5 food holidays to celebrate in October, from tacos to chocolate

By Megan Prevost

It’s almost October, so you know what that means: fall goodies, Halloween decorations and candy, and of course, pumpkin spice everything. But how do you choose what items to showcase or what specials to run? Sometimes there are just too many delicious foods to feature. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered.

Every month is packed with different food holidays for your restaurant, bar, food truck, or customer-facing food business to participate in. Seriously, we’re talking like, every single day. But no worries, we’ve selected our five favourite (and the five most popular) food holidays for your business to celebrate this spooky season.

If you’re not in the business of celebrating a food holiday (maybe that doesn’t feel like enough time, or you want to create specials that stick around for longer), consider celebrating these weekly holidays:

  • 1st week of October: Chili Week
  • 2nd week of October: Pasta Week
  • 3rd week of October: Pickled Peppers Week

You can also choose to celebrate a month-long food holiday. October happens to be:

  • Apple Month
  • Dessert Month
  • Pork Month
  • Pretzel Month
  • Spinach-lovers Month
  • Cookie Month

Choose what works best for you and your restaurant and get started! Advertising a holiday can be a lot of work, so make sure you’re ready to take on the task. Use flyers, table tents, sandwich boards, and more to advertise to in-house customers and passersby, using social media posts and stories to advertise digitally!

October 4: Taco Day

It’s pretty common knowledge that tacos are good for the soul. They’re the ultimate comfort (and drunk) food. This holiday is perfect for Mexican restaurants and food trucks, as well as street food vendors, and any restaurant owner wanting to showcase their taco options this month. For this holiday, try out a taco flight with a few different options of new, old, or mixed for one price. This will allow customers to try out what your restaurant has to offer in one swoop. If they like what they get, they’re bound to come back for more.

October 14: Dessert Day

Usually, dessert rounds out a good meal, but on October 14, you can make it the star of the show. Like with Taco Day, you can never go wrong with a dessert flight. Even better, you could create miniature versions of your full-size dessert offerings, allowing one person to order three desserts without feeling overwhelmed. But you don’t have to take this holiday literally if you don’t want to; subvert the holiday by creating delicious chocolatey or candy-sweet cocktails inspired by your favorite desserts.

October 17: Pasta Day

On October 17, your customers can carb load without having to exercise afterward. This holiday can be celebrated by pretty much anyone! Most places serve some sort of pasta dish, but Italian restaurants and ramen shops should be prepared to have the most fun. For Pasta Day, try offering a BOGO pasta dish special or featuring a new creation. Don’t be afraid to let your creative side take over and serve something you normally wouldn’t. Kids shouldn’t miss out on all the holidays, have some fun with that kids’ menu mac and cheese, too!

October 26: Pumpkin Day

Of course, October wouldn’t be complete without this holiday. We’re certain you’re already spending the month celebrating fall harvest and the spooky season, but if you need a reason to go all out with the pumpkin goodies, here it is. Whether you’re a coffee shop, dessert restaurant, or a fine dining establishment, there are plenty of options, from a twist on the classic PSL, pumpkin-infused desserts, or a savoury pumpkin option—think pumpkin seeds or a pumpkin glaze. Make sure to do it up with the advertising for this one, too. Pumpkin decor doesn’t have to be cheesy, it can be classy too.

October 28: Chocolate Day

If the dessert holiday wasn’t calling your name or you want a reason to celebrate sweets twice this month, Chocolate Day is the perfect holiday for you. Plus, what’s better than celebrating chocolate just a few days before Halloween? For this holiday, create new chocolate goodies like candies, cakes, and pies to serve. You could even offer free samples in waiting areas to prepare your customers for what’s going to show up on the ever-coveted dessert menu later in the night.

Bring new customers in this October

By offering fun menu items, discounts, and free samples inspired by these holidays, you’ll intrigue both new and old customers. Old customers will feel inspired to come by and try something different, while new customers may see your marketing efforts and feel the need to stop by. Use food holidays as an opportunity to showcase your favourite, most delicious menu items while showing your customers that you’re in for a good time. There’s no better way to turn a new customer into a regular than offering them a good time and great food.

Megan Prevost is a contributing writer for RestoBiz and a Content Manager 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.

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