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Grab the social media bull by its horns with creative content ideas to set your restaurant apart from all that festive noise.

We’re not going to sugarcoat it — the task of restaurant marketing does get stale after a while, notably if you’ve gone through rounds of seasonal promos, and already know what’s going to come every quarter. This first half of 2021 is going to be no easy feat. Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day are happening on the same weekend, together with Easter, Mother’s and Father’s Day coming up around the corner. For a new spring in your step, the year of the ox is a-coming, with chefs and managers charging ahead to capture crowds.

While dine-in restrictions continue to threaten restaurants in Indonesia, Bangkok, and Hong Kong this January, diner engagement continues to be a top priority. Because if there’s one thing we learned in 2020, is that staying connected to diners goes a long way. If you’ve gone through the mill of rehashing dining and delivery promos for Chinese New Year set menus, up your restaurant’s social media game with content that sticks and eventually drives intention to convert — whether they’re dining in or out.

1. Zodiac-related and personality-based dish recommendations are all the rage

An article on The New Yorker reported that astrology is currently enjoying a broad cultural acceptance that hasn’t been seen since the 1970s’. The New York Times had also reported that astrology had taken over the internet. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or remain a skeptic, it’s undeniable that astrology-related content is hard to ignore, and fun to share.

Even if you don’t have any Chinese New Year-related dishes on the menu, you can still skew your content to this angle by highlighting your most-loved dishes, or dishes that need the spotlight. Starbucks had illustrated this by pairing drinks to the signs of Western astrology. Last year, Chope profiled diner habits based on their Chinese zodiac sign on Instagram stories.

2. Raise the steaks on all things beef

Bless your diners with beef this Chinese New Year — lots of it. Restaurants can capitalise on their choice of cuts, marbling, and produce to align themselves with the year of the ox. Use this opportunity to educate diners on the differences between different cuts, the aging process, and other tasty nuggets of information that add depth to what you’re offering. It’s not just a piece of meat!

3. Chinese New Year goodies cheatsheet

Although Southeast Asians aren’t unfamiliar with Chinese New celebrations, not everyone in our diverse ethnic makeup grew up eating Chinese New Year goodies or are aware of the meaning behind certain dining customs. Leverage the specials or take-home snacks your restaurant is creating for the season by posting useful content. Examples include a Yu Sheng cheatsheet (get inspired by the one Chope created), or a guide on the meaning behind certain snacks and dishes such as Poon Choi, Longevity Noodles, and Tang Yuan. Post these on your social media account to ignite further interest in your menu.

4. Be a conversation starter

Even if you can’t see diners face to face, or have to restrict conversations on a need-to-know basis, it doesn’t mean you simply use social media for menu alerts and opening hours only. If anything, Instagram’s a great place to make up for the lack of face time. Utilise functions on Instagram stories such as polls, Q&A, AMAs, Yes or No, and trends such as “Show me a picture of” to engage your diners, get insights on what they’d like to see on the menu, or find out what their Chinese New Year traditions are.

Some conversation starters:

  • Yes or No: Wearing red is overrated and unnecessary.
  • Ask Me Anything: Ask our chef/barista/bartender/waiter anything – Chinese New Year edition.
  • Quiz: Which Chinese New Year main would you get on delivery? Which Chinese New Year main would you only order for dine-in?
  • Take a Poll with the Heart Eyes Emoji Slider: Do these Chinese New Year take-home goodies look great?

Want to list your menu on our Chinese New Year Guides? Contact our Support team to get featured on our marketing channels.


Adibah Isa

A digital and print journalist turned content manager for brands that believe in the power of storytelling.


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