Wednesday, April 1, 2015


Making Trees Part of Your Restaurant Marketing
Arbor Day, which is Latin for "Tree Day," is an environmental holiday where citizens and groups are encouraged to plant trees and care for the already existing trees.

Each year, Arbor Day is the last Friday in April and April 24th, this year. It is a great opportunity for restaurateurs to connect with the community and involve current guests, attract potential guests, and plant trees!  Take advantage of Arbor Day by creating a special event to involve the community, drive new guests to the restaurant, and keep existing guests coming back for more. 

Ingredients Needed:

þ Flyers/posters to put up inside your restaurant

þ A smaller flyer to use in table tents, check presenters, and take-out/delivery orders                   

þ Press release for media coverage

þ E-blast for e-club and/or rewards members

þ Social media presence (Facebook and Twitter) throughout the week

þ Gift certificates for Trivia Night and the Pick and Play bin

þ Trees, at the end of the week, once you find out how many you need to purchase

þ Check to mail/present to the Arbor Day Foundation


Drive sales and promote engagement in the community by pledging to plant a tree for every 50 salads that are purchased in the week leading up to Arbor Day. You can choose one salad on your menu for this, or include all salads that you serve. This promotion would also coincide with Earth Day (always April 22nd).  To build excitement and enhance participation, feature specials during the week to reinforce the “green” theme and give your guests an incentive to stop by the restaurant.

  1. Create a schedule of specials for the week leading up to Arbor Day. See examples of possible specials below:

  1. $1 off all menu items made with something green—lettuce, spinach, kiwi, bell peppers, sage, rosemary, green beans, asparagus, avocado, pistachios, mint, peas, cucumber, pickles, broccoli, green apples and grapes, artichokes, arugula, limes, etc.

  2. Create a new menu item using green ingredients—introduce it at the beginning of the week for a promotional price. Donate a percentage to the Arbor Day Foundation (
  3. Bring your own utensil or dish—on a certain day during the week, when a customer brings his or her own fork, spoon, plate, or bowl, he or she will receive a percentage off of the meal.

  4. Trivia Night—host a trivia night mid-week, with questions about “green” living, and reward the winner/winning team with a gift certificate to your restaurant.
  5. Picnic in the Park/Grab & Go—purchase any sandwich (take-out) and receive a complimentary side salad—green, fruit, potato, or pasta.

  6. Pick and Play—have a bin full of numbered balls or other objects, and a list of prizes corresponding to each number. Have your guests pick a ball and see what they win!

  7. Prizes can include one or two gift certificates, a plant from the local gardening store, and baked goods from your restaurant.

2.  Post a flyer in your restaurant promoting the week’s specials.
  • You can also incorporate a miniature version of your flyer into your table tents and check presenters. If you offer a delivery service, have your delivery drivers pass out flyers to each house they go to.
  • Post the flyer on your restaurant’s website, and e-blast it to your e-club and/or rewards members.

3.  At the end of the week, tally the total number of salads that were sold during the week, and divide by 50. This will tell you how many trees you need to purchase and plant.
  • Also, remember to tally up how many of your new menu item you sold during the week, and figure out the amount of money you are donating to the Arbor Day Foundation.

  • Also, remember to tally up how many of your new menu item you sold during the week, and figure out the amount of money you are donating to the Arbor Day Foundation.
4.  Contact the local Parks and Recreation Department for more information regarding where to plant your trees. If you cannot reach someone in your township, contact the school district superintendent and/or principal to ask if you can donate and plant the trees at one of the schools in your area.

5.  Work with your local media outlets to get coverage and support of your tree-planting pledge. 


  • Decoration can make your restaurant look greener during the week leading up to Arbor Day. Add green accents to your tables, such as a little plant in a mini pot. You can also add plants throughout your restaurant, and leave them out after Arbor Day is over, if you like the feel that it adds to your space.
  • Promote and advertise your week of specials. Since you will have a fun week planned, you will want as many guests to enjoy it as possible! If Trivia Night is a success, you might want to institute a weekly or monthly Trivia Night with a different theme each week/month.
  • Once you find out where you can plant your trees, host a planting ceremony during which guests can help dig holes for the trees and plant them with your restaurant crew.  
  • If there is a local chapter or office of the Arbor Day Foundation, travel to them and present them with the check of funds you raised for them.

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Want more LSM ideas and recipes like these?