5 Promotions to Market Your Restaurant This Holiday Season
The winter holidays: Usually an exceptionally busy time of year for the hospitality industry, the introduction of COVID-19 has thrown a wrench in restaurants’ revenue during this happy season. Now, more and more businesses are left wondering where they stand and how they can incorporate modern technology in a way that hopefully saves their business from going under this year.
Restaurant tech like the kind offered by eatOS is here for more than just a fleeting trend. We make it easy to boost sales with digital holiday marketing so you can keep selling even in these unprecedented times.
Online Order Optimization
There’s no way to tell what the holiday season will bring. As the colder weather settles in and COVID-19 cases spike all over the country, it’s fair to speculate that people will avoid large gatherings in the coming weeks. Optimize your current online takeout and delivery system for an uptick in business, as guests will likely take this opportunity to fill their table with side dishes when they order in, since it’s unsafe to invite over the usual guests and their plates of appetizers.
Whether people decide to do a simplified family meal, a virtual gathering that has everyone ordering their favorite dishes to enjoy after a tough, long year, or they just want a delicious dessert to round out the celebrations, stay attuned to changing consumer needs so you know where to aim marketing tactics for the holiday season. Discounts and promotions on things like baked goods, coffee, cocktails or dessert might be just what customers need to make this year feel more familiar.
Gift Cards and Promotions
Digital promotions is the best way to let customers know that you’re still open for business. In a time when restaurants are being forced to close one after another and uncertainty abounds, it’s best to be clear and straightforward about your operating hours and services, as well as the safety precautions you have in place. Gift cards are great gifts for any loyal customer who’s unsure about what to get their loved ones, whether because they’re difficult to shop for or just need to pick something up on the fly. Everybody has to eat.
Make use of your curated email lists to notify loyal customers that you’re offering gift cards or incentivize purchases with discounts and additional offers. Social media is a great avenue and you should be posting regularly across all of your business accounts, regardless of the upcoming festivities. If you do regular newsletters, you might consider releasing a special edition that promotes your new holiday services. Get creative with it; you can even create a particularly festive or appealing design to draw further attention to the offer. Use your logo and brand colors so customers are reminded where to go every time they look in their wallet.
Any business worth their salt knows that they aren’t much without the support of their loyal customers. Show how much you appreciate their continued patronage at your establishment; with the most cutting-edge Point of Sale technology available on the market, like the one powered by eatOS, you can create guest profiles that keep track of your sales data and more. See what dishes sell best or who’s spending the most money at your restaurant as well as what they’re buying. Armed with this information, you can create special promotions aimed specifically at your most loyal customers to strengthen your individual relationships with each one—or just send them handwritten thank-you cards and a gift card for dessert wine. As long as you show them that you care, you’ll have them thinking of you when it’s time to plan their family dinners.
The holidays are for spreading cheer and goodwill, so why not show off that giving spirit with some donations? Demonstrate your humane side; it’s a good draw for the conscientious consumer, not to mention the right thing to do. Advertise that you’re giving away part of your proceeds to a charitable organization or host a gift drive for a local one such as a nearby homeless shelter. There are surely also food banks in the area that need assistance; offer your restaurant as a drop-off spot for donated cans and foodstuff, or even reward guests for leaving donations, for example a gift card for every ten items given. There are people in need this holiday season, and in a year marked by blow after blow, we all understand the need for a little holiday cheer.
Nothing spells out the holiday season like a heaping of goodwill and the appropriate aesthetic to tie it all together. Never underestimate the effect of the atmosphere on your restaurant’s clientele. Appropriate holiday music can mix nicely with your current soundtrack to pepper in a seasonal feel without irritating your guests or your staff with cheesy songs on repeat; set the TVs to timely movies or get a fireplace going to match the festive decorations. As long as you don’t get overtly religious and thus alienate a significant portion of guests, a combination of festivities and normalcy that matches your brand, that doesn’t overwhelm anyone who doesn’t partake in winter holidays, still provides adequate entertainment for those who are in the spirit.
There are a myriad of ways to decorate for the holidays, from window displays to your online presence. Find your restaurant’s by deciding how you as a business owner want to spend the season. For more ways to safely equip your restaurant for winter while also staying in line with COVID-19 safety precautions, read more about how to winterize your restaurant this year.
It’s a strange year we’ve found ourselves in, and each turn has been more unorthodox than the last. The winter holidays will surely carry this trend firmly through the rest of the season. After surviving these long past months, don’t let a new and unexpected December be the final nail in your business’s coffin: Use the above tips to adapt your restaurant. A different industry landscape necessitates a different approach.
Consider making the transition easier with advanced Point of Sale technology. eatOS devices keep track of customer profiles and loyalty programs, analyze sales data, and handle workforce management with ease. Book a demo today and we’ll show you why eatOS was made for your restaurant this holiday season.
[Main photo couresty Unsplash.com by Gabriel Domingues Leão da Costa @gabriel1dom]