if you don’t already have a loyalty program for your regulars, why not kick one-off this fall?!)

We hope these 11 Labor Day and back-to-school ideas sparked inspiration for your restaurant. Remember, a new season means new beginnings, and if you’re looking to simplify and grow your delivery business this fall—we’d love to partner with you!

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