There are lots of ways to promote your restaurant with special menu items. Use featured dishes as a way to tell an interesting story and generate interest for your restaurant. Each of these ideas can help you generate content for blog posts, online videos or even get you an interview on the local news!
When creating restaurant promotional menu items, use ingredients you already have on hand and don’t over-complicate it. You don’t want to burden your kitchen staff with a wildly different menu or purchase expensive ingredients that aren’t used in other dishes. These featured menu items should be easy to make, based on menu items that you already serve, just with a twist.
A Special Dish for a Local Hero or Historical Figure
People love stories about their hometown heroes and the things that make their city unique. Create a promotional menu item based on this notable local character and warm the hearts of your community.
A Promotional Menu Item for an Inspiring Guest’s Story
Do you know someone with an incredible story? A fireman, police officer, athlete, military serviceman or another interesting character that people might like to know more about? Create a dish inspired by this person and tell their story, to attract attention to your promote your restaurant.
A Seasonal Promotional Menu Item
You’re going to add seasonal items to your menu anyway, so turn each one into a story! Talk about your inspiration, the ingredients and why it’s a special selection for the season. This could be the ingredients themselves, childhood memories, a family tradition or something else. The key is to spark emotions in the audience and tie it back to your food.
A Holiday Special Menu Item
A specific item inspired by the holiday. It doesn’t have to be an official holiday. Think of local events that hold significance like founder's day, homecoming, graduation or funny holidays. Think outside the box and don’t be afraid to be silly. Maybe something for groundhog’s day made with pork sausage (ground hog, get it?). Any event you can use to tell a story can be an inspiration for a featured menu item.
A Newsworthy Menu Item
Is there something just about everyone is talking about in the news? Create a dish inspired by a news story or a celebrity that people are always talking about. It’s a great way to get likes and shares for your posts and maybe even get on the news yourself!