Last-Minute Cinco de Mayo Marketing Tips

Posted on April 23, 2014
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Has the festive fiesta of May 5th snuck up on you like a baseball bat to a piñata? Don’t fret. We have some last minute Cinco de Mayo Marketing tips that you’ll be happy to say “hola” to!

Besides, at the base of this Mexican holiday, the underdogs are celebrated. Cinco de Mayo commemorates La Batalla de Puebla in 1862, where the Mexican army famously defeated the French despite being outnumbered two to one.

In the same vein, time might not be on your side, but we at FSW are. Check out these easy ways to take advantage of this fun and party-centric holiday to drive more personas into your seats:

El Cinco 

For those who can’t speak Spanish, “Cinco de Mayo” translates to the
“fifth of May”.  And since May is the fifth month of the year, having fun with the number five is an excellent tie-in for your Cinco de Mayo festivities. Check these promotional ideas for cashing in on the number 5:

  • 5% off a certain entrée
  • $5 margaritas
  • $5 off the bill from 5 to 6 pm
  • A “Buy four, get the fifth free” promotion
  • A free appetizer for parties of five or more

Don’t be afraid to play around with these promotions and have some fun.  Keep it friendly, enticing and be sure to set up the proper restrictions needed to avoid any coupon or discount abuse.

Cinco de Mayo Drinks

Overhauling your drink menu this late in the game is about as smart as taking on an army twice your size. While this worked for the Mexican army, you don’t need to risk the same casualties on this Cinco de Mayo.

However, they do call it “Cinco de Drinko” for a reason, and adding a few extra soldiers to your cocktail army will help you power through the weekend. While many alcohol consumers might be overtaken by the overwhelming powers of margaritas and cervesas, some new and exciting options will turn an estoy asi asi to an estoy bien.

From non-alcoholic options like Agua de Pina con Nopal to tequila-infused drinks like the Paloma, the creative options are a plenty. (link to Lauren’s)

Print small menus or write your specialty drinks on a chalkboard behind the bar to get the word out. You could also get the bug in each customer’s ear by having your servers talk about the drink specials as guests are seated.

Promote Specials on Social Media

Last year, the Atlanta based Moe’s Southwest Grill gained 29,500 unique followers on social media after creating the hashtag #CincoDeMoes and encouraging fans to post photos of themselves over Cinco de Mayo with the franchise’s signature cups.

While gaining this many fans and followers over a single week is a lofty goal for anyone, it just proves how valuable social media can be in the marketing of your Cinco de Mayo weekend—plus, it doesn’t cost a penny.

Once you have your promotions and specials read to go, start spreading the good word on all of your social channels.  Along with posting your specials a few times a day, encourage online engagement by having Cinco de Mayo trivia contests and give the winners a small prize like coupons for free appetizer or free drinks. .

Longer Celebration

Unlike Hanukah and the first Thanksgiving, Cinco de Mayo is a one-shot holiday—but that doesn’t mean you can’t spread the amor over a few days. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo all week to squeeze every last tequila drop out of your promotions. A popular option is to count down to the holiday and call it “The 5 Days of Cinco,” with your specials and promotions leading up to Cinco de Mayo.

Latin Flair

Add some authenticity to your restaurant by spinning a Latin-inspired playlist and throwing up some last-minute decorations. Themed kid’s cups are also a big draw beneath the blanket of Cinco de Mayo.


When it comes down to it, the Cinco de Mayo rush is a drop in the bucket compared to other holiday promotions. Customers will come for the drinks, stay for the eats, and hopefully order a few more rounds if your restaurant is up to the task.

What are you waiting for? Start getting your Latin flair on for the Cinco de Mayo rush!

John Garcia John Garcia (51 Posts)

Amateur cook, expert eater. Originally from Granby, Colorado, I'm a mountain boy who enjoys the simple things in cheeseburgers and pet cats. I'm also a blogger for Food Service Warehouse who enjoys writing about food just as much as eating it.

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