Programming

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Stand Out with Weird Holidays: December

Stand Out with Weird Holidays: December

by David Klemt

Stay Weird neon sign with purple background

Want to stand out from from other restaurants and bars in your area? Then commit to keeping it weird.

Several “holidays” are set against every date on the calendar, and December is no exception. These holidays range from mainstream—Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving, anyone?—to food-centric to weird.

Pay attention to the latter to raise eyebrows, carve out a niche for your restaurant or bar, and attract more guests. Why do what everyone else is already doing?

Of course, you shouldn’t try to celebrate every holiday, weird or otherwise. And this month’s list in no way includes every odd holiday.

Focus on the days that are authentic to your brand; resonate with your guests; and help you grab attention on social media.

For November’s list, click here.

December 4: National Dice Day

I’m not including this holiday simply because I live in Las Vegas. Dice are for far more than just craps. Board games, role-playing games, making life decisions in a very strange manner… We need dice and they deserve a day of celebration.

One of the simplest ways to celebrate National Dice Day with your guests is to create a small beer, wine, spirits and/or cocktail menu. Then, put numbers against each offering and have guests roll the dice. Whatever number comes up, they’re getting the correlating drink. Easy.

December 5: Bathtub Party Day

Okay, let me be clear. I’m not encouraging events that involve people coming to your restaurant or bar to party in bathtubs. Rather, I’m suggesting celebrating Repeal Day (these holidays share the same date) with a cheeky nod to homemade booze made infamous during Prohibition.

Of course, you should absolutely not celebrate Bathtub Party Day by offering illicit alcohol. Instead, feature an array of gins and gin-based cocktails. You can also feature a brand like Ole Smoky Moonshine.

December 8: Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day

This is a list of weird holidays, so how could I possibly pass up this gem? If you think one day of dress-up and pretending isn’t enough (looking at you, Halloween), here’s a very specific holiday just for you. Just make sure you prepare your front-of-house staff because wow—this could get weird (read: annoying).

You can also get a little more creative and put together a tasting for a spirit or brand with a history that spans several decades or centuries.

December 9: Weary Willie Day

Hey—get your mind out of the gutter. This is another holiday that there was no way I could ignore. Weary Willie Day is a celebration of clowns. In particular, it celebrates a character created by Emmett Kelly, Weary Willie. Why do we celebrate this unique holiday on this specific date? Emmett Kelly was born on December 9, 1898.

If you’ve got a plug, this is a fantastic holiday to feature Clown Shoes beers, distributed via Mass Bay Brewing Co.

December 11: National Noodle Ring Day

What? You don’t know what a noodle ring is? Well, neither did I until very recently. If you have a kitchen and, more importantly, a kitchen staff that loves to experiment and make new items, this is an awesome holiday.

A noodle ring is essentially what it sounds like. Noodle rings tend to be savory bites inspired by pasta dishes. Set noodles and other ingredients in a mold, bake, finish, and serve. Perfect for guests who want to try something new. And comforting on a winter’s day.

December 12: National Ding-a-Ling Day

This holiday isn’t about hurling a pretty innocuous insult at people. Yeah, sorry to burst your bubble. Instead, this day is all about reconnecting with people. The idea is to give someone a ring and rekindle that relationship. Now, I’m not telling anyone what to do…but please don’t use this holiday to annoy your ex. Please. Don’t do.

Anyway, you know where’s a great place to meet up after reconnecting? A restaurant or bar, of course! So, encourage people who have reconnected with someone during the holiday season to meet up at your venue.

December 13: Green Monday

Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Yes, those are the two busiest shopping days of the year. Do you know the third? It’s Green Monday, which takes place on the second Monday of December.

Green Monday 2021 is the 15th annual celebration of this holiday. How can a restaurant or bar participate in what’s generally a retail holiday? By offering gift cards, gift card deals (spend $100, get an additional $25, for example), and then promote the hell out of your gift card promotions. Start a week or a few days before Green Monday, and then really promote them via social, your email lists, and your text lists on the day itself.

December 17: National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day

Fine, this isn’t exactly a weird holiday anymore. At this point, ugly sweaters are basically a requirement for any holiday gathering taking place during December. However, it’s important to note that there’s an official holiday in December that calls for people to wear their ugly Christmas sweaters. Leveraging this holiday is easy, obviously. You know what to do.

December 23: National Pfeffernüsse Day

Would you like a pepper nut? Well, what about a pfeffernüsse? The name of this German gingerbread cookie translates to “pepper nut” in English. What sets this gingerbread cookie apart from the type we’re all most familiar with is that they’re rolled into balls before being baked, and then finished with confectioner’s sugar.

This tasty German cookie (also popular in Denmark and the Netherlands) certainly fits with the holiday season. And I bet you can think of a few beers, wines, spirits, and cocktails that pair well these cookies, which are made with all-spice, anise, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, mace, and nutmeg.

Image: Dan Parlante on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Stand Out with Weird Holidays: November

Stand Out with Weird Holidays: November

by David Klemt

Stay Weird neon sign with purple background

Want to stand out from from other restaurants and bars in your area? Then commit to keeping it weird.

Several “holidays” are set against every date on the calendar, and November is no exception. These holidays range from mainstream—Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving, anyone?—to food-centric to weird.

Pay attention to the latter to raise eyebrows, carve out a niche for your restaurant or bar, and attract more guests. Why do what everyone else is already doing?

Of course, you shouldn’t try to celebrate every holiday, weird or otherwise. And this month’s list in no way includes every odd holiday.

Focus on the days that are authentic to your brand; resonate with your guests; and help you grab attention on social media.

For October’s list, click here.

November 1: World Vegan Day

Obviously, this holiday isn’t weird for vegans or vegetarians. There are, however, those who still find this particular diet odd. Well, this is the perfect holiday to learn more about vegan cooking and eating. Pass on that knowledge by adding delicious vegan dishes to your menu.

November 4: National Candy Day

Do you have a surplus of candy now that Halloween is over? Trying to fight the temptation to eat it all yourself? Various candies perform well as garnishes for cocktails. There’s also another way to approach this holiday, like featuring starters such as candied bacon.

November 6: National Nacho Day

So, this holiday is more fun than weird, really. However, you can probably see the potential to deviate from the standard nacho builds. Instead, ask your kitchen staff to get creative and come up with intriguing takes on nachos that will grab the attention of your guests.

November 9: National Scrapple Day

One of the best ways to cut back on food waste in restaurants, bars, and hotels is to utilize as much of a given ingredient as possible. Scrapple, of which our Philadelphia audience will no doubt be very well aware, consists of pork scraps. Guests outside of Pennsylvania may have never tried scrapple before, so this holiday is the perfect time to tempt them with a new taste sensation.

November 12: National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day

It’s not this pizza that’s weird, of course. It’s the very specific pizza this holiday is celebrating. I’m guessing that you know exactly what to do to celebrate this holiday with your guests.

November 14: Pickle Day

The (in)famous Pickleback. Bloody Mary made with pickle juice. A Dill Pickle Martini. Pickle appetizers and starters. If you’ve got pickles and some degree of creativity, it’s pretty clear what needs to be done on November 14.

National 15: National Spicy Hermit Cookie Day

This is another very specific holiday. This cookie, the Spicy Hermit, features flavors that couldn’t be any more perfect for fall: cinnamon, clove, allspice, and nutmeg. You can Google a recipe, of course, but we found this one and it seems delicious.

November 17: National Take a Hike Day

We’re big fans of encouraging guests and staff to get outside. There are thousands of trails throughout the United States and Canada, ranging from the easy-peasy to the truly treacherous, so the sky’s the limit. Encourage guests to take a hike and grab a bite and drink at your establishment to rest and recover. Have them tag your spot and their meal, of course.

November 28: Red Planet Day

It seems like billionaires and millionaires can’t get enough of Mars. Over the past few years, space travel has focused almost exclusively on the idea of reaching the Red Planet and figuring out how to live on it. So, if you’ve got dishes and drinks that are predominantly red in color, put them at the forefront on November 28.

Image: Dan Parlante on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Stand Out with Weird Holidays: October

Stand Out with Weird Holidays: October

by David Klemt

Stay Weird neon sign with purple background

Want to stand out from from other restaurants and bars in your area? Then commit to keeping it weird.

Several “holidays” are set against every date on the calendar, and October is no exception. These holidays range from mainstream—Halloween, anyone?—to food-centric to weird.

Pay attention to the latter to raise eyebrows, carve out a niche for your restaurant or bar, and attract more guests. Why do what everyone else is already doing?

Of course, you shouldn’t try to celebrate every holiday, weird or otherwise. And this month’s list in no way includes every odd holiday.

Focus on the days that are authentic to your brand; resonate with your guests; and help you grab attention on social media.

For September’s list, click here.

October 3: National Boyfriend Day

I’m pretty sure you understand exactly what this holiday honors and how to encourage guests to celebrate it. Invite people into your restaurant or bar to treat their boyfriend to a bite, drink, and good time.

October 6: National Noodle Day

Do you have noodles? Like to sell them to guests? Enjoy creating LTOs and specialty noodle dishes? This is the holiday to celebrate all of your favorite things with your guests.

October 8: National Fluffernutter Day

Ah, Fluffernutter. Marshmallow fluff resonates with a lot of people, particularly ’80s and ’90s kids. National Fluffernutter Day is the perfect holiday to leverage nostalgia, creative cocktails and desserts, cooling temperatures, and candy.

October 9: National Motorcycle Ride Day

One of the best parts about cruising in a group on motorcycles is stopping to refuel at a restaurant or bar. Encourage your bike-riding guests to begin, take a break during, or end their group ride at your venue.

October 11: National Kick Butt Day

No, this isn’t a day about literally kicking any butts. Instead, this holiday is about motivating people to take the necessary steps to realize their dreams and achieve their goals. Encourage your guests to take steps to reach their goals and celebrate doing so at your business.

October 13: National Emergency Nurse’s Day

Nurses always deserve our thanks. However, I think we can all agree that the past 18 months have been particularly difficult and overwhelming for nurses. Offer the emergency room nurses (all nurses, really) an amazing food or drink promotion to thank them for all they do.

October 15: National Grouch Day

While this holiday focuses on letting people let their grouch flag fly, operators can take a different direction. Why not offer people a place and promotion to get out of their funk through great food, amazing drinks, and a fantastic time?

October 17: Wear Something Gaudy Day

I mean, this holiday is two weeks out from Halloween—people are willing to make any excuse to dress up.

October 21: Get to Know Your Customers Day

Do you really want to boost your bottom line? Get to know your customers. Really, this holiday is for you. Use this day to implement guest data-collecting practices and train your team to obtain this valuable information. Learn more about why and how to build a guest database on episode 51 of Bar Hacks with Matt Plapp.

October 25: Sourest Day

There are multiple ways to approach Sourest Day. Some say it’s about eliminating the “sour” people in our lives. Others use it to enjoy sour candies which, admittedly, is perfect for Halloween month. For operators, promoting sour beers and cocktails is likely a winning strategy.

October 29: National Breadstick Day

Unless someone is counting their carbs strictly, everyone enjoys a breadstick. In reality, not many people have the discipline to enjoy just one. If you’ve got breadsticks on your menu, you know what to do on this holiday.

Image: Dan Parlante on Unsplash

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