5 Cinco de Mayo Restaurant Marketing Ideas

What does Cinco de Mayo celebrate?

Cinco de Mayo, a very popular and well-known Mexican holiday often universally celebrated by many with excellent Mexican-themed food and drinks at restaurants, events, parties, in the mail, online, on billboards, and more—however, it often gets improperly interpreted as merely a celebration of beautiful heritage/Mexico’s Independence Day (which is 9/16). Cinco de Mayo (fifth of May) actually commemorates the Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

According to history, Mexican President Benito Juarez paused all foreign debt payments a year before the battle. France reacted to this move by invading Mexico, and while outgunned and outnumbered, the Mexican army managed to turn the tides in the town of Puebla, beating the invaders with a victory that lifted the morale and national pride of Mexico, eventually leading to the expulsion of the French army in 1866. President Juarez declared that May 5, the anniversary of this great victory, be remembered as a national holiday.

Thus, traditional Cinco de Mayo celebrations in Mexico include great parades and festivals; however, businesses such as restaurants, stores and banks remain open. Moreover, we see many beautiful opportunities in the United States to celebrate this historic day, especially in places like California, Illinois, Texas, and Florida, where Hispanic populations are high and cultural celebrations are plenty.

Now that we’ve done a little walk down history lane on the origins of Cinco de Mayo, it is an excellent opportunity for businesses to use this rich cultural event to celebrate and reach existing and new customers at restaurants and more. So, here are 5 marketing ideas for Cinco de Mayo restaurants to capitalize on:


1. Do it with direct mail

Create a colorful direct mail advertisement and send it to a data-backed targeted area or spray-and-pray a region in or near your neighborhood, celebrating a Cinco de Mayo special offer or deal at your location. Owners can come up with a fun contest or giveaway to drum up more buzz and drive more traffic. Direct mail marketing campaigns can take some time to get ready and out for delivery and into mailboxes, so it is better to get started sooner rather than later and better your chances of reaching a higher ROI.


2. DIY attention-grabbers

Take advantage of foot traffic near and around your restaurant or store to capture the attention of passersby and clue them into the fun times/deals and offers that can be had at your location. Start by decorating the inside and outside of your restaurant with traditional Mexican colors and celebratory items: balloons, sombreros, piñatas, etc. Put up signs on the doors and windows letting people know that Cinco de Mayo is coming soon so they can plan and prepare to dance into the good times with great food and great deals at your business.


3. Social media bonanza

Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, X, etc., are all great platforms for organically social media announcements and getting the word out about your Cinco de Mayo celebration. You can build your strategy and create a social campaign calendar counting the days to the big event. Or, why not run a social media photo contest, where loyal customers can post images of good times at your restaurant and win prizes (such as a free dinner for two) by sharing/tagging their dining experience? Remember, be sure to read up on the contest rules for each social channel you use to ensure compliance.


4. Put it on a menu

Cinco de Mayo is also an incredible opportunity to create a special menu and advertise it to your community. Add a savings coupon to the menu that you send out with your direct mail campaign, flyer, or an online listing that customers can bring in to redeem on Cinco de Mayo. Or get the word out yourself—the old-fashioned way—and hand out the themed menus at libraries, other friendly neighborhood businesses, college campuses, and more. One big way to make an impact would be to check in with a Clipper expert to help you build your next campaign and get your professionally designed offers/menu into our magazine like the thousands of companies across America that trust and use Clipper for their direct mail and digital advertising.

5. The email push

Email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with your customers and win back the ones who may need a little reminder of how excellent your products/services are. You can offer them a discount or an easy-to-use QR code that takes them to your website to learn more about your Cinco de Mayo celebration. Pro tip: Send at least one email weekly in the 3 weeks leading up to the holiday. Try to come up with catchy, however intuitive, subject lines to increase your open rates and possible conversions (it doesn’t hurt to review the CAN-SPAM laws either). Maybe invite customers to a margarita and grilled chicken street tacos tasting party before the big May 5 event starts!

Ready to grow?

Need help with your Cinco de Mayo or anytime marketing? Clipper has decades of experience with local marketing expertise, offering businesses like yours a full range of direct mail and digital solutions. Contact your local Clipper rep to learn more about what Clipper can do to help your business grow.

Explore More

corporate info

privacy policy

Copyright 2023 – Clipper Magazine®. All rights reserved.