The 2024 Restaurant Guide to Food Holidays + 4 Holiday Marketing Strategies


Adriana Desmond

JAN 04, 2024


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Welcome to the ultimate 2024 Food and National Holiday guide for restaurant owners to spice up their menus and drive purchase traffic. As we navigate the plethora of culinary and nationally recognized holidays, remember that these events are not just about celebrating our favorite foods but prime opportunities for restaurants to enhance their marketing strategies, engage with customers, and boost sales. From National Hangover Day to National Cookie Day, every month brings its own unique potential for menu creativity and guest engagement.

In this article, we'll cover notable holidays in each month as well as four powerful marketing strategies tested by leading brands to drive engagement and grow digital orders all year.

National Holidays and Food Holidays by Month:

January 2024

Notable days like National Hangover Day (Jan 1) and National Hot Tea Day (Jan 12) offer opportunities for brunch specials, where comfort food, grease, and a selection of hot teas can soothe those New Year celebrations. 

Mid-month, National Gluten-Free Day (Jan 13) is an excellent occasion to highlight gluten-free options, appealing to health-conscious diners. 

Towards the end of the month, National Chocolate Cake Day (Jan 27) and National Blueberry Pancake Day (Jan 28) can be celebrated with special dessert offerings and breakfast specials. 


  • January 1. New Years Day

  • January 1. National Hangover Day

  • January 7. National Tempura Day

  • January 12. National Hot Tea Day

  • January 13. National Gluten-Free Day

  • January 15. National Bagel Day

  • January 16. International Hot and Spicy Food Day

  • January 20. National Cheese Lover’s Day

  • January 23. National Pie Day

  • January 24. National Peanut Butter Day

  • January 26. National Green Juice Day

  • January 27. National Chocolate Cake Day

  • January 28. National Blueberry Pancake Day

  • January 30. National Croissant Day

  • January 31: National Hot Chocolate Day

February 2024

Valentine's Day (Feb 14) is perfect for romantic dinner specials, Galentines Day group order offers for friends, or themed desserts like heart-shaped cookies. National Pizza Day (Feb 9) could be celebrated with a limited-time offer on select pizzas or perhaps free delivery on any pizza order. 

Towards the end of the month, National Margarita Day (Feb 22) provides an excellent excuse to advertise alcohol delivery if your online menu provides it. Creative campaigns might include "Chocolate Lovers' Week" leading up to National Dark Chocolate Day (Feb 1), or a "Muffin Monday" promotion on National Muffin Day (Feb 20). 


  • February 1. National Dark Chocolate Day

  • February 2. National Tater Tot Day

  • February 3. National Carrot Cake Day

  • February 4. National Homemade Soup Day

  • February 5. National Nutella Day

  • February 6. National Frozen Yogurt Day

  • February 7. National Fettuccine Alfredo Day

  • February 9. National Pizza Day

  • February 9. National Bagel and Lox Day

  • February 13. National Cheddar Day

  • February 13. Super Bowl Sunday

  • February 14. Valentine’s Day

  • February 20. National Muffin Day

  • February 21. National Sticky Bun Day

  • February 21. Presidents’ Day

  • February 22. National Margarita Day

  • February 23. National Banana Bread Day

  • February 24. National Tortilla Chip Day

  • February 25. National Clam Chowder Day

  • February 26. National Pistachio Day

March 2024

St. Patrick’s Day (Mar 17) is perfect for Irish-themed menu items or green-colored dishes and drinks. National Pancake Day (Mar 4) and National Waffle Day (Mar 25) offer opportunities for breakfast specials. 

Creative campaigns could include a "Meatball Madness" event on National Meatball Day (Mar 9) or a "Taco Tuesday" twist on National Crunchy Taco Day (Mar 21). 


  • March 1. National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day

  • March 3. National Cold Cuts Day

  • March 4: National Pancake Day

  • March 6. National Oreo Cookie Day

  • March 9. National Meatball Day

  • March 9. National Barbie Day

  • March 10. National Ranch Day

  • March 14. National Pi Day

  • March 17. St. Patrick’s Day

  • March 18. National Sloppy Joe Day

  • March 19. National Corn Dog Day

  • March 20. International Earth Day

  • March 21. National Crunchy Taco Day

  • March 23. National Chip and Dip Day

  • March 24. National Cheesesteak Day

April 2024

Restaurants can celebrate Earth Day (Apr 22) with sustainable, locally sourced dishes. Special promotions might include "Pretzel Week" leading up to National Pretzel Day (Apr 26), or a discount on Bubble Tea toppings on Bubble Tea Day (Apr 30).


  • April 1. April Fool’s Day

  • April 2. National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day

  • April 4. National Vitamin C Day

  • April 5. Deep Dish Pizza Day

  • April 7. National Burrito Day

  • April 8. National Empanada Day

  • April 14. National Pecan Day

  • April 15. Tax Day

  • April 16. National Eggs Benedict Day

  • April 19. Patriot’s Day

  • April 19. Rice Ball Day

  • April 20. National Banana Day

  • April 22. Earth Day

  • April 23. National English Muffin Day

  • April 26. National Pretzel Day

  • April 28. National Blueberry Pie Day

  • April 30. Bubble Tea Day

May 2024

May kicks off with Cinco de Mayo (May 5), perfect for Mexican cuisine specials and promotions. 

National Beverage Day hits May 6th and could feature discounts on beverage upsells. 

Running a cookie special on National Chocolate Chip Day (May 15) is a great way to take advantage of a low-cost, high-margin upsell item that can help boost your check average. 

The month of May rounds out with National Wine Day. What pairs well with wine? Anything. If your restaurant offers alcohol delivery, consider running a buy-one-get-one special on wine pairings. 


  • May 5. Cinco de Mayo

  • May 6. National Beverage Day

  • May 8. National Give Someone a Cupcake Day

  • May 10. National Shrimp Day

  • May 13. International Hummus Day

  • May 15. National Chocolate Chip Day

  • May 17. National Walnut Day

  • May 18. I Love Reeses’s Day

  • May 21. National Strawberries and Cream Day

  • May 25. National Wine Day

  • May 28. International Hamburger Day

  • May 28. National Brisket Day

  • May 31. National Macaroon Day

June 2024

As temperatures start warming up in June and summer is in full swing, it’s a great month to highlight healthy eats and cool-down drinks. National Veggie Burger Day is on June 5th and offers a great opportunity to run specials or a limited-time topping. Burgers being a high profit margin and fan favorite item, are a great product to run discounts on. 

Further in the month, we have National Iced Tea Day (June 15), and National Smoothie Day (June 21) – another two high profit and high popularity menu items that are ripe for LTO’s. 

Father’s Day on June 19th is a perfect day to offer Free Delivery or offers on family-style meals. 


  • June 1. World Milk Day

  • June 2. National Rotisserie Chicken

  • June 3. National Doughnut Day

  • June 3. National Egg Day

  • June 4. National Cheese Day

  • June 4. National Pineapple Day

  • June 5. National Veggie Burger

  • June 10. National Iced Tea Day

  • June 16. Fresh Veggies Day

  • June 19. Father’s Day

  • June 19. Juneteenth

  • June 21. National Smoothie Day

  • June 22. National Onion Ring Day

July 2024

July takes the top spot for the most popular month for grilled food in the US (Statista), which comes at no surprise because this month is full of days like National Barbecue Day, National Hot Dog Day, and National Kebab Day. 

Comfort food is big this month, and so are the opportunities to run specials and LTO’s on popular BBQ pairings like mac and cheese, salads, cole slaw, and wings. Use the July food holidays to promote easy upsell items and increase your check average strategically. 


  • July 4: National Caesar Salad Day

  • July 4: National Barbecue Day

  • July 6. National Fried Chicken Day

  • July 7. National Macaroni Day

  • July 7. World Chocolate Day

  • July 8. Kebab Day

  • July 9. National Sugar Cookie Day

  • July 11. National Blueberry Muffin Day

  • July 14. National Mac and Cheese Day

  • July 15. Orange Chicken Day

  • July 17. National Ice Cream Day

  • July 20. National Hot Dog Day

  • July 24. National Drive-Thru Day

  • July 25. National Hot Fudge Sundae Day

  • July 25. National Wine and Cheese Day

  • July 27. National Chicken Finger Day

  • July 29. National Chicken Wing Day

  • July 30. National Cheesecake Day

  • July 31. National Avocado Day

August 2024

August has food holidays packed with menu favorites like potatoes (a great opportunity to promote French Fries upsells!), bacon, Cuban sandwiches, and bao buns. 

Consider running BOGO deals on mains plus a side (fries or an extra bao), or on National Fajita Day (Aug 18) and National Cuban Sandwich Day (Aug 23), advertise a $1 fountain drink with purchase. 


  • August 3. National Watermelon Day

  • August 5. National Oyster Day

  • August 6. National Mustard Day

  • August 10. National S’mores Day

  • August 18. National Fajita Day

  • August 19. National Potato Day

  • August 20. National Bacon Lovers Day

  • August 22. National Bao Day

  • August 23. National Cuban Sandwich Day

  • August 24. National Waffle Day

September 2024

September is a month of firsts—the first day of school, the first day of fall, and the first time most people switch over to hot coffee from iced. 

With National Coffee Day taking place on September 29th, September is the perfect month to run $1 drip coffee month. Drip coffee is traditionally high-margin, and easy to produce at mass scale. Consider running the special as an app-only exclusive, creating a win-win for the customer and your restaurant, as you can drive more app downloads and increase engagement in your digital loyalty program. 

September also features National Guacamole Day (Sep 16) and National Dumpling Day on September 26th—two great items to feature as upsells and run a social promo on. 


  • September 1. National Tofu Day

  • September 3. International Bacon Day

  • September 4. Eat an Extra Dessert Day

  • September 5. Labor Day

  • September 5. International Day of Charity

  • September 5. National Cheese Pizza Day

  • September 5. World Samosa Day

  • September 7. National Beer Lovers Day

  • September 16. National Guacamole Day

  • September 20. National Fried Rice Day

  • September 25. National Lobster Day

  • September 26. National Dumpling Day

  • September 29. National Coffee Day

October 2024

Temperatures start dropping again in October, and comfort food returns on the scene. National Noodle Day (Oct 6), National Pulled Pork Day (Oct 12), National Pasta Day (Oct 17), and National Pumpkin Bread Day (Oct 30) are great days to feature hearty menu items that are easy to make in bulk. 

National Nacho Day takes place on a Monday, and what could make a Monday better than a special on Nachos? With Monday generally being a slow day for delivery and take-out, running a special is a great idea to boost traffic on an otherwise low-volume day. 


  • October 1. National Pumpkin Spice Day

  • October 4. Cinnamon Roll Day

  • October 4. National Taco Day

  • October 5. National Kale Day

  • October 6. National Noodle Day

  • October 7. National Frappe Day

  • October 8. National Pierogi Day

  • October 12. National Pulled Pork Day

  • October 12. National Gumbo Day

  • October 17. National Pasta Day

  • October 21. International Nacho Day

  • October 29. National Oatmeal Day

  • October 30. Pumpkin Bread Day

  • October 31. Halloween

November 2024

With Thanksgiving taking place in November and the holiday season kicking off, many consumers are cooking at home and saving money. 

November is a great time to advertise your catering menu to offices rather than try to win over the individual consumer. Consider running catering sandwich specials for National Sandwich Day (Nov 3), or featuring exclusive espresso drinks on your catering menus to win B2B Food at Work customers. 


  • November 1. National Calzone Day

  • November 3. National Sandwich Day

  • November 8. National Cappuccino Day

  • November 14. National Pickle Day

  • November 17. National Baklava Day

  • November 23. National Espresso Day

  • November 24. Thanksgiving Day

  • November 25. Black Friday

  • November 28. National French Toast Day

  • November 28. Cyber Monday

December 2024

December, a month full of festivities, starts with National Cookie Day (December 4) - a perfect occasion for a limited cookie special or a promo on upsells. 

National Brownie Day (December 8) and National Pastry Day (December 9) offer more opportunities for sweet treats. Christmas Eve (December 24) and Christmas Day (December 25) can be celebrated with special holiday menus that you can advertise across your catering program and clientele. Finally, New Year’s Eve (December 31) is perfect for a Free Delivery special.


  • December 2. National Fritters Day

  • December 4. National Cookie Day

  • December 8. National Brownie Day

  • December 9. National Pastry Day

  • December 13. National Cocoa Day

  • December 15. National Cupcake Day

  • December 24. Christmas Eve

  • December 25. Christmas Day

  • December 31. New Year’s Eve

4 Strategies for Restaurant Holiday Promotions 

Seasonal Menu Items - Low Cost + High-Profit

Seasonal menus and items are powerful tools for boosting restaurant sales and attracting new guests. When restaurants tailor their offerings to the season, they not only provide freshness and variety but also create a sense of novelty and excitement among customers. A recent study found that restaurants offering seasonal specials see 20% increases in sales compared to those that do not (Restaurant Magazine, 2023).

Seasonal menus allow restaurants to capitalize on the availability of local, seasonal produce, which is often more affordable and fresher than out-of-season or imported ingredients. This not only lowers the price of sourcing ingredients but also adds an element of sustainability and community support to the restaurant's brand, which is increasingly important to modern consumers with more than 30% of consumers reporting buying sustainable products and services more often (Statista, 2022). 

Moreover, these menus can be marketed as limited-time offerings, creating a sense of urgency that encourages guests to visit before the season changes. This approach not only drives immediate sales but can also help in building a loyal customer base that returns to experience the next season's offerings.

Limited Time Offers: Increasing FOMO and Testing New Innovations

Limited Time Offers (LTOs) have emerged as a highly profitable holiday marketing strategy for restaurants, effectively boosting sales and drawing in customers. According to research from C-Store Drive in 2023, a significant 61% of operators view LTOs as a profit center for their businesses, and 54% consider them a central part of their offerings. This popularity among operators is matched by consumer enthusiasm; as reported by AppFront in 2023, a staggering 81% of guests are more likely to visit a restaurant during an LTO period. This surge in patronage not only enhances short-term profits but also increases the exposure of the restaurant's regular menu offerings.

National Food Holidays present the perfect opportunity to run an LTO whenever one of your menu items aligns with the day. Furthermore, strategically choosing high-margin, low-cost menu items like burgers, fries, soups, drinks, and sides is a great way to boost traffic while maintaining profits. 

Moreover, Limited Time Offers can be used to test new and innovative menu items, using the food holidays to spark creativity in your menu. Approximately 22% of LTOs perform so well that they earn a permanent spot on the menu(C-Store Drive, 2023). This transition from temporary to permanent offerings indicates that LTOs can be a testing ground for new, innovative dishes, helping restaurants to continually evolve their menus based on customer preferences and market trends.

Holiday-Themed Catering Menus 

Catering is back and stronger than ever before. The catering market size is expected to reach $72.67 billion by the end of 2023, with a compound annual growth rate of 6.2% (QSR, 2023).

A survey of 300 independent and small-chain restaurants indicated that the holidays account for an average of 20% of a restaurant’s annual sales, with this figure rising to 49% for fine dining establishments (Purdue). 

Planning ahead and establishing holiday catering menus is not only wildly good for business but can also drive efficiency, with restaurants knowing ahead of time what food and at what amount they need to order. Paired with the right back and front-end order management tools and a quality online ordering experience, and your holiday catering program can become a well-oiled revenue machine. 

Looking for tips on how to build a great online ordering experience for catering guests? Read “How to Build an Online Catering Menu” for tips and real-life examples from Dos Toros, Chopt, Bareburger, and more. 

Catering software and order management platform Lunchbox Catering can help take your catering operations to the next level. 

Wrapping Up:

As we wrap up this comprehensive guide to maximizing the potential of food holidays in 2024, it’s evident that these celebratory days are more than just fun observances. They present a strategic opportunity for restaurants to connect with their customers, showcase their culinary creativity, and drive sales. By embracing the essence of these holidays with thoughtful promotions, limited-time offers, and exclusive menus, restaurants can create memorable experiences for their guests, foster loyalty, and stand out in the competitive food industry. Whether it’s a comforting bowl of soup on National Homemade Soup Day or a drink special on National Margarita Day, each food holiday is a chance to celebrate the joy of eating and the communal spirit that food brings to our lives. 

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