Restaurants across the world are gearing up for today’s big (literally) celebration – Mardi Gras! Fat Tuesday is known for a day where gluttony thrives – exactly why restaurants can benefit from this holiday. Fat Tuesday is the last day to eat foods that are rich and fatty before fasting during the Lenten season, beginning on Ash Wednesday. Haven’t planned anything? Don’t worry! Read these tips to inspire you to take advantage of this colorful holiday.
Turn your restaurant into a colorful Mardi Gras hangout just by using the three primary colors: green, purple and yellow and incorporating small pieces for presentation.
- Use colorful plastic drinkware to make an ordinary drink stand out
- Decorate your dessert and entree plates by using food picks with crowns and fleur de lis on them
- Go to a party outlet store to swipe up colorful plastic tablecloths for every table – easy cleanup too!
- Drape streamers throughout the restaurant, even adding balloons to draw the customer’s eyes up
- Place a few masquerade masks on each table for your guests to enjoy
- Finally… have BEADS at each table! They’re one of the most iconic decorations associated with Mardi Gras
Think of creative promotions to draw customers into your restaurant. There will be a lot of competition Tuesday night, so make your specials unique! Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
- Offer discounts to customers that arrive in the best Mardi Gras attire
- Bake a few King Cakes and at a designated time, cut every customer a piece. See who received a slice with the plastic baby doll in it, which means they’re King or Queen for the day (and are supposed to have good luck for the rest of the year)! Hand out a free dish or offer a discount on that customer’s bill to celebrate!
- Play a Mardi Gras trivia game with customers – questions are easy to find! The winner gets a prize or discount. Click here for an example.
The food may be the most important feature of a Mardi Gras restaurant party. It’s the last night for guests to really indulge, so go big and make a menu everyone will be talking about until next year! Fat Tuesday staples usually include gumbo, jambalaya, grits and bread pudding using plenty of Creole and Cajun spices. If these recipes usually aren’t your restaurants’ typical fare, think outside the box. How can you take these classics and put a twist on them to make them yours? Here are some great resources for menu ideas:
- Delish: Mix-and-Match Mardi Gras Food
- Taste of Home: Mardi Gras Recipes
- Food Network: Big Easy Celebration
- Southern Living: 30 New Orleans Classics for Mardi Gras
- All Recipes: Mardi Gras Recipes