Three Event Ideas to Keep Your Restaurant Popular

Isaac Elias (fl. circa 1629) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Isaac Elias (fl. circa 1629) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
So let’s say that it’s been a while since you opened your restaurant, and you seem to have a steady customer base. First all, congratulations. And second of all, it’s time to step things up a bit. If you aren’t already hosting events in your restaurant, here are three event ideas to keep your restaurant on the top of people’s minds.

Movie Night

By Lee Ruk [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Lee Ruk [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
If you find that on average customers stay more than two hours in your restaurant, then it’s time to take advantage of that. Hosting a movie night can not only reinforce the environment of your restaurant, but allow an incentive for large groups of friends or couples to come to your restaurant.

But of course that all depends on what movie you choose.

Depending on what movie you choose to buy rights to, the rights could be impossibly cheap (as in free from the public domain) to impossibly expensive. To get started on getting public performance rights on a movie, Swank and Criterion are two popular resources to get rights for modern movies. If you want something more alternative or classic, Kino Lorber is another resource.

Sampler Night

By Jonathan Wisner from Frederick Colorado (chicago0002) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Jonathan Wisner from Frederick Colorado (chicago0002) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
If you want to host an event that doesn’t require too much planning and food-related, consider hosting a sampler night. What works about this idea is that this solves the one-item menu problem: If most of your customers order just one item off your menu.

But of course, there are different ways to set up your sampler night. You could either set up an entrance fee and do a buffet-style “all-you-can-eat” setup.” Or if you don’t have a sampler dish in your menu, you can offer that as a special menu item and see if it works.

Depending on how this event goes for you this could either be a way for your head chef to try some new items, or let your chefs cook something else for a change.

Chef Demonstration Night

By Ralf Roletschek [GFDL 1.2 (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Ralf Roletschek [GFDL 1.2 (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
If you’re not afraid to be open with one of your recipes, then consider take a night to give your chef(s) the spotlight and have him/her teach your customers how to cook one of your menus.

As it is with a lot of chef demo nights, you can have him cook it himself and give the dishes to your customers (similar to how it might work on an audience-based celebrity chef show), or make it a teaching lesson so customers can follow along with the chef as well. If you’re doing the latter, make it something easy and ready-to-eat like sushi or spring rolls.


Overall, having events in your restaurant calendar is always a good idea. If restaurant benefit from sports, then it’s worth a risk to host events for your own.