Angèle Restaurant Napa Valley A Bistro Setting Two Chairs (courtesy Brian Solis on Flickr CC)

Angèle Restaurant Napa Valley A Bistro Setting Two Chairs (courtesy Brian Solis on Flickr Creative Commons)

California’s restaurant promotion – connected from top to bottom

(Here is our Part I – tips for successfully marketing a Restaurant Week or Month)


Quick Refresher on
Restaurant Week or Month

Once a year (usually) many destinations work with local restaurant partners as they offer meal specials and deals throughout a week or a month, often in winter when business can be slow.

This special event has two advantages: it can bring in new restaurant customers, and it also encourages current or former customers to try new items, often at lower prices for that week or month.

The CVB or DMO’s role is to work with tourism partners to highlight all the restaurant offerings in an area. With DMO involvement, the restaurants can receive more than just local coverage.

DMOs are key to starting the Restaurant Week conversation on social media, and to keeping it going during and after the event.

The California Model

January is California Restaurant Month. It’s a great example of “trickle down and trickle up” … all levels work in tandem across the state to reach the largest possible audience.

State Level

The Visit California website Restaurant Month page highlights dishes and cuisine that were developed in the state (like the Cobb Salad) and features a variety of Golden State restaurants. Destinations can participate in Restaurant Month co-op advertising, which reaches a worldwide audience.

DMO Level

Visit Napa Valley takes a particular week of the Restaurant Month (in 2017 it was January 22 – 29) to have their own Napa Valley Restaurant Week, with a variety of prix fixe menus at discounted prices. The DMO also highlights their local participating partners on their website page. The target audience is huge, since Napa is so well-known to foodies.

Local Level

Napa Valley restaurants primarily promote their offerings to their current customers. Their focus is local, but because of the partnership with the Napa Valley DMO, which partners with the state of California, they now potentially reach a worldwide audience.


A Local Tip

Regardless of the community’s size, we suggest that you partner with a charity for Restaurant Week/Month, and have a portion of the sales donated to that charity. Locals will then turn out not only to support the event, but also to support the local cause.

This approach may also garner additional media coverage (even national coverage) depending upon the charitable organization chosen.

—> Bonus marketing inspiration on Pinterest <—

Have some favorite restaurant marketing resources of your own? Thoughts, feedback, or suggestions? Leave a comment down below….

Give us a shout if you need some consulting, coaching, or brainstorming help with your tourism partners, including restaurants.

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