According to SpotOn’s State of Restaurant Tech Report, restaurant operators say that the holiday season accounts for up to 20% of their annual sales, with fine dining operators putting that figure at nearly half (49%). With a significant portion of annual revenue on the line, restaurants are turning to technology to drive operational efficiencies and expand revenue opportunities to make the holidays merry.
“A successful holiday season is essential to restaurant profitability. After two slow years, our research shows that restaurateurs are finally feeling optimistic about the 2022 season and looking to technology to help them make the most of it,” said Kevin Bryla, Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Customer Experience at SpotOn. “Our new SpotOn Teamwork and Experiences by SpotOn Reserve solutions were created to help restaurateurs drive efficiencies and diversify revenue so they can focus on what truly matters—giving their guests an unforgettable holiday experience.”
SpotOn’s recent State of Restaurant Tech Report found that 60% of independent and small-chain restaurant operators have a positive outlook for the 2022 holiday season. To capitalize, many plan to make the most of the holiday season by offering special events and experiences, expanding service and staffing, adding retail options, and offering meals to busy consumers on the go.
The holidays are a great time for restaurant teams to get creative with seasonal menu items and special holiday prix fixe menus. SpotOn Restaurant offers multi-location management that gives operators enterprise-level controls for managing menus across multiple locations right from their SpotOn dashboard. With smart, on-demand reports, SpotOn gives managers the tools to track and optimize the performance of holiday menus and specials at any time. To save managers time, once they add a menu item, it’s automatically added to their online ordering menu and other 3rd party ordering platforms. Managers also have the ability to exclude special holiday items from their off-premise menus to incentivize guests to dine in. As restaurants plan for special holiday menus like Thanksgiving dinners or the increasingly popular Feast of the Seven Fishes, they can take advance payments for reservations with the new Experiences with SpotOn Reserve booking platform.
When it comes to holiday shopping, physical and e-gift cards offer restaurants a great way to maximize and secure revenue upfront. Studies show that most gift card holders spend an extra 38% beyond a gift card's value, meaning operators are creating two streams of revenue—one at purchase and another when it’s redeemed. E-gift cards are especially ideal for capturing last-minute shoppers, sold directly from the restaurant’s website and emailed to the recipient. To help boost holiday sales with gift cards, operators should be prepared to train their staff on gift card availability, market their gift cards through email and social media marketing, and consider offering special incentives for multiple gift card purchases to capture corporate holiday gifting business.
Special Events & Experiences
According to the State of Restaurant Tech Report, 1 in 5 restaurants plan to offer ticketed events or experiences to boost revenue this holiday season. Whether it is a New Year's Eve party, a private chef’s table experience, or a holiday baking class, Experiences with SpotOn Reserve will help those operators easily create and market special events and experiences and secure payment in advance, providing revenue certainty this season. SpotOn Reserve’s complete reservation solution gives restaurants the power to coordinate their special guest experiences, online reservations, and digital waitlist in one place. For holiday parties, catering, and private corporate events just around the corner, SpotOn's customizable invoicing solution saves time by allowing restaurants to manage their invoices directly from their dashboard and customize invoices to align with their brand.
Seasonal Staffing & Expanded Table Service
Amidst the ongoing labor shortage, restaurant owners and operators are sharply aware of the need to staff up for the holidays and looking for tools to help them manage their teams more efficiently. SpotOn Teamwork is a comprehensive labor management platform that brings scheduling, tip distribution, payroll, and employee engagement into one streamlined solution. With Teamwork’s two-way sync with the POS, a restaurant’s sales and traffic volume data are automatically imported to make data-driven schedules that ensure enough coverage to deliver a great guest experience while maintaining profitability. If the need arises to bring on seasonal workers, the two-way sync also makes employee onboarding easier by centralizing all the necessary paperwork and information in one place.
Restaurants can also leverage tableside technology to improve staff efficiency and speed of service to serve more guests during the holidays. SpotOn Serve is an intuitive handheld device that pairs with SpotOn Restaurant POS, allowing restaurant staff to take orders and payments in real-time, whether at the table or for line-busting busy crowds. SpotOn Serve handhelds increased total sales by a median of 7%, allowing servers to pick up more tables and turn them faster.
A third way for operators to streamline service is by putting their guests in control of their experience. QR codes are an easy and efficient way for guests to view menus, order, and pay at their own pace. SpotOn QR’s Group Order & Pay feature is particularly good for large groups, enabling any group member to add items in real-time and split the bill by any amount. This will be ideal for hosting holiday family get-togethers, Friendsgiving, SantaCon bar crawls, and more.