How to Use Mini-Events to Promote Your Restaurant (7 Ideas)

Successfully operating a restaurant requires the ability to serve high-quality food with top-tier ingredients and excellent customer service. If you are looking for a way to drum up business and want to do so both locally and online, there are a few mini-events that are designed to promote and generate buzz for local restaurants and eateries.

Hosting Events To Promote Your Restauranttasting-event-samples

Building a successful restaurant can take years, if not decades, especially if your goal entails building a brand attached to the type of food you serve. If you want to put the quality of your menu to the test, consider hosting a tasting event.

A tasting event can help to generate excitement surrounding your restaurant while also attracting patrons who have yet to dine at your establishment. Some of the unique benefits of hosting a tasting event include:

  • Bringing awareness to your restaurant: Hosting a tasting event is one of the fastest ways to draw attention to your restaurant, especially if you are launching a brand new eatery or you are opening a new location.

  • Spreading the word: Spread the word of your restaurant by hosting tasting events, especially if the events are designed for friends, larger groups, or entire families. If you want to get your restaurant on the map, you may need to offer freebies and host tasting events more often when you are just starting off.

Below are mini-event ideas you can do to promote your restaurant: 


1. Promote Local Baking and Cooking Classes

Another way to help your restaurant to become a household name is to begin offering cooking and/or baking classes. If you are working with a well-trained chef who is interested in teaching others the basics of cooking, go for it.

You can also opt to hire third-party chefs who are interested in hosting teaching courses for locals, helping to draw attention to your restaurant's location and all that it has to offer to residents of your city.


2. Consider Virtual Classes

If you want to maximize the number of attendees you receive when it comes to your cooking classes, consider hosting virtual cooking classes. Hosting a virtual or hybrid cooking class provides those with limited transportation with the ability to learn how to cook right from the comfort of their own home (or anywhere with a wireless internet connection).

Using a virtual class can also provide the following:

  • Data and analytics: Learn which demographics are attending your virtual cooking classes.
  • Popularity: Determine which time slots are most likely to draw the largest crowds.
  • Comfort: When attendees feel more comfortable with their attendance options, they are more likely to purchase a ticket and/or attend themselves.


3. Restaurant Loyalty Club or Membership (With Perks)

If you are scouring for ways to help your restaurant stand out, consider launching your own restaurant membership or loyalty club. While some chain restaurants may offer perks and loyalty points, doing so at a local establishment can help to significantly attract new patrons.

Some ideas for loyalty clubs and memberships might include:

  • Wine club: Create a local wine club where members are able to taste and try samplings of wine that have been discovered all around the world.
  • Adults-only: Host adults-only evenings for those who are interested in date nights or a night out without the kids; maybe offer kid zones or daycare partnerships. 
  • Points and perks: Allowing patrons the ability to earn points and perks is one of the best ways to incentivize them to visit your restaurant or even place takeout orders. With a point and perk system, create tiers, offer special rewards, and send unique promotional codes to loyal members who frequently dine with you.


4. Weekly Events

Depending on the location of your restaurant, you may have the opportunity to host additional events, such as yoga and meditation, tarot card readings, or even fundraising events. If you have a great view of the water, offering up your space for comfortable yoga and meditation sessions can help attract foot traffic while simultaneously spreading the word about your restaurant.

Weekly or annual event ideas might include: 

  • Themed tastings
  • Farmers or vendor markets
  • Restaurant Week
  • Festivals (annual)
  • Cooking/baking classes
  • Happy Hour


5. Allow Residents to Rent Out Your Available Space

If you have the option, you can also offer residents the option of renting out additional space you have available as a venue for their own events. If you are renting an entire building but only using a single floor to manage your restaurant, consider renting the space upstairs for classes or even for another small business.

Not only will these options help to spread the word about your restaurant and its location, but they will also help you to connect with other vendors and business owners in your local community.


6. Consider Catering Options

If you want to promote your business but are feeling a bit stuck, one option to consider is catering. Catering services can help to put your restaurant on the map while simultaneously spreading the word regarding the cuisine and type of food you serve.

Catering weddings, graduations, and even small parties can help you to spread the word if you are just getting started in the food business for the first time.

7. Partake in Local Fairs and Festivals as a Member of the Community

Get involved and engaged with local festivals and fairs as a member of the community to spread the word about your restaurant and/or the food and beverage products you provide. Rent booths, sponsor events, and donate to local charities to help put your name on the map as the owner of a local restaurant or eatery.

Using various events to promote your restaurant can help generate awareness and buzz surrounding your establishment. If you are new or simply looking for a way to get the word out about your food, becoming actively involved and engaged with your local community is the first step. Using the right events to promote your restaurant can ultimately result in a full house once you are ready to open for business.

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