The holiday hectic has officially begun—are you ready? Keep in mind that diners are overwhelmed thinking about tight dining budgets, late shopping nights, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Thanksgiving, Hannaukah and Christmas. Keeping up is an exciting and prosperous time for most restaurants. Here are some ideas to incorporate into your holiday marketing plans to keep your tables full and your customers happy.
Extend Your Hours
Retails stores are doing it, so why can’t you? The extra hour or two you add could be very profitable. Shoppers will need a place to fill their hungry bellies—be their first choice! Whether it’s a limited-time “after-hours” menu or special, this is a great opportunity to seasonally offer an added bonus to diners.
When your hours change, make sure to let your customers know if you’re open or closed on big days like Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Day. This could prevent an irritated diner from pounding on your door because your standard hours have switched. It could also bring in a slew of families that don’t want to cook or have burned the turkey!
Because of the festivities coming up in the month of December, corporations and families alike will be searching for restaurants that can accommodate large groups or parties. Some may also inquire about catering. If your restaurant has this to offer—sell it! This is the easiest time of year to book up those spaces. Even package a deal that includes food and you’ll set the minds of planners at ease.
Market Your Menu
Seasonal fare in the colder months will be a much-needed retreat for those itching to get out of the house and fill their tummies with warm, cozy dishes. Are you making changes to your menu to accommodate for the meats and produce popular to the season? Are you offering specials for football, basketball, and hockey games? These ideas can be great for family dinners or getting sports fans in for every game.
During the week, it’s common to see a slow evening or two. Add a little fun and keep your tables full. Appeal to families by bringing in a magician or clown to entertain the kids. Offer a trivia night with specials for the competitive younger crowd that works hard during the 9-5, but doesn’t want to cook when they get home. Fun add-ons have the power of word of mouth—watch those tables fill up!