15 Wacky Food Days to Celebrate in Your Restaurant
Posted: Feb. 28, 2018
On the last day of February, it makes the most sense to look ahead into the goings-on of March.
The upcoming month is full of madcap culinary holidays. As the owner of a restaurant, take advantage of this wackiness and offer holiday-inspired food specials.
Time-sensitive deals and hot topics are attractive to all consumers—restaurant diners are no exception. When strategically implemented, specials can serve as incremental revenue-boosters. Additionally, the novelty of “celebrating” unusual food holidays is just the kind of marketing trick that inspires customers to post on social media.
This March, surprise and delight guests by going all out for one of these food holidays. Create playful flyers and put up decorations that commemorate the theme. It’s a not-so-serious occasion, so make your preparations fun and easy. Most important, offer an irresistible promotion or a special dish that customers can’t resist.
15 Unusual Food Holidays to Commemorate at Your Restaurant This March
With your chef, choose a holiday that complements your menu and dining concept; he or she might even have a recipe to test out. Use the day as an opportunity to try out new dishes, and track the sales with your restaurant point-of-sale system to see just how well the promotion went.
National Peanut Butter Lover's Day – March 1
This nation’s love for peanut butter spans generations and regions. So much so that one could award National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day as the “most crowd-pleasing day” for restaurants to take advantage of. From nutty appetizers to savory desserts, there are myriad ways to integrate peanut butter into your menu.
Because of its versatility, any dining and beverage establishment can use this holiday to market a peanut-butter menu item.
- Ice cream shops: Peanut-butter cookie dough ice cream
- Breweries and Bars: A free portion of specialty peanuts with every pint
- Pizza parlors: Oversize peanut-butter cookie
- Wineries: Artisan peanut and cheese platters
- Food trucks: Anything. You can be as creative as you want!
- Coffee: Organic peanut-butter sandwiches
National Frozen Food Day – March 6
You might be surprised to hear that Frozen Food Day is a true national holiday, declared by President Reagan in Proclamation #5157, "Now, therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim March 6, 1984, as Frozen Food Day, and I call upon the American people to observe such day with appropriate ceremonies and activities."
It’s more typical to eat frozen food at home or the office, but restaurants can still commemorate March 6 with a unique promotion. For a short length of time, freeze your best-selling menu items and offer them for sale to guests. Customers will be thrilled to take their favorite dishes home.
Added bonus: If it’s a success, you might have found an alternate revenue stream to explore.
National Crown Roast of Pork Day – March 7
Crown roast of pork is the symbol of 1950s potlucks, and while it’s uncommon on restaurant menus, it is a dish that has plenty of fans. If your restaurant specializes in meat or pork dishes, take a stab at this holiday. Stand out on March 7 with a ‘50s-inspired pre-fixe menu that highlights pork crown roast as the entrée.
National Popcorn Lover’s Day – March 8
Like peanut butter, popcorn is beloved by (nearly) all. And because of Bob Matthews from Rochester, New York, popcorn lovers have had a day to celebrate their favorite snack since 2012.
This is one of the simplest dishes to make in a style keeping to your restaurant concept. Popcorn can be served with house-made caramel, Cajun spices, Provençal herbs, Tabasco sauce, and just about any other type of coating mixture. Offer buckets of this crunchy crowd-pleaser for an unforgettable food special.
Do you have a projector? Host a movie night in honor of National Popcorn Lover’s Day!
National Potato Chip Day – March 14
Potato chips are the leading snack food in the United States and are available in hundreds of variations. On March 14, offer house-made potato chips as a side or appetizer. Your house-made chips would also make for memorable gifts at the end of the night.
National Corned Beef and Cabbage Day – March 17
In the mid-1800s, corned beef and cabbage was a staple in many US households. Irish immigrants brought the dish with them to the New World and quickly revised the original recipe to work with their budget. Salted pork or a bacon joint was too expensive to keep using, and when Jewish immigrants introduced the Irish to corned beef, which was much cheaper, the popular Irish dish was transformed into this American version that celebrates the crossing of cultures.
By no coincidence, March 17 is also Saint Patrick’s Day. Combine the holidays with a food and drink special of beer and corned beef and cabbage. Guests will love the authenticity of the food, which is also heavy enough to help customers make it through the festivities.
Melba Toast Day – March 23
A thin slice of bread that is toasted to crispy perfection, Melba toast was the preferred snack of the late, great opera singer Dame Nellie Melba. Although the holiday celebrates an unexciting, dry food, Melba toast is a delicious accompaniment to cheese and charcuterie boards, jams and marmalades, and with tea.
Melba Toast Day is also known as simply Toast Day. If your restaurant serves breakfast, offer guests a free side of toast on March 23.
National Chip and Dip Day – March 24
As the owner of a bar or brewery, this is your day. National Chip and Dip Day is perfect for turning your buzzing happy hour into an even more popular event. You can give an additional special for any chips and dips that are on the menu or offer never-seen-before specials. This is also the ideal time for market research by testing out new chip-and-dip combinations on customers. For direct customer feedback, pass out quick surveys at the end of the meal.
National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day – March 24
Competing with chips and dips as a national holiday are chocolate-covered raisins. Coffee shops, ice cream parlors, and pizza makers have the best chances of wowing customers with a special chocolate-covered raisin cookie this March 24.
Pecan Day – March 25
Pecans are typically found in wintery foods, but on March 25, you have one final excuse to offer pecan pie or a similar-themed dish.
International Waffle Day – March 25th
Waffles are one of the oldest types of foods and are thought to have been invented in Greece in the 14th century. Pre-maple syrup, waffles would have been topped with cheese and herbs in this century.
International Waffle Day originates from Sweden, and it coincides with the Feast of the Annunciation. Throughout Europe, March 25 is also considered the start of spring. Swedish families took to celebrating both events with waffles. Take this as an excellent reason to serve waffles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner—your guests will go crazy for it.
National Spinach Day – March 26
With the beginning of spring comes spinach! On March 26, change the misconception of spinach by adding it to delicious dips and salads, and encourage customers to eat the nutritious green with a healthy discount.
Something on a Stick Day – March 31
This holiday name is as ambiguous as it gets. On March 31, anything on a stick is celebrated, like kebabs and popsicles. If you choose to, rebrand the day as “Kebab Day.” If you’re an ice cream shop, excite customers with ice creams prepared on a stick and dipped in chocolate.
Food on a stick is also a great addition to kid’s menus. Offer cubes of cheese, vegetables, and meats for kids to arrange themselves—it will feel like they’re playing with their food, and parents are happy that their kids are entertained.
Clam on the Half Shell Day – March 31
Seafood restaurants and bars take note—this is the perfect day to draw in large crowds with your holiday special.
With 15 awesome culinary holidays coming up, March is proving to be the ideal month to shake off the winter blues and try something new at your restaurant.
Posted: Feb. 28, 2018 | Written By: Emma Alois