As the end of the year approaches, businesses across the country prepare for a busy holiday season (Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas) in hopes that their holiday-themed marketing campaigns and promotions will get them to reach established earnings goals for the year.
To have a successful holiday season the biggest thing you can do for your restaurant is prepare ahead of time! No matter the size of your restaurant, here is a list of ideas and to-do’s to begin planning in September to make the holiday time easier and more profitable:
- Decorate Your Initiatives: Set the mood of the season; the visual is the first impression. Make your customers feel special as a part of the season and help them forget about everything else. Plus be sure to communicate your holiday themes on your menus and in your promotions, website, social media, and other advertising.
- Be Thankful: Send your customers an e-mail or text thanking them for their business. Incentivize them to come back in as a valued customer with an offer or a special.
- Gift the Gift of Your Restaurant: With Gift Cards, receive cash now, and expect business later during the slower season. Marketing for the holiday season provides an opportunity for your restaurant to establish itself well into the New Year.
- Prepare a Seasonal Menu: November and December present an opportunity to change-up your menu with seasonal food trends. Keep your restaurant favorites but treat your customers with delicious holiday themed menu items also, to keep them interested. Think pumpkin, ginger, and cinnamon in whatever you can come up with or peppermint in desserts and sweet potatoes combined with entrees or also in desserts.
- Make Your Diners’ Life Easy: During the holiday season people get busier and spend more time out and about doing their own holiday preparation. This means holiday shopping and organizing for parties and events. Add specials on Sundays or even during the week to entice diners to save a buck while bustling around this season.
- Add More Staff: Now is the time to plan what a ramp up of what your staff should be. A natural increase of diners during this season is expected this season. Remember that you want to deliver the best experience for a return visit into the new year. Another idea? Take care of food preparation in advanced to cut down on order to serve time.
- Keep Marketing Consistent. It’s easy to stop doing your normal marketing activities as the diners to your restaurant increases. Marketing efforts build over time to drive the impact you’re looking for. To continue the momentum into the new year, marketing during the busy season will welcome new diners and will have them in for a return visit during the slower times.
Remember, much of your holiday marketing effort is designed to establish relationships rather than to generate instant sales. As well as sales, you should track metrics like social shares and time spent engaging with your campaigns and content.