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Restaurant Marketing Tips for July

We just emerged from a seemingly endless winter here in New York. The suddenly warm weather brings a lot of uncertainty to restaurant owners. Will locals stay put and sample all their favorite spots they’ve been missing lately? Will they seek outdoor seating exclusively? Or will they disappear to the Hamptons for the next two months, leaving the city sidewalks eerily desolate? Will America’s swift exit from the World Cup lead to a dip in early evening bar business? And what will tourism look like this summer? All valid concerns.

Luckily, you can equip yourself for the wildcard summer ahead by engaging your customers in local events, national holidays and related tie-ins. Fact is, no matter how many people go to the Hamptons during the warmer months, there are still millions of human beings walking the streets of New York City at any given time. This new monthly blog segment is intended to help you wrangle those potential customers through the doors of your establishment in fun and creative ways.

It’s Nice Out, Finally…

People have been cooped-up in their 300 sq ft apartments for far too long. If you have sidewalk, rooftop or outdoor space of any kind, exploit the heck out of it! This should be your main selling point in all marketing efforts.

Independence Day

Don’t forget Independence Day is Friday, July 4th. Historically, this is a pretty dead day for most restaurants. However, there are a handful of joints that are packed to the brim so don’t throw in the towel just yet. Host a big celebration, offer crazy specials, exciting summer cocktails and let the party continue throughout the weekend. Since a good number of your competitors close for the day, the opportunity is in your hands!

NYC Restaurant Week

Every year, NYC & Company hosts a city-wide event encouraging people to try new restaurants via special fix prixe 3-course lunch and dinner menus. If your business is not yet involved in Restaurant Week, I’m afraid you’ve missed the deadline for this season. For those of you who are a participating location, don’t rely on NYCGO to do all your marketing for you. Advertise the heck out of it on Facebook, Twitter, your website, sidewalk chalk boards, everywhere!

World Cup Brazil

Let’s be honest, the United States lasted longer than we expected. Their graceful departure from the World Cup last night does not mean bars & restaurants should tone down their viewing parties. New York City is the cultural melting pot of the world. There are countless transplants still rooting for their home country and will continue to pack the house with rowdy football enthusiasm thru July 13th. So keep the games on and the beer flowing!

Interesting Holidays

July 6th is National Fried Chicken Day. Celebrate a love for one of America’s favorite meals by fryin’ up some delicious specials and spreading the world to your loyal customers old and new. Sunday, July 20th is National Ice Cream Day. Get creative and come up with a unique dessert to drive traffic through the door. A few days later, on July 23rd, National Hot Dog Day takes center stage. Whether you’re a casual dining or high-end restaurant, the hot dog can be prepared a million different ways to suit your customers evolving expectations. July 24th is Cousins Day, which is surprisingly widely-celebrated. This is a great opportunity to book some large-parties, for sure. The month wraps up with National Lasagna Day on July 29th and National Cheesecake Day on the 30th. You know what to do.

Upcoming Events

Take your culinary skills to the streets of Long Island City for The Food Box, a 2,000 square feet pop-up artisanal market at the Falchi Building. Village Voice will be hosting the 4 Knots Festival, an indie bonanza at South Street Seaport on July 12th. The very popular Jazz in July Festival will take place from the 22nd thru 31st at 92nd Street Y.

I hope you enjoyed our first installment of Restaurant Marketing Monthly. July has plenty for the taking so just latch on and enjoy the ride!

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