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If you’ve spent any time scrolling on Instagram or TikTok, you know social media marketing is incredibly effective. One glimpse of a restaurant’s Instagram post can leave you craving a burger or a plate of pasta for the rest of the day. Ready to put that same power of suggestion to work for your restaurant? December food holidays are the perfect place to start.

A food holiday is a fun, lighthearted way to showcase different cuisines, dishes, and seasonal favorites. December is packed with days devoted to delicious treats — brownies, sangria, bacon, and more. This year, celebrate food holidays to break up your Christmas and New Year’s posts. Whether you’re running special promotions or highlighting your chef’s best dishes, it’s a great opportunity to attract new diners and keep your loyal customers on their toes. 

December canva templates for restaurants

Three ways to promote food holidays on social media

Social media platforms are flooded with celebratory posts on national food holidays, but a targeted campaign can help you stand out. To make users stop scrolling, you need to offer something they can’t get anywhere else.

1. Show off your cuisine

As you plan your December content calendar, scan the list of food holidays. Find one that matches your menu items and use that dish as the star of the show. Ask your kitchen staff to prepare and plate the item beautifully, and set up a special photo shoot to capture still images and video clips. A slow pan is always a good idea — it’s an aesthetically pleasing way to show off a glittering glass of beer for National Lager Day (Dec. 10).

Double down on the holiday fun by showcasing items from your seasonal menu. If you have a cranberry Christmas cocktail on the menu, promote it heavily on National Sangria Day (Dec. 20). You can use Grubhub’s free social media templates to show off your holiday menu and encourage diners to place an order.

Add relevant hashtags to your social media posts to ensure they show up in your diners’ feeds. Hashtags like #foodie, #localrestaurant, and #nationalcookieday help social media algorithms show your posts to people who might be interested, even if they don’t follow you. It’s an easy way to get your restaurant in front of new customers. Start by using the name of the holiday; you can also use location-based hashtags to capture a local crowd.

When you’re creating time-sensitive posts, stick to social media platforms with real-time feeds. TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook can help you reach diners as they’re scrolling before work or at lunch. Check out more ways you can promote your restaurant on TikTok.

2. Pile on the promotions

A gorgeous food photo or video is one way to capture diners’ attention; to keep it, you need to provide value. Promotions can help by engaging customers and giving them a reason to order.

If you’re trying to build a bigger following, you might run a contest related to the food holiday. To celebrate National Cookie Day (Dec. 4), ask customers to tag you in their photos of their best Christmas cookie creations. Give the winner a free meal or a free dessert. The extra engagement lets the algorithm know people are interested, so your posts are more likely to show up in users’ feeds.

December is an expensive month; give customers a break from holiday shopping expenses by running promotions that cut costs.

  • Discount dollar amounts: On National Pastry Day (Dec. 9), offer $1 off on your best-selling breakfast pastry.
  • Discounted items: Celebrate National Pumpkin Pie Day (Dec. 25) by offering a pie for 50% off with every holiday meal kit.
  • Discount-themed ingredients: Encourage people to order your cocoa on National Cocoa Day (Dec. 12) by offering a 20% discount.
  • Free item with purchase: On National Brownie Day (Dec. 8) spread the sweetness by offering a free brownie with every entree.

3. Encourage online ordering

It’s no secret that internet users have short attention spans. The best time to convert them into customers is in the moment, while they’re looking at your social media posts. Use the caption, the end of a Tiktok video, or the last Instagram slide to encourage shoppers to order now. Direct them to a link in your bio that leads directly to your online ordering page. A seamless experience reduces barriers, so customers can go from admiring a mouthwatering dish on Facebook to ordering it online in seconds.

The ordering experience is just as important as the social media post — it should be fast and painless. Direct makes it easy to build a fully branded ordering page for your restaurant, so customers can check out quickly. Plus, you don’t pay commissions for orders.

Ring in the new year with Grubhub

New Year’s Eve is one of the busiest delivery days of the year for restaurants. Customers love to order food as they’re preparing for a party or ringing in the new year at home. To create the best possible experience for your diners, take steps to prepare your restaurant for the demand. Get your team and business ready by:

  • Preparing a special New Year’s Eve menu
  • Posting about your New Year plans on social media
  • Stocking up on ingredients and drinks in advance
  • Creating a clearly marked area for delivery orders
  • Scheduling extra kitchen staff
  • Training staff to prep and package delivery foods

Are you planning special promotions for December 31? When you list your restaurant on Grubhub Marketplace, you can seamlessly run targeted promotions to reach new customers.

Download Grubhub's food delivery calendar.

2023 December food holidays

  • Dec. 4: National Cookie Day
  • Dec. 5: National Comfort Food Day
  • Dec. 8: National Brownie Day
  • Dec. 9: National Pastry Day
  • Dec.10: National Lager Day
  • Dec. 12: National Cocoa Day
  • Dec. 14: National Biscuits and Gravy Day
  • Dec. 15: National Lemon Cupcake Day
  • Dec. 17: National Maple Syrup Day
  • Dec. 20: National Sangria Day
  • Dec 21: National French Fried Shrimp Day
  • Dec. 24: National Eggnog Day
  • Dec. 25: National Pumpkin Pie Day
  • Dec. 27: National Fruitcake Day
  • Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve