While a majority of American families are preparing a holiday feast at home, a lot of people choose to eat outside or call for food delivery. Sad to say, not all people have families or friends to celebrate the holidays with. Others, especially foreigners, might not even have a reason to celebrate these holidays in the first place.
Also, some people would love to enjoy the holiday but prefer to avoid inconveniences, so they ended up celebrating the holidays at the restaurants, which is no rarer. In fact, the National Restaurant Association reported that these instances are becoming a trend these days.
Several restaurant operators, on the other hand, are now starting to stay open during the holidays. They would kick off holiday gimmicks to get their wheels turning. Here are a few marketing strategies you can use so your restaurant can continue to capitalize on the holiday seasons.
Why not cook for your customers? Drive your restaurant’s holiday sales by offering culinary assistance to customers. It’s the best solution for people who are having hectic schedules or tend to be under a lot of holiday stress. Preparing turkey for a group of people while taking care of your children, for example, is such a hassle, not to mention the dishes after dinner.
You can do the typical carryout packages intended for what’s the current holiday. For example, if it’s the advent season, you can box up Christmas traditional meals along with mulled wine. Then, have them ready to go or deliver them directly to their doorstep. Sales are mostly driven when you provide sincere service—because you’re working on holidays—that can really satisfy your customers.
Entrée specials are tongue-in-cheek dishes with discounted prices. It would be appealing not only to discount savvy customers but also to those who are going to celebrate the holiday on their own at a resto. I mean, others might think that nothing gets worse than spending too much money while celebrating the holiday alone, right? It’s like a double kill.
You can also make these entrée as holiday-themed dishes, establishing a holiday air at your restaurant. Simply put up signage outside your establishment saying “Black Friday’s Special: Thanksgiving leftover-inspired soup.” Plus, don’t skip appetizers specials. This can be a chance for weary diners to treat themselves with meals with the best deals.
Giving back should always be a part of your marketing strategy. Giving holiday cards with coupons or gift certificates to your diners, especially the regulars, is one way of extending your gratitude towards them. It may encourage them to keep coming back in your resto, as well.
These coupons may offer a free dessert, a free glass of wine, 25 percent discounts off the menu or final bill, and the like. In today’s technology, many restaurants send holiday cards and coupons digitally. Other people, however, may feel nothing sentimental on it at all. While you can save on postage when you opt for digital means, paper cards are far more heart-warming.
That being so, diners will more likely feel touched by handmade cards and talk about them with friends or families. Eventually, although it wasn’t your initial intention, word of mouth is the best advertising you can get.
You can host a local charity drive, for instance. When doing such kinds of events, focus on the cause of the charity or the customer’s interest in the contest. Your priority here should be to sincerely show your support to those who are in need or provide fun to your diners.
Another example is going on a bender—a two- to three-day event of a drinking spree, but not binge drinking. It’s not necessary to be a whole night of chasing beers with tequila shots. Say, your restaurant can hold a simple wine tasting session during a Friendsgiving (Friends + Thanksgiving) event, letting diners have a sip of Grenache Wines or perhaps vintage vino.
Some of the events may sound hard to achieve for some restaurants, but you can give it a try. It’s all about generating fun, helping people who are in need, spreading the holiday spirit, and, of course, building a good reputation for your restaurant.
Many shoppers will be keeping an eye out for the best online deals offered during the holidays, specifically on Black Friday and Christmas. Most people are in a staycation, so you can assume that some are just scrolling their phones. You can use this chance to promote your restaurant as well.
Consider tweeting about your entrée specials, post pictures of your handmade holiday cards for your diners on Instagram or Snapchat, or invest in a Facebook ad for your seasonal catering services. Don’t forget to highlight your resto’s operating hours, so diners with tight store-to-store schedules can plan well.
Staying on trend is one of the factors that can help you in evolving your marketing strategies, preventing your business from growing stale. People nowadays tend to go with what’s the mainstream, so having trend awareness can also contribute to improving customer satisfaction. As a result, you’ll build customer loyalty, which, in turn, increases sales.
Scarlett Wells is a freelance creative writer who collaborates with various writers to share her experiences through the written word. Scarlett worked as a content marketing specialist in her formal life, but recently left to pursue a full-time freelance career.