No matter what industry you find yourself in, the holiday season is possibly one of the busiest times of the year, and there are plenty of opportunities to boost your marketing efforts throughout the year. This time of year is when you can provide customers with fun and engaging ways to interact with your brand and products. For restaurateurs, it’s no different. Restaurants will be bustling with busy people grabbing a bite to eat in between shopping trips or joining family and friends for special dinners.
To take advantage of this profitable time of year, get ahead and plan early. Find out how you can stand out. Brainstorm ways to fill more tables. Discover successful marketing ideas that have worked for others. Here are some tactics that I have seen impacting restaurant owners’ bottom line.
Promote off-site catering
According to LEK Consulting, “between 2018 and 2023, deliveries are expected to increase by more than three times the rate of on-site sales”. This provides operators with promotional opportunities for catering and off-premises catering. During the peak holiday season, in particular, many operators will see an influx of catering orders for business meetings, parties, and receptions – or just those who want to avoid the holiday rush and have a meal delivered. home.
To take advantage of off-establishment dining, increase your meal offerings and promotions in Q4. Make sure your marketing efforts highlight the convenient options available to diners to get their take out via curbside pickup or delivery from third parties like Grubhub, DoorDash, and Uber Eats. When you use third-party delivery providers to reach new customers during this time, you will enjoy the growing online food delivery revenue which is expected to reach $ 28 million by 2023.
Pro tip: Be sure to offer CNC for your offsite sales. Delivery consumers are increasingly turning to restaurant websites and mobile apps to order, so digital customer engagement is critical.
Push limited-time offers
Limited Time Offers (LTO) can be an effective way to increase traffic during the holidays. Look for seasonal menu items that diners seek and enjoy, then create exclusivity around those items with your marketing efforts. Use menu engineering to determine your featured menu items, then set limited availability or purchase windows for your LTO, as this can create a sense of urgency. Promote the availability window through your social networks and with menu inserts and table tents in your restaurant. Another option is to offer seasonal discounts by buying one, getting one for free, or coupons with set time frames.
Pro Tip: Scarcity marketing can be extremely compelling and ultimately drive sales. Use terms such as “limited time supply,” “limited supply,” “while supplies last,” “act soon”, or “end soon” to convey a sense of urgency.
Boost engagement on Instagram
Instagram should be your best friend this holiday season. Images of themed meals and delicious seasonal dishes like pumpkin pie and festive ham dinners can boost your social engagement and ultimately entice diners. Use hashtags to attract new social users to your account and build brand awareness outside of your followers.
Pro Tip: Use Instagram Stories to provide insight into your upcoming holiday dishes or specials. You can use easy, free editing apps like Unfold, Canva, Inshot, and Preview to really boost your storytelling through Instagram.
Optimize your Google My Business listing
If you haven’t already, take a few minutes and optimize your Google My Business listing. By doing this, you optimize your restaurant’s online presence not only for the seasonal rush, but also beyond. Your list includes details about the business such as your phone number, address, hours of operation, and more that potential diners want to find. With Reserve with Google, guests can make a reservation, view your wait times or sign up for your waiting list directly from their Google, Maps or Assistant search.
Pro tip: add photos. According to Google, ads that feature photos receive 35% more clicks to their websites than those that don’t.
Highlight hosting special events
Since many people schedule meetings during the holiday season, it’s important to promote that your restaurant is hosting special events, holiday parties, or private parties (such as corporate dinners or numerous family receptions).
Also, try to organize your own special events. Treat breakfast with Santa for a memorable customer experience that can create a lot of social media buzz with parents sharing photos of their kids with St. Nick. Other examples include wine tastings, chef demonstrations, and live musical evenings. These exciting events can position your restaurant for increased traffic and revenue.
Pro tip: Be sure to request reservations for these events. This ensures that you are prepared for those who want to attend, which leads to better customer satisfaction.
Whether your holiday marketing strategy is an extension of your long-term marketing plans or just a quick-hit campaign, it can be difficult to make a financial impact at this happiest time of year. However, you can reduce seasonal noise and do so strategically. Get out of the hustle and bustle by getting festive, having fun and thinking outside the box. Remember, the ultimate goal is to increase traffic and elevate the brand during one of the busiest seasons of the year.