’Tis the season for dining out! With December on the horizon, you might miss out on the holiday frenzy if you don’t start marketing your restaurant now. We recommend organizing special events and designing holiday menus to attract bigger crowds, and then blasting out promotions in every which way.
See our suggestions below for some strategic marketing initiatives, so you can position yourself as this holiday season’s restaurant of choice.
Offer Holiday Meal Specials
This December, highlight your chef’s skill set by creating a unique menu for a set price. Showcasing your menu items with prix fixe menus is an excellent way not just to attract new customers, but to introduce new menu items as well. Allow your chef to have more creative freedom during December. Delight your guests by devising different set menus for lunch and dinner that include a combination of menu favorites and chef’s creations.
Another meal promotion to consider is a two-for-one special, using your new holiday set menus as a starting point. To encourage large groups—such as end-of-year office parties—to choose your restaurant, try a menu “bundling” price plan.
Plan Holiday Events
Your holiday marketing should not just produce a return on investment; you want to create conversations about your restaurant, too. One of the most effective methods for doing so is by throwing creative and engaging events.
Contests usually guarantee social media buzz—people love to compete and, most especially, win! Choose your busiest night to initiate an impromptu contest. Some appealing ideas might include:
1.Have guests create a new holiday drink special
2.Fastest to open a bottle of wine wins
3.Christmas carol lip sync battles
Plan a surprise contest that guests enjoy so much, they share it across their online platforms. The most successful contests are those that are easy and fun to participate in. Create a special hashtag to build awareness, and don’t forget to arrange prizes!
(Another fun contest that appeals to diners year-round is trivia night.)
Charity events are a wonderful way to get your staff and customers to come together. Search for shelters, soup kitchens, and charities in your neighborhood, and select one that you want to support. To engage customers, your restaurant could host a fundraiser, organize a themed gambling event, or auction off items. If you want to provide dinner to the homeless, ask for volunteers.
Find out how you can help, whether it’s by donating a percentage of your sales, cooking a meal, or collecting toys. Then integrate your customers in any way possible. You will find that your loyal customers will want to support your cause, and new diners will want to become a part of your inner circle.
At least one week before your charity event, promote your party across different channels (such as word of mouth, flyers, and social media), and then upload photos to your social media accounts during the event to engage followers.
Extend Business Hours, and Offer More Services
Now more than ever, everyone’s schedule is off. Routines are changing to accommodate busier schedules, whether because individuals are shopping for presents or working late to meet end-of-year deadlines. Extend your establishment’s hours, especially on weekends, and word will get out fast.
Also consider providing special holiday services. For instance, offer holiday dinner cooking classes, with a promise to reveal the secret ingredient of your customers’ favorite menu item. If your restaurant is in a shopping district, organize children’s story-telling sessions so that parents can have a few minutes of solo shopping. Arrange a cookie-decorating event for both parents and kids. Really, you cannot go wrong. By engaging with and becoming a part of people’s holiday schedules this month, you will build long-lasting trust and comradery.
Promote, Promote, Promote
Now that Thanksgiving has passed, you can begin marketing your holiday specials and events. For the best turnout, we recommend using as many of the following avenues as possible:
5.Update the homepage on your website
6.Take out an ad in the local paper
7.Distribute flyers throughout town
8.Put eye-catching decorations outside your door
9.Distribute stickers for guests to place wherever they wish
10.Promote events with sidewalk chalk graffiti
Keep your imagery clean and bright, and use language that is straight to the point and personal. Remember, marketing your restaurant this month is not just about capitalizing on the extra action that surrounds the holidays—it’s a way of becoming a part of your customers’ lives in a joyful way.
If you are looking for other great ideas this festive season, please feel free to contact us at : firstname.lastname@example.org