Christmas always seems to have a habit of creeping up on you. Before you know it, you’re rushing around to get enough supplies and begging staff to cover shifts at short notice. So with the festive season only weeks away, now is a good time to put your Christmas restaurant marketing strategy into action.
Last Christmas was a tough time for many restaurants. So this year it’s important to use all the tools at your disposal to entice people out of their homes and to get into a celebratory mood.
Here are a few tactics you can use to improve your chances of a profitable festive season:
- Put together a pre-fixe menu for a special price (rather than simply discounting) and promote it through online partners, like Opentable.com , or your Facebook fan page.
- Send Christmas cards to local businesses with a little reminder that your restaurant is the perfect venue for their Christmas dinner party.
- Start sending emails and posting intriguing and enticing updates on Facebook and Twitter on what you have planned for the Christmas period. Just remember not to ‘spam’ customers with too many self promoting messages. As always, mix up messages about yourself with recipe ideas, food facts and other morsels of useful information.
- The last thing you need is to be turning away diners because you’re short staffed. So make sure you’ve worked out a staff rotation for the busiest time of the year well in advance.
- Wholesalers and distributors often offer price savings at this time, so consider stocking up early and putting the cash savings towards your staff Christmas party.
- Many people will be fed up with turkey and cranberry sauce. So why not offer an alternative Christmas menu, such as pheasant breast, turducken, or wild boar with cranberry sauce.
- Offer incentives for booking early e.g. the 10th person eats for free or a glass of wine upon arrival.
- If you’re located close to shops, position a blackboard outside to advertise hot coffee or cider and warm soup to cold, weary shoppers.
- Consider running a bounce back campaign. For those customers that dine in December, give them a card where they can book a special offer for January.