Restaurant Holiday Menus Can Generate Buzz For Your Restaurant Startup

One Fat Frog loves the holidays. If you’re a loyal reader of the Froggy Blog here, you’ll remember that we recently preached the importance of signature menu items – that one item on the menu that is easily identified with your restaurant, that one item that will specifically bring customers to you to satisfy their cravings. Perhaps there is no better example than special holiday menu items.

First time restaurant owners often ask “what do I need to have a successful restaurant?” It’s a long answer, but the short answer is “good food.” This Frog is willing to go out of his way to get some food if it’s what I’m craving, especially if we’re talking about holiday specials. Think of that Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Latte. How many people go out of their way to get that drink once October comes around and it’s time for everything to taste pumpkin? The same goes for pumpkin donuts at Dunkin Donuts, the Caramel Apple Shake at Steak n’ Shake, and more.

Around Thanksgiving and Christmas, restaurants will start serving pumpkin pie, though few stock the dessert the rest of the year. For Valentine’s Day, restaurants offer a lot of heart-shaped items as well as a lot of things that are red (red symbolizing love). And right now in October, a lot of restaurants are going pink. At Tijuanna Flats, for example, you can buy a special taco with pink taco shells and part of the proceeds is donated for breast cancer research.

All of these are things that first time restaurant owners need to think about working into the menu. That doesn’t mean abandoning your theme or getting away from your regular menu. However, if you have special menu items in limited supply, that will increase demand. For the best example of this technique in work, look no farther than McDonald’s. The McRibb doesn’t actually taste good, but people get excited whenever it comes back and is added to the menu because they know it will only be available for a limited time. “I have to get it now. I may not have another chance!” Think of special limited-time menu items as well as holiday treats as ways to generate buzz for your restaurant startup.

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