Use Tech Wisely to Market Your Restaurant During the Holidays


The holiday season is right around the corner. Has your restaurant already started with all the preparations? If not, it’s the right time to implement holiday marketing, as more people prefer dining in a restaurant over cooking holiday meals, especially when it comes to some generational groups, such as Millennials. Although Thanksgiving remains an eat-at-home holiday, increasing number of people are eager to go to a restaurant to celebrate other events. CAKE data shows that restaurants that stayed open on Christmas and New Year’s Day in 2015 increased their profits by 40-50% as opposed to the average days. The following tips from LoyaltyPlant will help you ensure that this holiday season will result in more engaged guests and increased revenue, rather than a lost opportunity.

Offer special discounts and gifts

Eating behavior is changing. Today the number of Americans who like to cook is declining. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports show that the average household in the U.S. spends an average of $3,008 per year on dining out. Therefore, businesses need to take advantage of every opportunity to attract consumers. Holidays are high time for your restaurant to bring out special discounts and offers. It’s a great opportunity to reward your most loyal customers on holidays by providing them with a discount offer or a small gift as a part of your loyalty program. These programs are a powerful tool for keeping your satisfied clients coming back for more. An additional reward appeals to people’s emotions and encourages them to visit your restaurant again and again.

Spread the news and send out personal invitations

You can create an emotional connection with your guests, sending them personalized messages about special promotions and events at your restaurant. You should remind people about your place and give them a reason to come back. Have a general idea of how your audience will receive their personal messages and invites. You can use different channels, including your site, social media, and mobile. With an integrated mobile app, you can simply send push notifications to your customers to connect with them more effectively. These user-friendly, uncomplicated push notifications are less messy than emails and provide essential information that’s highly specific and directed. By using these channel you can let your customers know that you are throwing a holiday party at your restaurant that will offer an unforgettable dining experience and fun. Make sure to send personalized holiday greetings including the name of your guest in your message, which can create a memorable impression of your business. 

Motivate your loyal customers to recommend you on social media

If you are already using social media as a marketing platform and engage with your online community via this channel, don’t limit your social media activities to solely spreading the message about your special holiday event. Encourage your customers to recommend your restaurant to their friends by offering them some incentives. If you have a mobile app, you can integrate social media networks in it and add an ability share your engaging content on multiple social platforms directly from your app. For example, it could be news about your new winter menu or a special offer for couples on Valentine’s Day. You can ask people to share the announcement about your holiday party to get a discount for an event at your restaurant. Also, you can offer your audience to take part in a social media giveaway. KFC took advantage of a pre-holiday rush and ran a giveaway with a car as main prize. This campaign created a lot of buzz around the brand and helped to attract both new and current customers.

Encourage your guests book early

By giving your clients some incentives, like additional loyalty bonuses or special offers, you can encourage them to reserve a table in your restaurant on time and as early as possible. Make your offer time limited. A sense of urgency serves as a strong catalyst that makes people act fast and decisively. The best motivation is the opportunity that they are losing something. That’s why, you need to make sure that your customers understand the opportunity cost of decision-making delay. You can offer some gifts for those who book or make payment earlier. Don’t forget to spread the news. There’s no use in offering something, if you aren’t getting the word out to your guests. Send them a push notification to make sure they will not miss the important news. Also, to ensure your restaurant is filled with engaged customers after the holiday spike, think about promotional campaigns for this low season. If you offer a loyalty program, target your customer database. Instead of being quiet, you can remarket to your loyal customers to drive their attention that will pull them back to your place.

Offer alternative ordering options

If your restaurant doesn’t offer mobile ordering options yet, it’s time to start considering adding it to your marketing mix. By enabling your clients to order food via their mobile phones, which they bring with them anytime and anywhere, you provide your guests with an added level of convenience that they will highly appreciate. In today’s increasingly connected world, people like when they have expanded choice and the opportunity to order food without even leaving the house. This additional marketing channel will help you make sure that your brand stays the top of mind with consumers during the hot season, when restaurants are facing the fierce competition. People will find your mobile ordering option quick, simple, and convenient. Nevertheless, keep in mind that a standalone ordering app is just one of many other elements of a total mobile app solution that can help you achieve multiple business goals.

Finishing touches

During the holiday season, people don’t have much time to cook, while they are busy shopping. They just want to relax and have fun with their family and friends. Restaurant owners can use it to their own advantage, intensifying their marketing activities and promising a pleasant dining experience to their guests. Think how you are going to decorate your restaurant, freshen up your menu, and train your staff for large holiday parties or maybe even consider seasonal hires. You can also rebrand your website and social media channels with holiday themes to support your guests’ festive mood. By following these steps you can reach more new clients and communicate with your current customers more effectively, which will lead to revenue growth.

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