Restaurant Marketing Promotions for Back to School That Actually Work

Aug 13, 2019 9:50:56 AM / by Jacey Lamb

Blog images (1)It’s back to school season yet again, which means families are busier than ever. Here comes the fall activities and parents turning into taxi cabs. And don’t forget about all the busy teachers grading homework and coaching football. How does this relate to your restaurant, you ask? Well, you can take advantage of the back to school season and increase your restaurant sales if you adjust your marketing! Keep reading to find out what works to increase sales during these busy bee back to school days.

Easy Comes First

Everyone seems to be very busy during the back to school craze. So busy, that home made meals are usually an afterthought. Which is the perfect opportunity for your restaurant to come to the rescue and make meal time as easy as possible for parents!


  • Offer family specials where kids can eat free, or discounted
  • Offer two main dishes for a cheaper rate (great for parents)
  • Have a parent’s day out lunch special the first week of school
  • Build a reputation of fast and high quality service
  • Advertise your to-go service more to give families a quick option
  • Offer a family style to-go box so bigger families won’t need to order so many meals

The recurring theme here is: EASE. Make it simple and quick for families to go to your restaurant. With all the events happening - they don’t have time to think about dinner. So do the thinking for them.

Family Friendly Happy Hour

Attract more families into your restaurant during the back to school season by creating a family friendly happy hour - and call it a family hour! This is a perfect way to increase restaurant sales by advertising quality family time without the stress or mess of cooking dinner and cleaning the kitchen after school and work. Provide half priced kids meals or discounted appetizers from 3-6 PM and you’ll see an influx of hungry families. You get more sales, and families get to spend more time together in your restaurant. Try it out!

Target High Schoolers and College Kids

Families are going to be eating out more during the back to school season, but don’t forget about the high school and college kids in your area. Everyone will be looking for easy and affordable meals.

Here’s a few ways to focus restaurant marketing for more school aged sales:

  • Provide specials for major athletic events going on in your community
    (like home football games)
  • Offer discounted appetizers or unlimited free sodas to draw in a crowd before and after games
  • Offer a discount to college kids who show a student ID 
  • Team up with universities near by and ask to include restaurant coupons in new student packets that are handed out
  • Offer a late night study hour where coffee and other caffeinated beverages are discounted, or free with purchase of a meal

The common theme here is: AFFORDABLE. Find ways to make your restaurant appear more affordable to your community, and you’ll be sure to increase restaurant guest volume and sales. Restaurant marketing promotions like these will also foster relationships with your community, and create long term customers.

Focus Restaurant Marketing on Teachers

Last but certainly not least, the teachers! Similar to the student ID discount, it’s a great idea to have a standing discount for teachers and their families if they show their staff ID. Go even further the first week of school and offer free appetizers for teachers. I’m sure they’ll appreciate that more than the apples they usually get! Get it...? This will help foster your relationship with surrounding schools, and restaurant sales will increase as a result. 

The more you help your community by offering these kinds of marketing promotions, the more people will turn to your restaurant when they need an easy and delicious meal. By marketing yourself as a hub for special offers during the busy back to school season, your restaurant sales will increase and you’ll gain more lifetime customers as well. Everyone wins. 


Tags: tips for restaurant owners, restaurant management, sales strategies

Jacey Lamb

Written by Jacey Lamb

Jacey is the Inbound Marketing Specialist for ShiftNote and is passionate about helping businesses grow. She loves all things digital marketing - especially social media. She makes sure to continue learning every day to build on her knowledge. Outside of her career, she enjoys going to the gym, eating delicious food, and spending time with friends and family (and pets, of course).

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