Event-based marketing for restaurants: Tapping into consumer emotion around events

Published on October 11, 2023
Valerie Williams
Senior Content Marketing Manager

Emotions play a significant role in consumers' quick-serve restaurant experiences. By understanding the emotions that drive consumers' visits, operators can adjust their marketing and offerings to better align with their target audience's desired emotional states.

Event data can be used to better understand the drivers of consumers' restaurant visits. The local events your customers attend reveal insights into their interests and values – which can then be used to create event-based marketing campaigns that target consumers' emotional needs.

Fast casual restaurants tap into their customer’s emotions with timely, relevant marketing messaging and unique dining experiences. Whether you’re a pizza or burger restaurant, a coffee shop, a taco chain, or chicken restaurant – by offering special deals and promotions that are tailored to specific events, quick-service restaurants can show their customers that they understand and appreciate their needs. 

Unique, limited-time offerings tied to events and causes customers care about establishes a more emotional connection between the restaurant and its customers.

This is achieved through branding and customer experiences that tap into the nostalgia, tradition, and excitement around events, making people laugh with menu item names and packaging, and helping customers contribute to an important social cause. For example, many leaders in the fast casual space began their Halloween-based promotions in September, including:

  • Jack in the Box launched a Monster Taco and the spicy counterpart, the Angry Monster Taco for the halloween season. They’re also offering the Basic Witch Shake and Pumpkin Croissant Bites for the fall.

  • Wendy's offers a special $1 coupon book with coupons for free Frosty desserts – which has become a tradition over the past 15 years, raising more than $300 million for the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. 

  • Starbucks has released their collection of Halloween-inspired drinkware, including glow-in-the-dark cups, bedazzled tumblers, and pumpkin-shaped mugs. To incentivize sustainability, customers using the reusable cups get ten cents off of their orders. 

  • McDonald’s Boo Buckets are back this year, a nostalgic jack-o-lantern pail first released in the 80’s that can also be used to collect halloween candy. The buckets come free with all happy meal orders between October 17 - 31 while supplies last.

Halloween events to target your marketing around

Use event data to identify major events near your restaurant locations in advance in order to build out your marketing calendar to take advantage of Halloween, and any other holiday, local celebration or event that matters to your customers. In October alone, there are thousands of festive events driving billions in spending across the United States, including:

Halloween and the surrounding events are just one example of millions of holidays and other events happening annually around the world. Tap into events to target your marketing for your customers and their needs. Get hyper-local event insights specific to your restaurant locations, so your team is always prepared for demand-driving events – whether they’re well-known events, or not. Sign up for your PredictHQ account to explore events impacting your restaurants today.