5 Ways Small Businesses Can Celebrate Cinco de Mayo In 2021

Though Cinco de Mayo began as a minor holiday in Mexico, it has grown into a massive celebration in the United States. Every year more and more businesses find creative ways to join in the festivities. This year on May 5th, there will once again be many opportunities for your small business to celebrate the rich culture and cuisine of Mexico.

Honor The History Behind The Holiday

Cinco de Mayo is often mistaken to be the celebration of Mexico’s independence day. However, the holiday actually commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory when they defeated the French army in Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War.

Though there is absolutely nothing wrong with tacos and tequila, it’s important to respect and celebrate the holiday’s origins. There are plenty of authentic ways to honor the history of the holiday and celebrate Mexican culture. 

Find fun ways to share the background of this day with your customers. You could include a brief backstory for your Cinco de Mayo menu printouts or even post fun and informative social media content about Mexican history and influential artists, traditions, and historical figures leading up to the big day. 

Celebrate Safely 

People are anxious to get out of the house and have some fun but Cinco de Mayo doesn’t mark the end of COVID-19. Maintaining your store’s existing safety protocols and even adding to your strategy ahead of a likely large customer turnout is crucial for a successful event. 

Implementing safety measures is not only responsible, it’s what most customers want. Take for example the fact that a recent study found that 38% of shoppers want to make a point to support more local businesses this year. What they also found was that 77% of small business supporters want to see their local retailers enforce mask mandates in their place of business. 

Creating a visibly safe space will make customers more likely to choose your local business over a competitor in your community. 83% of consumers admitted to paying just as much attention to how brands treat them as they do on the products and services they sell. Creating a safe environment is, therefore, an important part of your business strategy and does impact how customers feel about your brand. 

Make your small business the safe place to celebrate this May 5th with sneeze guards, social distancing decals, hand sanitizer dispensers, and touch free menu and payment options. It will pay off in the long run.

Offer Alternative Ways To Celebrate

While Cinco de Mayo is typically a big day for Mexican restaurants and bars, things will still look a bit different this year as a result of the coronavirus. A slim 36% of Americans feel comfortable dining at restaurants right now. Though the majority of patrons are reluctant to return to dine-in service, there are plenty of alternatives your restaurant can offer customers who want to celebrate while social distancing.

BOPIS, or buy online, pick up in-store, is a great option for customers who want to enjoy great food without the crowd. This model works well for businesses beyond restaurants too. Studies have found that 85% of customers buy additional items when they pick up an online order at a brick and mortar location. 

According to a behavioral psychology study, signs are most effective when placed in proximity to the specific product or task they highlight. Strategically merchandise signage with grab n go options like salsa and meal kits or feature any products customers might use for festivities like glassware and margarita salt. Interior and exterior banners or window decals are great ways to make your target market aware of these alternative ways to celebrate. 

Get Clever With Your Event Planning

If you want to create unique Cinco de Mayo events for your guests, consider ways to create memorable experiences that educate your customers about the culture they’re celebrating. 

If you’re celebrating Cinco de Mayo, you should celebrate the unique culture and cuisine of Puebla, Mexico! This region of Mexico isn’t just famous for its battle victory. Puebla is known for Talavera ceramics and mole poblano sauce. 

Whether you prefer in-person or virtual events, there are many ways to integrate the Puebloan culture into your festivities. Teach a class on how to make a mole dish or source musicians and dancers trained in traditional folk music and dance of this region. If you want to immerse yourself in the art and geography of Puebla, Google Arts & Culture has a fantastic interactive feature that allows you to explore local museums and artists! 

Make sure you have a clear marketing strategy to give whatever exciting event strategy you come up with a signal boost! Email newsletters with upcoming events and special promotions are great, but direct mail and storefront signage are great products to engage new business.

Build Community Partnerships

Partnering with Mexican-owned businesses in your community is a great way to show support this Cinco de Mayo. Feature holiday-specific marketing promotions and highlight products from Mexican artists and vendors in your store. Curating business partnerships and products is a unique way for customers to engage with Mexican artists, business owners, and traditions in new ways. 

 

References

How to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo Respectfully This Year

Better Homes & Gardens

https://www.bhg.com/holidays/traditions/celebrate-cinco-de-mayo-respectfully/

Buying Local Statistics for 2021: Survey Finds 70% of Americans Shop Small

Intuit Mint Life

https://mint.intuit.com/blog/money-etiquette/buying-local-statistics-survey/

1 in 5 Americans Will Support Local Small Businesses More This Holiday Shopping Season

Small Business Trends

https://smallbiztrends.com/2020/09/sykes-local-shopping-survey.html

Why Retailers Should Actively Nudge Consumers To Buy Online, Pick Up In Store (BOPIS)

Forbes

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2021/01/08/why-retailers-should-actively-nudge-consumers-to-buy-online-pick-up-in-store-bopis/?sh=5352844c2849

When Will Consumers Feel Safe? Weekly Updates on Consumers’ Comfort Level With Various Pastimes

Morning Consult

https://morningconsult.com/2021/01/11/tracking-consumer-comfort-with-dining-out-and-other-leisure-activities-dec-1/

Almost 70% of US consumers use BOPIS

Business Insider

https://www.businessinsider.com/us-consumers-use-buy-online-pickup-in-store-2019-2

Signage as a tool for behavioral change: Direct and indirect routes to understanding the meaning of a sign

NCBI

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5576639/#:~:text=of%20the%20model.-,Effectiveness%20of%20signage,protection%20%5B11%E2%80%9320%5D

Puebla

History.com

https://www.history.com/topics/mexico/puebla#:~:text=the%20city’s%20architecture.-,Puebla%20Today,Spaniards%20in%20the%2016th%20century.

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