It’s the holiday season, which means it’s time for family and giving. Holidays also provide an excellent opportunity for your restaurant to market itself and keep your business in front of customers. With a variety of places to join together with friends and family during the holiday season, you’ll need to make your restaurant stand out.
We’ve compiled a list with 7 restaurant marketing ideas during the holiday season to help with that. There are enough ideas here to spread Christmas cheer with your customers and keep them coming back in the new year.
in the other hundreds of emails your customers receive every day.
1. Add Holiday Specials To Your Current Menu
By offering holiday-themed drinks, desserts, entrees, and appetizers, you can help your guests relax, unwind, and enjoy the season. Try offering up traditional holiday dishes or incorporate some unique holiday cocktails on your drink menu. Stick with the general theme of your establishment, but don’t be afraid to get creative with your holiday ideas! Additionally, you can diversify your menu offering by adding some of these 63 Christmas appetizers recipes. Make it fun!
2. Promote Restaurant Gift Cards
Who doesn’t love getting a gift card to their favorite restaurant? They’re great incentives for your guests to come back, an easy way to boost sales and they’re the perfect way to gain new customers. You can promote gift cards on your social media channels and on your website, train your staff to mention gift card sales to guests and even host a raffle or giveaway of gift cards.
You can even host a contest with your staff for most gift cards sold, and offer a fun prize or even a day off for the winning staff member.
For example, you can sell cards at a discounted rate (£50 gift card for £45) or offer a free £10 gift card with each £50 gift card purchase. It’s hard to resist free food, so guests may end up buying these for their friends, family, and even themselves!
3. Give Back To Your Community
The spirit of giving is in the air during the holidays, and customers might be more likely to visit your business if they know that their meal helps contribute to a worthy cause. Try choosing a specific menu item, like a special holiday dish, and let customers know that a percentage of the profits from those dishes will go to a specific charity. At your own restaurant, you can easily implement some simple restaurant marketing ideas to attract customers and raise money for important causes. Here are some other options to do that:
- Any customer who brings in a gift to donate get 15% off of their meal
- Designate a portion of tips to go to a certain charity of your restaurant staff’s choice
- Encourage your restaurant staff to sell a certain menu item and donate the proceeds of that item to a charity of choice
- Set up a donation box for customers to donate loose change and cash for a certain charity
- Invite customers on social media to donate canned goods and other dry foods to those less fortunate
As long as you can come up with a simple way to generate some goodwill and good business at the same time, you can rest assured that customers will leave feeling happy about the experience.
4. Deck The Halls Of Your Restaurant
Creating a festive atmosphere in the restaurant with lights, balloons, Christmas trees, fake Santa Claus will help you in grabbing the attention of customers.
For example, you can line your bar with Christmas ornaments, set up a Christmas tree in the lobby, outfit your dining tables with some autumn-colored napkins and linens, encourage your waiting staff to wear ugly Christmas sweaters or Santa hats to get other people in the giving mood.
One of the best things about the holidays is that you can share happiness and comfort with others simply by celebrating the season, so if your restaurant seems a little drab, don’t be afraid to spruce it up with tinsel and good cheer.
5. Offer Live Holiday Music
Inviting carolers, a choir, or a band to play live music at your restaurant can help bring the spirit of the season and in effect, encourage more sales. This can be an opportunity to bring in regionally popular acts or even a local children’s choir. Keep the type of music and songs appropriate to the atmosphere of your restaurant. A pianist in a tux versus Santa with a banjo brings very different vibes to diners.
Posters and flyers in combination with a social media campaign are the perfect way to promote your musical events.
There are infinite ideas to promote your restaurant during the holiday season and we can all agree that the most fundamental part to get it to succeed is to engage your customers from day one – start with a plan and work your way up.
Make sure to prepare all your content (flyers, social media posts, promotional videos, etc) in advance and to advertise it ahead of the rushing 2-weeks prior Christmas Day, which are usually heavily satured with advertisement – you’ll save up some money and grab more easily the customers’ attention!
That being said – which ideas will you implement this year to promote your restaurant? Let us know below.