It's that exciting time of year again when the crowd is huge, and everyone is charged up. For restaurants, the holiday season is probably the most important and busiest time of the year. This is the time or perhaps, an opportunity for them to set the stage for growth and profitability.
A survey revealed that during this holiday season, consumers are expecting a measure of normalcy to return. According to the report, holiday gatherings are expected to increase in cost.
The data shared provide a pool of opportunities for restaurant to earn more customers which is only possible through rigorous marketing activities.
We will talk about different marketing strategies you can create to increase your sales. Before that, we would like you to answer simple questions. It will help you decide how to attract customers and implement the strategies:
Now, coming to the most important part - how to gain new customers? There are a lot of things you can do. However, keep in mind the festive season while implementing all strategies. Below are some of the things you must definitely do:
Unmissable Offers- Run a social media campaign where anyone who places an order worth $50 or more on your restaurant website wins a free dine-in meal for two at your restaurant on Christmas or New Year's eve. Such campaigns have the potential to entice new customers, especially on social media. All you need is a good marketing plan, promotional activities and content deliveries that you can utilize to communicate such deals.
Send Newsletters - Use the database from ads placed on Facebook or Google or any other platform to send newsletters to existing as well as potential customers. You can promote offers like Flat 50% off on your first order with your restaurant, or something like Buy 1 pizza and get 2 free. Perhaps the choice of offer and deal would strictly depend on how much your business can afford to acquire customers, but being proactive in this department would ensure that you gain at least 10% of new customers each week.
Menu Photos - We all know about the magic of delicious food photography and how these images can induce hunger even at odd hours. Pick up the bestsellers of your menu and get some professionally clicked images that you can on the website, on your social media handles as well as digital advertisements to attract customers' attention. If budget is a constraint, with little bit of creativity and a good camera you should be able to create eye-catching content for your social media feeds that would definitely get you some new customers interested in buying from you. Check out this article on How to Improve Digital Menu Photography and Sell More.
Initiate a Charity Drive - Festive seasons are about sharing and gifting. There are many ways to do charity - money is not the only way. People like to purchase from places which make efforts to contribute towards the community. Promote that you are donating a certain percent of all sales within a certain time period to a local charity and watch the orders increase. You can set up a gift-giving drive. Find out if your local women’s shelter, homeless shelter, or any other organization needs help providing holiday gifts to those they serve. Provide tags that list the items each individual or family will need so guests can take the list home and purchase the items. After the guest contributes, you can reward them with a coupon, gift card, or free merchandise.
Cater For the Holidays- It is a common practice for businesses to celebrate the holidays with their employees and, here of course, food and beverages are essential! This would be a good time to cultivate your catering business as a holiday service. In addition to promoting your restaurant and creating new connections, this also brings in new customers! Send out flyers to nearby businesses to inform them about your catering services by creating a seasonal restaurant marketing plan. In case catering is not an option, you can always invite companies to have their holiday parties at your restaurant. Offering party accommodations is another excellent marketing strategy that can bring in new customers.
Add Seasonal Specials - Setting up a new menu is time-consuming and requires additional efforts. However, it is worth a go during these times. You should put seasonal specials on your menu to attract customers. Most customers would be willing to purchase or atleast try seasonal items on the menu during festive times. Study the past data and analyze which dishes sell the most at your restaurant. Add some festive touch to those dishes and sprinkle some love to boost demand. Traditionally seasonal desserts like Swedish Crème, Double Fudge Mint Cookies, Rudolph Treats, Peppermint Bark Pretzels, Peppermint Chocolate Truffle are best sellers during this time of the year.
Contest on Social media - Going MIA on social media during the holiday season can be lethal to your bottom line. Prepare your social media marketing plan months in advance and use this opportunity to reach out to potential customers. You may start a targeted month-long contest or daily games that lead to a big draw. It will increase awareness and ultimately sales for your restaurant. You can host small festive giveaways where you can ask customers to guess the festive dish of the week, the newly introduced desserts and so on. You can also ask your customers to take a photo at your restaurant and post them on their social media. Of course, the winners of these contests can either earn a free meal for two at your restaurant or get high discounts on your web portal on their first transaction.
Holidays bring a lot of opportunities for a restaurant to gain new customers. We have discussed how you can leverage it. Whatever way you choose from the above list or tweak them slightly to personalize them, just make sure you do something. Make use of this festive season and up your game! This is a perfect time to get noticed and attract new customers.
To run a restaurant, you need technology that seamlessly integrates various ordering channels and allows your customers to order and pay at per their convenience. Restolabs' suite of custom-built, commission-free online ordering system lets you grow your restaurant business while making it relevant to the changing dynamics of the restaurant industry. Help customers place orders ahead of time, order via social networks, as well as offer options such as curbside pickup and contactless dining so safety and great food can go hand in hand.
If you’d like to learn more about how Restolabs can help you digitize you restaurant, schedule time to speak with a restaurant technology expert.