restaurant QR code menu in a plate for fall season
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October Restaurant Marketing Ideas That Work

Finally, it’s time to showcase some fun and epic October restaurant marketing ideas that will turn your spending into profit.

This month is filled with holidays you can leverage to promote your food and services. So, it’s smart to implement robust seasonal marketing strategies.

You can elevate your restaurant marketing and branding strategies with very minimal effort, especially if you integrate a QR code menu software.

And if you’re looking for promotional ideas this month, look no further because we’ve listed them down for you.

Why is it important to have marketing ideas for October

October calendar design
October calendar design in a restaurant setting.

October kickstarts the holiday season, so this is the time when people will start looking for places with a cozy or festive ambiance to spend some time in.

Hence, it’s smart to skip your September restaurant marketing ideas to prepare you for the influx of potential customers.

You can use physical advertising materials, websites, or social media for restaurant campaigns this fall season.

You have to know your target market’s purchasing mindset before creating your marketing strategies for October.

Ask yourself: What are the customers’ interests? What are they looking for during the fall season? What can I offer them?

Once you answer these questions, it will be easier to implement strategies that can help boost your business’ ROI, brand image, and customer loyalty.

Best calendar dates to have your October restaurant marketing ideas

Looking for the perfect time to show off marketing ideas for October? Here’s a list of all the food and drink-related holidays to help you prep:

October 1

  1. International Coffee Day
  2. National Homemade Cookies Day
  3. National Pumpkin Spice Day
  4. World Vegetarian Day

October 4

  1. National Cinnamon Bun Day
  2. National Kale Day
  3. National Pumpkin Seed Day
  4. National Taco Day
  5. National Vodka Day

October 7

  1. National Chocolate Covered Pretzel Day
  2. National Frappe Day

October 8

  1. National Flutternutter Day
  2. National Pierogi Day
  3. National Salmon Day

October 10

  1. National Angel Food Cake Day
  2. National Cake Decorating Day

October 11

  1. National Sausage Pizza Day

October 12

  1. National Gumbo Day

October 13

  1. National M&M Day
  2. World Egg Day

October 14

  1. National Dessert Day

October 15

  1. National Mushroom Day
  2. National Shawarma Day
  3. National Cheese Curd Day

October 16

  1. National Liqueur Day
  2. World Food Day

October 17

  1. World Pasta Day

October 18

  1. Meatloaf Appreciation Day
  2. National Chocolate Cupcake Day

October 19

  1. National Seafood Bisque Day
  2. Get to Know Your Customers Day

October 20

  1. National Chicken and Waffles Day
  2. National Brandied Fruit Day
  3. International Chefs Day

October 21

  1. International Raw Milk Cheese Appreciation Day
  2. International Nacho Day
  3. National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day

October 23

  1. National Boston Cream Pie Day

October 24

  1. National Bologna Day
  2. National Food Day

October 25

  1. National Greasy Foods Day
  2. Sourest Day
  3. International Chefs Day

October 26

  1. National Mincemeat Pie Day
  2. National Pumpkin Day

October 27

  1. National Breadstick Day
  2. National American Beer Day

October 28

  1. National Chocolate Day
  2. National Trick or Treat Day

October 29

  1. National Oatmeal Day

October 30

  1. Haunted Refrigerator Night
  2. National Candy Corn Day

October 31

  1. National Candy Apple Day
  2. National Caramel Apple Day
  3. All Hallows Eve/Halloween
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8 best October restaurant marketing ideas

Here are eight of the most effective marketing strategies you can implement this October:

Pumpkin everything

Chef carving pumpkins
A chef preparing pumpkins for October menu.

When you think of October, it’s hard not to think about pumpkins. You can convey the same festive vibe to your customers by showcasing a pumpkin-themed restaurant makeover, seasonal menu offerings, themed events, and other creative marketing tactics.

This sets the mood and ambiance in your restaurant, which helps in boosting your customers’ dining experience. Plus, it upscales your seasonal marketing efforts.

You can offer pumpkin flavors on your food and drink menu, display DIY or store-bought pumpkin decorations, gather your patrons for a pumpkin carving contest, and even glam up your social media with pumpkin filters and postings.

Try introducing pumpkin soup, pumpkin risotto, or seared scallops with pumpkin puree. For drinks, you can have pumpkin spice martinis (if you’re running a bar) or the classic pumpkin spice latte.

Halloween-themed menu

Curating marketing strategies around Halloween for restaurants helps you attract new customers, especially those who are looking for a festive dining experience. Clearly, you need to update or even revamp your entire offerings.

There’s a quick trick on how you can do this. A food menu QR code is one great tool you can use to easily update or edit digital menus.

Try displaying some creepy-looking dishes and drinks on your menu can pique the interest of potential customers, motivating them to try your restaurant.

And when there is dense foot traffic, there is also the possibility of higher sales and profit because your customers are more likely to spend more on the gimmicky food.

If you can’t think of any spooky food to offer, try using this list:

For casual dining:

  • Spiderweb pizza
  • Ghostly mac and cheese
  • Monster burgers
  • Bat wings (your regular chicken wings drenched in black barbecue sauce)
  • Mummy dogs (hot dogs wrapped in puff pastry)

For fine dining:

  • Roasted duck breast with blood orange juice and pomegranate seeds
  • Filet mignon with black garlic butter and crispy onions
  • Chocolate lava cake with blood orange sorbet
  • Witches’ brew cocktails
  • Bloody Mary

Fall food festival

What’s October without some fall-themed activities? To warm up your restaurant during this cozy season, try hosting some fall promotion ideas to entice your target audience. 

You can do pumpkin carving, pie eating, apple bobbing, pumpkin pie decorating, cook-offs, and other fall food-related contests.

The best thing about this is that it’s so interactive and engaging that you can connect to your audience, suppliers, and staff on a different level.

This helps you elevate your image or branding. 

By hosting these events, your customers can quickly think of your restaurant as a cozy go-to spot when they need good food with a fun ambiance. And your business partners—farmers, breweries, pastry shops, or other local businesses—can form a good relationship with you.

Farm-to-table partnerships

Farmer and businessman negotiating
Farm-to-table negotiation for restaurant owners.

People love to dine at restaurants that are transparent about where their ingredients come from.

Additionally, since about 63% of diners now want healthier options (LEK Consulting, 2018), it’s better to offer them dishes that come straight from the source.

Partnering with local farms can help you get the freshest produce your competitors might not have in their pantries.

You can work with local farmers to curate special menus for the October holidays and marketing strategies.

Not only that, you can also help them promote their harvests through social media channels and other online platforms.

Here’s a tip: Since people love stories, you may take your time crafting a narrative around your farm-to-table partnerships, sharing stories of the farmers you work with or how your ingredients were grown.

Social media contests

Themed photography contests, costume contests, or cake decorating contests are great examples of timeless social media competitions.

Be creative and plan ahead of time. This budget-friendly online competition will help you strengthen your customer base, especially if your target demographics are millennials and Gen Zs.

This social media marketing strategy can boost your social media presence while strengthening your online customer base through virtual interactions.

Loyalty programs for fall promotion ideas

During a busy month like October, customer retention is necessary to stay ahead of the competition.

Other businesses will also be trying to win over customers, so it’s important to have a strategy to keep them coming back.

You can implement these tactics in your restaurant:

  • Birthday and anniversary rewards. Send discounts or freebies to customers on their birthdays or the anniversary of their first visit.
  • App-based programs. If you have a mobile app for your restaurant, you can encourage your customers to download it onto their phones, which will enable them to get exclusive offers or a digital loyalty card.
  • Visit-based programs. Your customers can earn rewards based on the number of times they have visited you. For instance, they can get free meals or drinks

Offer Oktoberfest beer specials

If you’re running a bar or a bistro, here’s one of the best bar marketing ideas you can implement this October: host an in-house Oktoberfest.

You can promote your locally brewed specialty beers during this event by upselling dishes that will pair perfectly with your customers’ drink of choice.

Plus, with good German music blasting in the background, it will be a lot easier for your patrons to ease up and enjoy the night feeling like they have been taken to Germany for a fun Oktoberfest party. 

The longer they stay inside your establishment, the higher their chances of buying more of your menu offerings.

Integrate QR code menu technology

When you’re running events, no matter how small or large-scale, it still gets overwhelming. That’s why investing in digital tools (like QR codes) is a smart choice for restaurant owners like you.

With a smart menu, you can streamline your restaurant operations, making it easier for your staff to work during peak hours and more convenient for customers to make their orders.

All you need is a well-trusted restaurant software, tablet or laptop, learn how to scan a menu, and you’re good to go.

Advantages of integrating a digital restaurant QR code menu into your campaigns

Here are more benefits of a QR code menu for your restaurant:

Fewer staff is needed

The main objective of setting up digital menu QR code in your restaurant is to aid in the entire workflow and facilitate a faster ordering process.

You no longer need to hire more staff because an integrated digital tool can help you run your business. 

Think about it this way: Your customers can make and pay their orders by simply scanning a menu QR code. This is automatically sent and recorded into your dashboard and database, making it easier for you to communicate with the chef and other kitchen staff.

A waitstaff does not need to attend to your customers’ needs because your restaurant’s digital software can do the job for them.

More efficient operation

Girl using a digital restaurant menu QR code
Waitstaff using digital restaurant software for tasks.

You can streamline your entire workflow using software designed for restaurant operations.

Take MENU TIGER, a leading QR code menu software, as an example.

It offers a restaurant waiter call button system that allows your customers to send notifications when they need assistance or have requests.

This is on top of the other advanced features, such as contactless ordering, real-time menu editing, multiple payment options, webpage designing and editing, and an integrated customer feedback system.

Helps upselling and cross-selling

QR code-based restaurant operations make it easier for you to implement seasonal deals, daily specials, and upselling or cross-selling initiatives.

This will help you boost your sales by up to 30% on average (HubSpot Survey, 2022).

Because of its editability, updating your menu for seasonal campaigns is made easy. Suppose you’re going to run some fall marketing ideas or use upselling or cross-selling tactics. You can do so without having to throw out your outdated menus.

All you have to do is update or automate your digital menu.

Reduce errors in orders

A digital smart menu showcases high-quality images of your food offerings along with detailed descriptions and food modifiers.

Scanning a menu QR code instantly displays all food and drink details on your customers’ phone screen. This eliminates the need to call staff for assistance.

By paying attention to the small details, the digital menu makes it easier for customers to pick their orders as they have a clear picture of their choices.

Additionally, orders are recorded directly in your digital restaurant software, so customers cannot complain about changes to their orders after they have been placed.

Editable digital menu for fall promotion ideas

October presents restaurant owners with opportunities to boost their business and connect with their customers in meaningful ways. 

If you really want to, you can celebrate all of the observational holidays for the entire month of October while showcasing diverse food and drink offerings. Yes, menu editing and updating is tedious, but that’s where smart menus come into view.

You can quickly update your food and drink images, descriptions, modifiers, availability, and prices in real-time through a smart menu.

In times of seasonal marketing,  this is a huge advantage.

You don’t need to remove all your existing menus because they are outdated. Log in or create an account, choose a subscription plan that suits your restaurant needs, create or customize your QR code for food menu, display them, and that’s it.

Upgrade your October restaurant marketing ideas with a digital menu software

Organizing events and marketing initiatives for your restaurant is never easy. You’ll need all the help you can get from people or digital software.

This might be something new to you, but try to integrate a digital tool into your entire restaurant system and see how well it blends with your workflow and business goals.

You can check out MENU TIGER to help you get started. Just log in or create an account—no need to add in billing information—and you’re good to go.

This QR code menu integration will assist you with all the October restaurant marketing ideas you have in mind.

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