food holidays

5 food holidays to celebrate in May, from Mexican cuisine to seafood

By Megan Prevost

May brings welcome thoughts of summer menus and warmer patio dining. For restaurant operators, it’s time to start thinking about all the different ways you can market and advertise your restaurant for the month. May is a month packed full of food holidays, with Mother’s Day, Victoria Day, Cinco de Mayo, and Memorial Day for those in the U.S. the biggest celebrations. But there are plenty of more specific holidays that you should consider marking, as well. 

These unique food holidays not only present an opportunity for marketing campaigns but also the introduction of new and exciting menu options. By advertising these holidays, you can attract both returning and new customers! Returning customers will be enticed by options they haven’t tried before, and new customers may be intrigued enough by these options to give you a try for the first time. 

Month-long holidays

While there are plenty of options for daily food holidays, May is also:

  • National Beef Month
  • National Barbecue Month
  • National Loaded Potato Month
  • National Egg Month
  • National Hamburger Month
  • National Salad Month
  • National Strawberry Month
  • National Salsa Month

If you’d prefer to celebrate all month long, pick the holiday that best fits your bar or restaurant and go from there! Run social media campaigns, post flyers, and make all your customers aware of the cool specials you’ll be running throughout the month. If you’d rather keep the focus on other May holidays, choose one of these daily holidays instead! 

May 5: National Enchilada Day

The famous Cinco de Mayo is a perfect opportunity to add a Mexican twist to your restaurant and often features celebrations with margaritas and other Mexican foods. If you want to throw a spotlight on a specific food this Cinco de Mayo, you might as well choose enchiladas in the spirit of National Enchilada Day! 

May 9: National Shrimp Day

If you own a seafood restaurant (or any other type of restaurant that serves shrimp), this one’s for you! Use this day to showcase new and old shrimp dishes, offering discounts or specials for those who choose to celebrate with you! Choose to create a new dish or even a shrimp flight in honor of this truly exciting holiday. 

May 13: National Apple Pie Day

Apple pie is loved by all, so you’ll definitely have success showcasing this delicious dessert on May 13! If you don’t already have apple pie on the menu, now’s the time to whip one up! If you do, maybe it’s time to revamp your recipe or offer perks like a free slice with the purchase of an entree. 

May 16: National BBQ Day

Not only is May national barbecue month, but barbecue also gets its own day, May 16! Whether you’re a barbecue joint or a restaurant that offers a few barbecue options, now’s your time to shine. A great way to celebrate is by offering buy-one-get-one BBQ entrees or a special discount for those who show your National BBQ Day social media post before ordering! 

May 25: National Wine Day

Not all “food” holidays actually have to be about food. This May, you can celebrate delicious drinks as well. Good options for National Wine Day on May 25 include deals on wine flights, full bottles, and glasses. You can even showcase a specific type of wine or specific flight on this day. 

Celebrate food in May

A month jam-packed full of food holidays, there are so many ways to market and celebrate food throughout the month. Pick your favourite and celebrate how you want to, whether that means offering a discount, trying out new dishes, or highlighting an old one. Make these holidays your own and use them to draw in a crowd.

Happy May! 

Megan Prevost is a contributing writer for RestoBiz and a marketing content writer for MustHaveMenus. Her work has also appeared in App Institute, Bar Business, Modern Restaurant Management, Small Business Currents, PMQ, FSR, The Daily Fandom, and FanSided.