Posted by Patrick Maness
It’s funny how many people spend their childhoods dreading school. They spend more time looking at the clock than at the chalkboard. They wait for the hour, the day, the year when they won’t have homework, won’t have to rush between classes and won’t have to learn anything ever again.
It doesn’t take much more than a few months in the “real world” for many to wish they were back in school.
What many come to realize — sometimes too late — is that when done right, learning can be fun. And this is something restaurant and bar owners should keep in mind when they're looking to attract customers during the slow winter months.
The following restaurant marketing ideas revolve around the concept of giving people an interactive, educational experience that will build your reputation and your customer base.
Teach the cooking experience
Hosting a cooking class is a great way to give patrons a behind-the-scenes look at how you prepare some of the signature items on your menu. This is a way for people to meet the chef or a sous-chef and for them to show off the quality of ingredients and craftsmanship that go into your dishes.
Not every restaurant has the capacity to host a class that gives everyone access to a full kitchen. With some creativity, say setting up a cook station that includes portable electric ranges, you can get close to a full kitchen experience.
Cost-effective class ideas might include how to make simple, no-cook dishes like guacamole or ceviche. Make this a free event and many participants will stay and order a meal and some drinks afterwards.
From classic standards to modern creative concoctions, cocktails are all the rage right now. People want them when they go out, and they want to know how to make them when they have guests at their home.
Hosting a mixology class is great way to take advantage of this trend.
One of the beauties of a mixology class is that it requires little space and just some basic equipment. And while it may seem like a simple concept, you can really get creative and host various levels of classes, from beginner cocktails (Old Fashions, Manhattan, Martini) to more complex ones.
Health and nutrition class
With so many people concerned about eating right and upping their nutritional intake (especially after the holidays), hosting an event about eating better or preparing healthy, delicious food can be a big draw. While you educate participants, you’ll also be engaged in some great PR work. By providing samples of food on your menu, you’ll whet more than a few appetites while establishing a reputation for healthy and nutritious food that will get people talking.