Whether you celebrate Easter for its religious significance, as a family tradition, or just for the chocolate, there’s no doubt that this is a special time of year. As a restaurateur, it’s also a busy time. Easter is the fifth busiest holiday for restaurants in America, according to the National Restaurant Association. That means it’s a great time to welcome loyal regulars and new customers alike to your venue by offering fun and creative Easter restaurant promotions.
Help your guests shake off the winter blues and step into spring with Easter restaurant specials they can enjoy while making memories with family and friends. In this guide, we’ve got 10 Easter marketing ideas for 2024 to help your restaurant make the most of this holiday.
Easter Restaurant Promotions and Marketing Ideas
1. Offer a Prix Fixe Brunch Menu
Did some-bunny say brunch? This classic Easter activity is a favorite among families of all ages and sizes. In fact, over 16 million Americans go out for brunch on Easter weekend. It’s the perfect opportunity to reconnect with loved ones over delicious food.
Delight your guests by offering a special prix fixe Easter brunch menu. If you have a restaurant loyalty program, promote it to your members and give them first dibs on reservations. Then, spread the word far and wide on your website and social media.
Offering a special Easter-themed brunch menu isn’t only a treat for your guests – it’ll also help streamline operations in your kitchen during this busy time of year. Thanks to the prix fixe menu, you’ll be cooking fewer dishes than normal. Just make sure you have chocolate on hand!
2. Give Away Easter Baskets
Easter is an ideal time to try restaurant marketing ideas inspired by the holiday’s hallmarks like the iconic Easter basket. Giving away baskets of goodies to your guests is the perfect sweet treat to make their day special – and to make your restaurant memorable.
Plan this Easter promo well in advance to ensure you have lots of time to purchase items for the baskets, and fill and decorate them. Make it a team building activity and get your staff involved in the process. They’re likely to have some great ideas about what to include in the baskets.
Try to bring your restaurant’s unique flair into the Easter baskets. For example, you could include homemade condiments from your most popular menu items. Or, you could include all of the ingredients to make the dish itself and brand it as a meal kit. Have fun and be creative!
3. Plan Activities for Kids
Easter means family time for many people, so make your Easter restaurant promotions family-friendly by including activities for kids. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Give kids a chance to meet the Easter bunny. Set up a spot in your restaurant where kids can meet and have their picture taken with the Easter bunny. Sweeten the deal with goodie bags full of chocolate eggs. It’ll be sure to draw a crowd.
Create an Easter kids’ menu. Trade your dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets in for bunny and egg shapes as part of this Easter promo.
Offer Easter-themed coloring books. The best kid-friendly restaurants always have coloring books on hand. Step up your game by ordering coloring books for Easter. Display the kids’ art on the walls at your restaurant to make the experience special.
Host an egg decorating event. All you need for an afternoon of creativity are some boiled eggs and food coloring. Keep in mind, this could get messy!
Be sure to get the word out about the kid-friendly activities you’ll be hosting by emailing your customers and sharing the news on social media well ahead of time.
4. Run an Easter Contest
A list of Easter marketing ideas for 2024 wouldn’t be complete without this classic restaurant promotion tactic: the contest. After all, who doesn’t love the chance to be a winner? The best part is that you can make this idea work in your favor.
If your restaurant is typically busiest during brunch on Easter weekend, try to draw traffic to your venue at other times of day by running a time-sensitive contest. For example, if you want to get more guests in the door for dinner, set the contest rules so that only the orders placed during dinnertime on Easter weekend will be entered to win. Just make sure the prize is enticing!
Add another layer to your contest while still keeping things simple by asking people to follow your restaurant on social media to be entered to win. This will help you grow your restaurant’s audience online, which will benefit you all year long – not just at Easter.
Puppy’s promoted the contest on social media by asking people to follow the bakery’s Instagram account, tag three friends in the comments, and share the post via Instagram Stories. The prize? A mini jar of premium handcrafted ice cream. Puppy’s shared the love by giving away hundreds of jars to contest entrants, generating tons of engagement on social media in turn.
5. Offer an Easter Buffet
If regulations permit and you think your customers will feel comfortable with it, offering a self-serve buffet is one of the best Easter restaurant promotions you can run to help you take some of the pressure off at brunch. Stock it up with the classics like scrambled eggs, bacon, and potato wedges. Don’t forget a few salads, too.
Offering a buffet will enable you to avoid cooking your restaurant’s full menu during this highly busy time. Your kitchen staff will thank you!
If you want to go beyond a basic brunch buffet, add some Easter flair by including desserts like egg and bunny-shaped cookies. They’re easy to bake and decorate with pastel-colored icing reminiscent of spring, and they’ll put a smile on your guests’ faces.
6. Host an Easter Egg Hunt
Think outside the box of Easter restaurant specials and host an event your customers will be sure to remember: an Easter egg hunt! An activity like this is especially appealing to a crowd of families with kids.
Keep it exclusive and invite just your loyalty program members, or open it up to anyone who wants to participate in the fun, whether they’re kids or adults. Competitive types will love this activity, especially if you come up with a great prize to offer (hint: make it a free dinner to get them back to your venue and give them another chance to try your awesome food).
Use social media to create excitement for this Easter promo in the days leading up to the event. Get your staff to share “behind the scenes” photos of the chocolate eggs that will be hidden around your restaurant for customers to find. Be sure to take lots of photos during the Easter egg hunt itself to share on social media, and encourage attendees to do the same. This will keep the buzz going about your restaurant long after the event is over.
Depending on where your restaurant is located, it may already be patio season. Easter is the perfect time to throw your first patio party of the year.
Decorate the space for spring to create a refreshing atmosphere, and if you want to take it up a notch, book a few live musicians or bands to play throughout the weekend. You may want to sell tickets if you suspect the event will be in high demand.
To ensure your restaurant’s dining room runs smoothly throughout the weekend, keep the party outside by setting up a patio bar if your space allows. And, consider barbecuing burgers right on the patio to add to the festive springtime vibes.
8. Create an Easter Cocktail
Let your bartenders show off their skills by creating Easter-themed cocktails and mocktails for the occasion. Build some hype around this promo by asking your social media followers to tell you their favorite cocktails in the weeks leading up to Easter. This will generate online engagement for your restaurant and drum up excitement for the big day.
Take the opportunity to connect with your regulars and entice them into your restaurant by emailing them a coupon for one free cocktail, redeemable on Easter weekend. Encourage them to snap a picture sipping the drink and share it with you.
9. Set up a Photo Booth
Kids may love having their photo taken with the Easter bunny, but a photo booth is a timeless hit with all ages. Setting one up for the 2024 Easter weekend is also a great way to get your customers sharing content from your restaurant on visual social media platforms like Instagram.
Create a picture-perfect photo booth for spring by stocking up on props like artificial flowers, bunny ears, and Easter baskets. Have one of your employees oversee the photo booth and hand out goodie bags of chocolate eggs to everyone who participates in the fun.
It’s time to get fancy! But keep in mind, your venue doesn’t have to be a fine dining restaurant to make this occasion special for your guests. A three-course Easter dinner featuring a classic main dish like glazed ham or roasted turkey will work for almost any restaurant.
Hosting a three-course dinner on Easter weekend is a tried and true idea, and it’s especially smart if you’re not open earlier in the day to take advantage of the brunch rush. Get prepared for the evening by encouraging guests to make reservations, and creating a dining room atmosphere that will be welcoming to both families and couples.
There you have it – 10 Easter restaurant promotion ideas for 2024 to try at your venue. The Easter bunny’s got nothing on you this season. Here’s to a memorable weekend for your guests!
Katherine is the Content Marketing Manager at TouchBistro, where she writes about trending topics in food and restaurants. The opposite of a picky eater, she’ll try (almost) anything at least once. Whether it’s chowing down on camel burgers in Morocco or snacking on octopus dumplings in Japan, she’s always up for new food experiences.