Food events can range from a collection of food trucks at a car show to a wedding to a restaurant tasting. There are even special events for foodies where chefs from top restaurants come together to show off their skills. Just about any type of food event you might imagine is possible. For the purposes of this article, we’re going to talk about a food event you plan at your restaurant either to kick off a grand opening or to introduce local influencers and regular customers. You can also use a food event to kick off a catering component to your regular restaurant business.

What You Need at Your Food Event

There are many things you need for your food event to be successful, the most obvious being fabulous food, an easy to access venue, great advertising, media exposure, and great organization. However, the number one thing you need is attendees. Your food event is not going to be successful if you can’t attract a large number of people to try your food.

Unless you are planning a wedding or some other major event where food is simply part of it, you’re going to have to get the word out about your event. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to do this, even if you’re on an advertising budget.

Promoting Your Food Event

Current Customers

Start with who you already know. Do you have any customers who are well connected? Think about those who eat in your restaurant often who are members of the media, radio personalities, food critics and even those with an active social or volunteer life. These people should be at the top of your invite list because you want to keep them as loyal customers and also because they may know others you need to reach out to.

Dream Attendees

Think about the biggest celebrity in your area and don’t hesitate to reach out to this person’s PR rep to invite him to your event. Perhaps it is a movie star who hails from your home town, a basketball player who made it big, or a race car driver. The person may not attend, but it never hurts to ask. If the celebrity does attend, it is free instant PR for your event. It makes a mildly interesting event suddenly very newsworthy.

Social Media

Never overlook the power of social media. Come up with a theme for your event and a catchy slogan. Create an image invitation for your followers to share. Ask your customers to share the event and any info on the cost of tickets and such on their own social media walls. Instead of reaching say 500 followers, you suddenly have access to all of your followers’ followers.

Team Up

Is there a local cause or organization you believe in? Team up and offer to give the revenues from the night (minus the cost of food and staff) to the organization. Many charities attract local influencers, so this can also be a good way to attract those people to your event.

These are just a few of the things you can do to attract more attendees to your food event. With a little creativity and networking, you can likely think of others. Before you know it, your small event will be a big event and the talk of the town.

Topic you might be interested in: Hosting a Pre-Event Night on Social Media