Restaurant Theme Night Ideas to Fill Your Seats

restaurant theme night ideas

When there are countless other similar businesses in your area, it takes quite a lot of effort to make your restaurant stand out. If you’re looking for a quick solution to get noticed, we’re here to help you with attractive restaurant theme night ideas.

Say goodbye to slow nights with few orders and enjoy a full restaurant each day. The increase in profit you will notice at the end of the month will make any theme night preparation worth it.

Why you should implement theme night ideas for restaurants

If you aren’t convinced you want to invest time, effort, and money in restaurant theme night ideas, check out these benefits:

  • Increase sales on slow nights: the couple of days when you are selling less can significantly impact your profit. After you identify your slow nights, you can fill them with events to increase your revenue;
  • Attract new customers: organizing restaurant theme nights allows you to reach a bigger audience. For example, people who may not have heard about your place until now will be attracted by a trivia night and book a table. If you offer them an amazing experience, they will surely come back;
  • Stand out from the competition: the competition is fierce in the restaurant industry with many businesses having trouble surviving their first years. Hosting events will increase your brand awareness and make you a well-known name in your location. When people have to choose between you and a similar place, they will be tempted to choose your restaurant because you offer them something extra.

Read more: 7 Easy Tips to Increase Your Restaurant Brand Awareness You Must Try

Tips to create the perfect restaurant theme nights

Before we delve into the many restaurant theme night ideas, we’ve prepared a few tips to help you choose and organize a successful event each time.

Cater to your audience

Your loyal customers are the first that are going to participate in your restaurant theme nights, so you should cater to their preferences. On top of determining the common demographics such as age and sex, you can also take to social media to ask them directly.

When you create your social media content plan, add a few posts asking followers to let you know what type of events they would like to see at your restaurant. You will not only get useful answers, but you also increase your engagement rate.

Read more: Restaurant Clientele Types and How to Persuade Them to Order More

Market your restaurant theme night ideas

Organizing a restaurant theme night is the first step. But, if you want to fill your seats, you need to get the word out about your new event. Here is what you must do:

  • Organic social media posts: hype up your event with tempting photos and encourage people to book a spot;
  • Paid social media posts: if you want to reach a bigger audience, you can pay to have a post with the event details shown to people in your area who might be interested;
  • Organize a contest: have people like and share your post for a chance to win a free invite to your next restaurant theme night;
  • Add an announcement on your website: people don’t just check your website for the menu, they also look for other relevant information about your restaurant. Reserve a spot on your website to let people know about upcoming events.

Read more: 25 Eye-Catching Social Media Post Ideas for Restaurants

Allow people to book a table and pre-order

Implementing restaurant theme night ideas will have people interested in visiting your restaurant, but how should they go about it? Should they just show up on the day and hope they still find a free seat? This kind of lack of organization will deter people from coming and hurt your business.

Instead, add the free table reservation system from GloriaFood on your website and allow people to book a table in just a few clicks online, no human interaction is needed.

Offer clients a seamless experience with a free table reservation system Add it to your website in minutes Start Now

You can also enable the pre-order feature, where people can order and pay for their food at the same time they are making a reservation.

restaurant theme night ideas

Schedule staff accordingly

Imagine having a full restaurant and only three scheduled servers that can barely keep up with the orders. Your employees won’t be able to do their job at the expected standard and clients will have a bad experience which will determine them to never visit your place and even leave a negative review.

You can prevent these kinds of problems by scheduling staff according to the number of reservations you receive. Maybe add a few extra employees for safety at the first events until you get accustomed to organizing theme nights.

13 restaurant theme night ideas

Start filling your empty seats by trying out the following restaurant theme night ideas:

1. Food tasting

Your loyal clients know and love your usual menu items, but why not surprise them with more? You can encourage your chef to experiment and come up with special dishes only available for the event.

You can also invite your local food suppliers to come promote their produce and show customers you prize high-quality ingredients.

Furthermore, a food-tasting theme night is ideal for when you want to launch new menu items. You can create fear of missing out by teasing that the people participating in the event will be the first to taste your new delicious creations.

2. Wine or beer tasting

Use your restaurant theme nights as an opportunity to build stronger bonds with your community. Invite local winemakers and breweries to showcase their drinks on a special day at your restaurant. You can also teach people about food and drink pairing.

3. Cooking classes

Allow customers to learn how to cook from the best! Organize cooking classes with your chef where you teach interested people how to perform some of the more complicated techniques or cook a simple recipe from start to finish.

4. Holiday parties

People are always looking for a reason to celebrate and holidays are great opportunities. Have a party for Halloween, Christmas, New Year's Eve, Mother's Day, Father's Day and much more. You can even organize events for lesser-known holidays like World Pizza Day.

Read more: 10 Tips and Tricks for Restaurant Holiday Menus to Make Clients Happy Every Day of the Year

5. Decade night

People are often nostalgic for the years when they were young. Take advantage of that and try out decade nights such as 80s, 90s, 2000s, etc. On top of playing the music from the era, try to add some new dishes to the menu that were popular during the specific decade.

6. Arts and crafts

Choose your least popular day at the restaurant and up your sales by organizing an arts and crafts event, such as paint and sip. After all, drinks are one of the highest profit margin menu items on your menu, so you would benefit from selling more.

Read more: Low Food Cost Menu Items That Will Help You Increase Your Restaurant's Profit

7. Murder mystery party

One of the best restaurant theme night ideas is to offer clients a unique experience that they will remember. A great example is a murder mystery party where everyone gets to play a role and enjoy thematic food.

8. Celebrity meet and greet

If you want people hurrying to make a reservation, get in contact with one of your local celebrities and ask them if they would be interested in a meet and greet with the community. For example, authors, sports figures, singers, etc.

9. Trivia night

If you are looking for low-effort but high-impact restaurant theme night ideas, organize a trivia night. The prizes you offer should be linked to your restaurant such as merch or discounts on future orders to get people to come back.

10. Karaoke night

If your audience is interested in singing, let them show their talent during a karaoke night. You will have to initially invest in a karaoke machine, but it will pay for itself if you make it a regular event with a full restaurant.

11. Live entertainment

Elevate your client's dining experience with live entertainment. If you are working on a small budget and can't afford professional groups, look for up-and-coming talents who are willing to perform for less money.

12. Book club

If your audience has shown interest in reading, give them your space to allow them to discuss their favorite books. If you can manage it, invite authors to do a signing at your restaurant, that will surely peak people’s attention.

13. Local team celebrations

Turn your restaurant into the place to be for supporters. Get some big screens out during the event so people can watch the match for their favorite team. You can even create special menu items in the colors of the celebrated team.

Rely on technology to organize the best restaurant theme nights Install a table reservation on your website for free Start Now

Final words

Restaurant theme night ideas are a must if you want to fill up your seats during slow periods. Try out different events and notice which one attracts more attention and prioritize organization to ensure a pleasant experience for all.

Otilia Dobos

Otilia Dobos is sometimes a content writer, other times a copywriter, but always produces high-quality content that helps clients up their marketing game. She devotes her attention to helping restaurant owners have a successful business with well-documented and SEO-optimized articles.

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