Summer is the perfect time to celebrate food holidays, get people excited to be out on the patio, and draw in a new seasonal crowd. You can go big with décor and entertainment, or you can scale down to include just a few feature items on your menu. Celebrating food holidays is a great way to get guests enthusiastic about new dishes, give your staff something fresh to offer to customers, and encourage new customers to give your restaurant a try.
Here are some fun food holidays you can celebrate at your restaurant in July:
July 4: National Barbecue Day
Even if you don’t specialize in barbecue, this can be a fun way to get your guests fired up and embrace your summer menu. Keeping it simple could look like including dishes like pulled pork sandwiches or chicken skewers. Consider creating a signature slaw, your own barbecue sauce, or baked beans as a creative side to kick it up a notch. Don’t forget about your plant-based guests, too. Include non-meat options cooked on the grill to offer something for everyone.
July 8: National Ice Cream Sundae Day
We all scream for ice cream sundaes! This is a fan favourite for kids and adults alike. Encourage your guests to have dessert for dinner, while boosting your cheque totals, with fancy sundaes and premium toppings. Set up a build-your-own sundae station for the kids, add upscale options with a sweet and salty combination, or make it completely your own with a kitchen-sink edition that the whole table can enjoy. Here’s the scoop on this holiday: it is a surefire winner.
July 13: National French Fry Day
This one’s a cinch to celebrate! Everyone loves French fries, but here’s your chance to make them shine. Put poutine on the menu, add delicious dipping sauces, or go global with Mediterranean or Indian flavours. You could even adapt traditional dishes like nachos, putting them on top of crinkled or waffle-cut fries instead. You might even want to offer a healthier version, using zucchini to appeal to more health-conscious customers who still want to join in on the fun.
July 24: National Tequila Day
This adults-only holiday lends itself to many iterations, from bulldogs (made with tequila and beer) to palomas (fresh and citrusy) to margaritas and beyond. Here’s a chance to really expand your drink menu for a day, encouraging guests to spend a little more on something unique to treat themselves. Don’t forget about the food, too. Choose dishes to pair with your specialty drinks to really elevate the experience for your guests.
July 30: National Cheesecake Day
Sweeten the end of the month with a cheesecake bonanza featuring sampler platters, a topping bar, or your own unique take, like cheesecake on a stick. This could also be expanded to cheesecake-flavoured menu items, like milkshakes or cupcakes. This is a great one for your off-premise menu, too, as a way to raise revenues and sweeten the deal for takeout – you could offer cheesecake by the slice or as a whole cake to-go.
Celebrating food holidays is fun for your guests and for your staff while attracting attention and bringing people into your restaurant. Get into the spirit and get creative with July’s food holidays!