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Easy Memorial Day Marketing Ideas for Restaurants

Impossible Cheeseburger with tongs and guacamole on a carving board next to limes

The days are getting longer, temperatures are rising, and Memorial Day is right around the corner, which means your restaurant should be gearing up for summer. Although the official start of summer is the end of June, many Americans view Memorial Day as a great kickoff point. And with a 3 day weekend on the horizon, consumers will want to get out of the house, enjoy the warmer weather and celebrate with friends and family. 

As a restaurant owner, you have a unique opportunity to show your appreciation for veterans on Memorial Day while also kicking off summer festivities. To help you make the most of the holiday, we’re sharing tips from restaurants who serve Impossible™ menu items so your foodservice location will be ready for summer faster than you can say ‘Pass the ketchup.’

Offer Discounts for Veterans and their family

Memorial Day is a day to acknowledge, remember and thank the millions of people in uniform who have given their lives serving this country. To honor those brave heroes and the incredible sacrifices they have made, you can create special menu items, discounts or donate a percentage of sales to charitable organizations.

Johnny Rockets, who recently celebrated an Impossible™ menu launch,(opens in a new tab) will be offering military members 50% off when they wear their uniform out to eat. Burger King(opens in a new tab) is also offering 10% of a purchase with a valid military ID. Discounts on online or to go orders with codes like ‘Heroes10’ can help customers remember and celebrate the day.

Source: Johnny Rockets website(opens in a new tab)

Another great idea? Donating a percentage of sales from the day to a local Veteran’s Association(opens in a new tab) in your area. As of April 2021, the veteran unemployment rate is 5.2%(opens in a new tab), so Memorial Day promotions & fundraising incentives are the perfect opportunity to show your support and make a difference.

Create themed menu items or specials

Specials are a fun way to be creative and spice up your menu. Use ingredients you have on hand to give menu favorites a fresh twist and stick to what people love. Impossible™ Burger and Impossible™ Sausage Made From Plants are also excellent additions to summer menu items because they incorporate well into any dish that uses meat, and they provide a more sustainable option for summer.

As Chef Nate Goiburn of Keys Lounge(opens in a new tab) in Portland puts it:

“Don't overthink specials -- people love the basics. Patty melts always do well, so do Impossible™ Tacos and Eggs Benny with Impossible™ Sausage. We’ll also be firing up our oven and creating special pizzas featuring Impossible™ meat. Because come on, who doesn't like pizza and tacos?!” 

Unveil a new summer menu 

Memorial Day is a great opportunity to unveil a new summer menu. Lighter menu options include salads, tacos and of course, no one can say no to a burger. Barbeque, chicken and  wraps are also emerging on menus nationwide. If you want more tips on what’s resonating with consumers this summer, check out our Summer Menu Insights blog(opens in a new tab).

Here are a few of Impossible™ menu items restaurants will be rolling out this summer:

Award-winning Fire on the Mountain Pizza with Queso Oaxaca, Cauliflower and Impossible™ chorizo

State of Mind Public House & Pizzeria(opens in a new tab) in California

Impossible™ Rhody-O Burger

Basil and Bunny(opens in a new tab) in Rhode Island

Impossible™ Chicken Fried Steak with Potatoes and Vegan Brown Gravy

Keys Lounge PDX(opens in a new tab) in Portland

Impossible™ Kebabs

Taim(opens in a new tab) in New York City

Impossible™ Chorizo Bowl

Image Source: Vale Food Co(opens in a new tab) in Florida

Leverage Social Media to drive awareness & excitement

Holidays are an excellent way to engage your customers on social media and to generate buzz around what your restaurant is doing to celebrate Memorial Day. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

    Post about your discounts or special menu items

    Highlight customers that serve in the Military

    Pay homage to the troops with Flag-themed photos and captions

    Host contests or giveaways that celebrate Veterans

    Call out freebies or in store deals you’re offering

    Share discount codes for online orders

    Encourage customers to spread the word 

    Post drool-worthy photos of your food to encourage visits

    Use hashtags so customers can find you, like #memorialday or #memorialdaypromotion

    Share your Memorial Day hours

Remember to post leading up to Memorial Day, as well as multiple times throughout the weekend so customers get excited by your offers and want to take action.

Decorate your outdoor dining with seasonal elements

As the unofficial start of summer, you can bet that customers will want to eat outside on Memorial Day weekend. Make the most of your outdoor space with fun branded elements, decorative touches and COVID-19 must-haves, like hand sanitizer. If you want tips for how to make the most of your outdoor dining, read our blog on how to make your restaurant dining experience more enjoyable.(opens in a new tab) 

You can also grab marketing materials to showcase your Impossible™ menu items for FREE from our Operator Store.(opens in a new tab) We offer table tents, window clings, toothpick flags and everything you need to let your guests know that you serve Impossible™ products.

Close up shop and celebrate with family

Depending on where you’re located, your customers could be heading to the great outdoors to spend time picnicking or barbecuing with friends and family. Impossible™ brand advocate and restaurant partner Lars Smith of State of Mind Public House and Pizzeria(opens in a new tab) told us that he closes the restaurant so he can spend time with his family. Rest is super important for busy restaurateurs, so make the most of this time if you have it to recharge and get ready for the summer rush.

However you choose to celebrate Memorial Day, make sure to honor veterans in store and online so you can create authentic connections with your community.

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