Retail is not the only place where you see customers going crazy during holiday season - if we were to believe restaurant and cafe owners, holiday season, especially around Halloween, Christmas and New year's, brings for them added pressure to promote their business as a perfect setting for holiday parties, corporate events and family gatherings.
People are ready to spend, perhaps, a wise businessman needs to know how to make them spend at his business. Is your restaurant prepared to take full advantage of all the opportunities in the holiday season? If you are a restaurant owner and looking for some effective strategies to boost your holiday season sales, this guide will help you press all the right buttons at the right time.
Think beyond "buy one, get one free"
This year is different. People are not looking for free meals, they are looking to spend quality time with their loved ones, enjoying some scrumptious food in a great ambiance. Now that could either be a well-lit, cozy restaurant or their home, the most they care about is the "quality" and the "quantity" of the food coupled with an exemplary service.
For instance, for restaurants supporting online ordering - "Free Delivery" and "Delivery in 30 Minutes" are the holy words for the holiday season. Now, we aren't saying that discounts aren't important. In fact, they play a vital role in promoting any business. But coming up with a category of discounts that instantly grabs the attention of people is an art that needs a lot of consideration. If you don't want to reduce your profits, try creating combo meals at discounted rates. Surveys prove that customers tend to spend more at discounted meals as during holiday season they tend to order for a bunch of family members or friends and meals are always the most prefered option.
Keep in mind that when one benefits reasonably well from your discounted deals, he/she is bound to refer your restaurants to others. Free marketing at your doorstep, at zero cost. Isn't it cool? Strategize well!
Be Wise, Menu-Wise
A smartly planned menu is a necessity in the holiday season. Your customers are hunting for exotic dishes at a reasonable price. They want to explore something new, something fresh, something traditional. According to the menu design experts, ingredients such as peppermint, eggnog, gingerbread, cranberry, turkey, pumpkin spice and chestnut are hugely popular with diners in the holiday season. Make sure your seasonal offerings are clearly displayed on your menu, website, social media accounts, and chalkboard. Holiday specials add something new with a sense of limited time urgency that certainly help boost sales.
If you're a delivery-only kitchen want to increase online orders, it’s recommended to create gift packages of popular items on the menu. Don’t forget to add on-the-go junior meals that’s perfect for stressed out, yet hungry, holiday shoppers.
Not sure how to design your menu? Check out this post on menu hacks to learn some of the best menu design tricks of the industry.
Leverage the Festive Spirit
Decorate - both your restaurant and your website. Inducing a sense of holiday is in itself a great strategy to trigger purchase behavior. Keep the festive spirit alive with online, as well as offline games such as “Spin the wheel” for an assured gift. You can also run a campaign/contest to create user-generated content that can amplify your social presence and widen your reach. A unique hashtag will make it easy to track all the social activities during the holiday season. Pictures of your customers enjoying your food also make for good social proof. Social Media activities always prove to be a strategy for brands to connect with their audience on a more personal level.
Word of mouth from someone they trust is a strong promotional tool, and when combined with social branding, it becomes a new channel for your restaurant holiday sales.
Partner with local retailers
Partnering with local brands or nearby retail stores is an effective strategy to boost restaurant sales. Turn your holiday special menu into an offer coupon that the shoppers can get from the retail stores on shopping for a certain amount.
For instance, customers who shop for more than $250 dollars at a clothing store can get a special discount coupon of $20 that they can redeem at your restaurant on both dining or online ordering. But make sure that your restaurant is either present in the same complex as the store so hungry shoppers can make use of the coupon on the same day.
There you have it. If you want to make the most of the holiday season, you better start preparing for it right now! Get into the spirit, follow these tips and light up your business this year!