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As of 2020, there are more than 1 million restaurants in the United States. Depending on the specific area, consumers may have dozens or even hundreds of restaurants to choose from. So how are diners deciding where they’ll ultimately eat?

It turns out there are lots of reasons consumers might pick a particular restaurant. About one-third of people consider guest reviews, and some 90% check out restaurants online before dining there. It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly each potential guest is looking for, but it’s likely a combination of these factors:

  • Does the food seem appealing?
  • Do the menu, ingredients, and overall aesthetic reflect seasonality? 
  • What promotions are in place that make the restaurant seem especially enticing?

When all three of those factors are in play, you hopefully have an important aspect to convey to consumers: excitement. Fortunately, incorporating social media holidays into your marketing strategy helps you do just that.

Creative marketing promotions are one of the keys to attracting guests into your restaurant. This same inspiration can be used to fuel seasonal menus, the look and feel of your restaurant’s social media presence, and so much more.

Here’s a look at social media holidays that you can use to get diners hyped enough to either make a reservation or order delivery all summer long.

Why are social media calendars important?

As a restaurant owner, you have a lot on your plate. With plenty going on, you shouldn’t be spending hours every day trying to figure out what kind of post should go on your social media and how promos can shape your menu. This is why having a marketing calendar is so important.

Having a social media calendar to follow, similar to our National Food Holiday calendar, gives you a road map. By using a calendar, you’ll have all your promotions laid out so you can batch content (AKA, create a bunch of collateral at one time so you can schedule posts in advance). 

This way, you’ll streamline your marketing operations and free up both time and money so you’re not rushing around figuring out what to promote next and how you should do it.

Use these affordable marketing tools to help with everything from content creation to email marketing to commission-free online ordering.

Micro holidays: Random and weird days worth celebrating

Micro holidays are those not-quite-real holidays like National Rubber Ducky Day (January 13) and National Pizza Party Day (May 19) that may not get you a day off school, but are still fun to observe.

Many people call these micro holidays “social media holidays” because they’re so popular on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, and Twitter. Companies use micro holidays in their marketing campaigns as a way to connect with consumers and encourage engagement.

Restaurants can do the exact same thing. By harnessing the power of social media holidays and national food holidays, restaurants can drum up positive interest and engagement. 

How to incorporate social media holidays in your restaurant promotions

While many social media holidays involve non-food people, places or things — Talk Like a Pirate Day, anyone? — there are also a ton of National Food Holidays that are tailor made for restaurants.

Download our Guide to National Food Holidays to learn how to uplevel your promotional marketing as well as to spruce up your social media food grams. Don’t miss out on holidays that give your customers an excuse to celebrate food and gift themselves or a loved one some delicious restaurant delivery.

Take National Ice Cream Day, for example. Bloomberg research shows that 391,000 posts were made with the hashtag #NationalIceCreamDay in 2022, and there were more than 6.6 million YouTube videos made on the same topic. Major traction. And that translated into sales too, with ice cream sellers seeing a sales spice of 15-20% on average.

Pick a holiday that resonates with your restaurant or one you think will resonate with guests. Then create fun graphics to promote the holiday itself, with additional content ready to highlight any deals you’re running such as a special menu item or a limited-time discount.

When you sign up for Grubhub Direct, you also get access to customer data you can use to spread the word, including powering your own branded email campaigns. With your own free ordering website and zero marketing fees, your restaurant can invest in the promotions your diners deserve.

Visit our blog post for even more ideas on how to use the top National Food Holidays of 2022 for your restaurant marketing strategy.

What social media holidays are coming up next?

Once you’ve downloaded the National Food Holiday calendar, be sure to check out and incorporate a few non-food related social media holidays, too. These holidays may not be solely food-focused, but that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate ingredients, dishes, and drinks that are on theme.

Think of each holiday as an opportunity. You’ll want to grab some with both hands, peppering your social media with hilarious memes giving a nod to National Selfie Day, while piggybacking on popular associated hashtags to help consumers discover your restaurant. 

You can also celebrate holidays that align with your restaurant’s values, like posting a screenshot of a donation your restaurant made in honor of #EndangeredSpeciesDay (May 21). 

Or, kick off a cross-promotional campaign deal with another restaurant by sharing a picture of your staff eating a neighboring eatery’s signature donuts for #NationalDonutDay (June 4).

A few quick tips:

  • Use hashtags to take advantage of algorithms and become more discoverable for consumers interested in that particular social media holiday
  • Avoid going overboard — pick a few holidays to concentrate on rather than posting about every single one of them
  • Always aim for authenticity. Go all out for the holidays that make the most sense for your restaurant and underlying mission, then add just a few extra fun ones to keep up with the trends

Luckily, we’ve done the work for you and gathered all the major summer social media holidays. Add these opportunities to your social media calendar and get to work on some fun promotional posts!

May 2022 Social Media Holidays

May is a major month for food holidays, including celebrations like Cinco de Mayo that aren’t necessarily about food but certainly contain a lot of it. This is also a big month for alcohol delivery. Be sure to read up on alcohol to-go trends of 2022 to make sure you have the right systems in place to succeed.

May is also Asian Heritage Month, Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and Mental Health Awareness Month.

  • May 1: International Workers Day #IntWorkersDay
  • May 4: Star Wars Day #StarWarsDay #Maythe4thBeWithYou and Thank a Teacher Day #ThankATeacher
  • May 5: Cinco de Mayo #CincoDeMayo
  • May 6: National Nurses Day #NursesDay
  • May 7: World Password Day #WorldPasswordDay and Space Day #SpaceDay
  • May 9: Europe Day #EuropeDay
  • May 12: National Limerick Day #NationalLimerickDay and National Receptionist Day #NationalReceptionistDay
  • May 15: International Day of Families #FamilyDay
  • May 16: Love a Tree Day #LoveATreeDay
  • May 17: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia #IDAHOT2022
  • May 18: International Museums Day #IMD2022
  • May 21: National Memo Day #NationalMemoDay and National Bike to Work Day #BTWD and Endangered Species Day #EndangeredSpeciesDay
  • May 24: National Scavenger Hunt Day #NationalScavengerHuntDay
  • May 27: Heat Awareness Day #NoFryDay
  • May 28: World Hunger Day #WorldHungerDay
  • May 29: Paperclip Day #PaperclipDay

June 2022 Social Media Holidays

June brings us winners like National Rotisserie Chicken Day, National Cheese Day, and National Smoothie Day. You’ve also got Father’s Day on the way – perhaps a great day to advertise picnic baskets or BBQ? June is also Pride Month, Great Outdoors Month, and National Adopt a Cat Month.

  • June 1: Global Day of Parents #GlobalDayOfParents
  • June 3: Global Running Day #GlobalRunningDay
  • June 4: National Donut Day #NationalDonutDay
  • June 5: World Environment Day #WorldEnvironmentDay
  • June 6: National Cancer Survivors Day #NCSD2022 and Higher Education Day #HigherEducationDay
  • June 8: World Oceans Day #WorldOceansDay and Best Friends Day #BestFriendsDay
  • June 13: International Children’s Day #ChildrensDay
  • June 14: World Blood Donor Day #GiveBlood
  • June 14: National Flag Day #FlagDay
  • June 19: Juneteenth (Freedom Day) #Juneteenth
  • June 20: World Refugee Day #WithRefugees
  • June 21: National Selfie Day #NationalSelfieDay and World Music Day #WorldMusicDay and International Yoga Day #InternationalYogaDay
  • June 24: National Handshake Day #HandshakeDay
  • June 25: Take Your Dog to Work Day #TakeYourDogToWorkDay
  • June 27: National Sunglasses Day #NationalSunglassesDay
  • June 30: Social Media Day #SMDay #SocialMediaDay

July 2022 Social Media Holidays

Bring on the ballpark snacks and summer treats! July is a foodie’s dream, with National Food Holidays like National Blueberry Muffin Day, National Drive-Thru Day, and National Hot Fudge Sundae Day all on the calendar.

The month offers lots of opportunities for creativity, as July is National Anti-Boredom Month, National Ice Cream Month, and National Make a Difference to Children Month, too.

  • July 1: National Postal Worker Day #NationalPostalWorkerDay
  • July 2: World UFO Day #WorldUFODay
  • July 3: International Plastic Bag Free Day #PlasticBagFreeDay
  • July 7: World Chocolate Day #WorldChocolateDay
  • July 11: Cheer Up the Lonely Day #CheerUpTheLonelyDay
  • July 15: Give Something Away Day #GiveSomethingAwayDay #GivingDay and Get to Know Your Customers Day #GetToKnowYourCustomersDay
  • July 17: World Emoji Day #WorldEmojiDay
  • July 18: National Ice Cream Day #IceCreamDay and World Listening Day #WorldListeningDay
  • July 30: Talk in an Elevator Day #TalkInAnElevatorDay
  • July 30: International Day of Friendship #DayOfFriendship

August 2022 Social Media Holidays

Wind up your summer social media holiday calendar with August’s slate of yummy days, including National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, National Fajita Day, and National Chop Suey Day. Yum!

August is also Black Business Month, Back to School Month, and National Sandwich Month.

  • August 1: Respect for Parents Day #RespectForParentsDay
  • August 2: National Coloring Book Day #NationalColoringBookDay
  • August 3: Black Women’s Equal Pay Day #BlackWomensEqualPay
  • August 8: International Cat Day #InternationalCatDay
  • August 9: National Book Lovers Day #NationalBookLoversDay
  • August 10: National Lazy Day #LazyDay
  • August 11: National Sons and Daughters Day #SonsAndDaughtersDay
  • August 12: International Youth Day #YouthDay and World Elephant Day #WorldElephantDay
  • August 13: International Lefthanders Day #LefthandersDay
  • August 14: National Financial Awareness Day #FinancialAwarenessDay
  • August 15: National Relaxation Day #NationalRelaxationDay
  • August 16: National Tell a Joke Day #NationalTellAJokeDay
  • August 19: World Photo Day #WorldPhotoDay and World Humanitarian Day #WorldHumanitarianDay
  • August 20: National Lemonade Day #NationalLemonadeDay
  • August 26: National Dog Day #NationalDogDay and National Women’s Equality Day #WomensEqualityDay

It’s crucial that restaurants find ways to reach diners year-round. One of the easiest ways to do this is to leverage holidays — both the official ones and the social media holidays designed with fun and creativity in mind.

Make life easier by creating a strategic marketing plan ahead of time, and use the list above along with our National Food Holidays guide to shape your calendar and choose points of focus.

For even more help, make sure you’re a part of the best and fastest-growing third-party delivery app to ensure your promotions and delicious menus are being seen by diners in your area. Sign up for Grubhub Marketplace today to see how you can build a competitive marketing and promotional strategy using our expertise and tools