The holidays are anything but business as usual. People are excited to spend money at their favorite restaurant during the season, and therefore this is the perfect time to make your restaurant business shine and make the most of it. Every person in the food and drink business will be working towards the same goal: to pull in the holiday traffic. So how do you bring in customers to your restaurant business this holiday season? How do you stand out from other restaurants?
Here are some valuable marketing tips for this month, which will help you prepare your restaurant for Christmas so you can attract more crowds.
1. Festive theme decorations
It wouldn’t be the holidays without festive theme decorations decked on the ceilings and walls. From your storefront to lights to a fully glammed-up Christmas tree, the sky’s the limit for making the ambiance of your restaurant as merry as possible.
Get all the decorations in red, green, and white, to give the classic Christmas look. Decide on a theme plan that will best suit the interiors of your restaurant. You can go online to look for tips or check out nearby stores for more festive theme ideas you can try out this holiday. Having a unique theme will make you stand out from the other businesses in the market and increase your profits.
Making sure you have the right ambiance for the holiday season is one of the best ways to make your customers feel the cheer. Don’t forget the holiday music!
2. Create a special menu for the holiday season
Create your restaurant menu for the festive season beforehand so words can start going around about your business before the holidays. You can spur up the excitement and anticipation by creating a limited-time special holiday menu. To make it more enticing, you can include international cuisines, Christmas specials like lattes, gingerbread, and fruit pies, and of course, your restaurant special. Use social media to announce these Christmas special limited-time options.
While preparing the menu for the holidays, one thing to remember is that you should never run out of ingredients. It's important to stock up your inventory for the holidays. As restaurants are mostly fully-packed at Christmas and New Year, it’s an incredible opportunity to serve people your best so prepare your holiday menu wisely.
3. Additional staff
You will be getting more guests during the holidays than usual, so you need to be ready by having more staff. You can only serve your guests best with enough staff to accommodate everyone.
No one likes to wait for their food, especially in the winter, except for steaming hot food. But, if there are fewer staff, then services will be delayed. This will refrain you from getting more stars from your customers. It’s better to look for additional staff before the holiday season starts.
4. Offer special discounts
Offers can do the magic. You will be surprised that special promotions and offers during the holiday season attract 50% more customers than offers made on regular days. Make the most out of this by organizing special events or parties offering outstanding benefits to big families or companies that celebrate at your restaurant.
Offering special discounts like 10% off for the Christmas season is an excellent method to help your customers celebrate the season in the solace of your eatery. New year bookings start early, so it is best to start your holiday marketing campaigns as early as possible.
There are several ways to promote your special services and offers. You can start by sending your customers pop-up notifications about special offers and discounts via your restaurant’s online ordering system. You can also post about the special discount offers on your Google business listing page and other online platforms like social media.
5. Happy hours & free offers
Make the most of the happy hours and offer discounts to your customers during the festive season. Usually, 1+1 offers on beverages or items help to grab customers’ attention and assist you in getting more people. If you have a POS, the composite items feature can help you facilitate these sales arrangements in an organized manner.
6. Holiday gift cards
Offering a special discount towards the end of your guests' dinner with you might want your customers to return to you. This may come in gift cards or vouchers attached to their receipt or a point system that your POS loyalty program can easily streamline.
7. Don’t forget about social media promotions!
One of the best restaurant marketing ideas for December is to develop a social media strategy for promoting your restaurant’s special offerings. Showcase the best pictures of your recipe, or make a short video of people having an exceptional experience at your restaurant stirs up enthusiasm and enticement, among others.
Video has more engagement rates than posts. People love to watch festive recipes during the holiday season. This is the perfect time to grab more attention with an engaging food video.
Shoot your restaurant’s chef as he demonstrates and prepares various festive dishes. This will let your audience know what they can expect regarding food at your restaurant.
8. Invite a musician or host a special event
With competition much tighter during the holiday season, you need to offer something unique to help you stand out. One way to do this is by letting people have fun with good music. You can host local singers or DJs to complete the festivities, or you can have an acoustic open mic set up or a karaoke booth for your guests to enjoy themselves freely.
This is an excellent Christmas promotion strategy for restaurants to attract new customers, who would love to listen to their favorite songs while they dine. Apart from music, you can organize various contests like karaoke showdowns and best dancing couples. Try hosting these events during the weekend when people are in the mood to party and are willing to dance to the music.
9. Partner with other local business
Collaborate with other businesses in your area to promote your holiday offers. The holidays are when people often shop locally. You can get together with nearby shopping markets to offer the best deal beneficial for all parties.
You can partner with your local theater and tell them to encourage their moviegoers to grab a free pastry at your restaurant by showing a ticket stub or see whether a local store is willing to offer a discount for your customers when they present a dining receipt from your restaurant.
10. Incentives for Loyal Customers
How do we make our guests keep coming back to our business? We make them offers they just can’t refuse. This is where a good loyalty program comes in handy. Offer a free drink the next time they visit or offer a 10% discount for the next visit.
You can reward them with points that your POS loyalty program can monitor. This way, you can incentivize recurring visits while your customers enjoy increasing rewards as they order more. Once the customers start utilizing the loyalty programs, they’re more likely to choose you over other restaurants.
11. Customer feedback
It’s important to know what people think about your business. Gathering and evaluating reviews about your services from your customers will be beneficial to your growth and improvement. It is also one of the best ways to engage with your customers. You can gather customer feedback through your website, your social media platform, and third-party review sites, or you can even distribute a survey or comment slip with a pen as they bill out.
Make Your Restaurant Ready for the Holiday Season With A POS
There’s nothing worse than having outdated technology that slows down your restaurant’s operations and workflow. You can avoid frustrated customers and employees by having a reliable point of sale (POS) system. A POS system provides a myriad of benefits for your restaurant, from menu and inventory management to staff timesheets and comprehensive sales reports.
Especially during the holiday rush, you’ll want to guarantee that your restaurant provides a streamlined and hassle-free customer experience. With the right POS system, you can easily offer discounts to your loyal customers and make paying for meals a walk in the park with card payments and online receipts.
Although the holiday season is the busiest time of the year for restaurants, your business will run much more smoothly and efficiently when you have a smart POS in place. Instead of waiting for the holidays to come around, start your preparations by hiring additional staff, stocking up on your inventory, creating your special holiday menu, and updating your restaurant’s technology to a POS system.
Thus, the above-mentioned restaurant marketing ideas for the holiday season will help you to boost your sales and also the branding. Try one by one so that you will get to know which one works better!
Edited by Chooli