Halloween may reign supreme in October, but there’s another monthlong celebration bar and restaurant operators can leverage.
October, for those who didn’t know, is National Sausage Month.
As you probably do know, sausage pairs exquisitely with beer.
Earlier this week, we addressed how owning obscure or lesser-known holidays can boost revenue significantly. In the case of C&S Chowder House, featured by us on October 1, their ownership of National Clam Day has led to an increase of revenue of at least 50 percent.
Sixty percent of food revenue comes from small plates featured on National Clam Day, and C&S drink sales increase by roughly 20 percent, led by $5 beer specials.
And two years ago (almost to the day), we featured a fun promotion created by this year’s Nightclub & Bar Brand Ambassador of the Year, Beam Suntory’s Megan Breier. A master educator who makes learning about whiskey fun and engaging, Breier created Oink & Barrel a couple of years ago.
On top of simply being fun, Breier’s promotion engaged participants’ senses by pairing four American Beam Suntory portfolio whiskeys with four American country hams. A great food and drink pairing makes for a memorable guest experience. Oink & Barrel takes the experience a step further by speaking to Beam’s heritage: Booker Noe enjoyed curing his own meats.
Check this out: Using Beer in Cocktails in Fresh and Creative Ways
Essentially, any holiday can be leveraged for bar and restaurant promotions. The keys are remaining true to your brand; knowing what will appeal to your guests; and inspiring your team to buy into your holiday promotions fully.
National Sausage Day overlaps the two-week celebration of German beer that is Oktoberfest, so beer is still on many guests' brains. Anyone who has been to a proper Oktoberfest event knows that lederhosen and folk music aren’t the only famous pairing for the worldwide celebration—beer and sausages are a necessity.
With three weekends left before Halloween, operators are well positioned to leverage National Sausage Day. If the classic pairing of beer and sausage works for your brand, show off your creativity—and that of your bar and kitchen teams—to drive food and beverage sales.
To help get those creative muscles a-flexin’, you can check out a resource created by the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. That’s right—there’s an official council dedicated to hot dogs and sausages, and they’re headquartered in Washington, D.C. We truly live in the land of opportunity.
The NHDSC website features their Beer and Sausage Guide, “A Connoisseur's Guide to Beer and Sausage.” The guide includes tips for cooking with beer and pairing various styles with different types of sausages. A few examples:
- Kölsch and summer sausage
- Stout and spicy andouille
- Porter and spicy Italian
- Bock and bockwurst
The guide is rather in-depth, describing the characteristics of several beer styles and sausage types. You’ll find a link to the guide below.
Check this out: Embracing the Independence of Self-Serve Beer
When it comes to any promotion, team buy-in is crucial. Activate your bar and kitchen teams to work together and create the beer and sausage pairings. Taste your service team on the pairings, sharing tasting notes provided by the bar and kitchen teams. Before the promotion kicks off, leverage the excitement of your servers and bartenders so they’ll speak to their guests about it, building anticipation.
Featuring local beers and sausages (if available and feasible to do so) can help you truly take full ownership of this monthlong holiday. This holds true for most holidays—guests today want operators to support local businesses.
When you have full buy-in from both your team and the community for a holiday promotion, you’ve established it as yours. Make it a successful annual event and you can anticipate a reliable pop of income. Make the full buy-in approach a part of your overall marketing and promotions strategy and you’ll stand out from the competition.