The season of goodwill is upon us once again, and for most restaurants, the holiday period represents a key time for sales and healthy profit margins. It’s important to get ahead of the game, however, by planning your Christmas marketing campaigns in advance. Now is the time to put your plans into action, and we have six ideas to get you started.
1. Special set menus
Create a seasonal prix-fixe menu for the holiday season, which will encourage your diners to sample something from every course. Run it throughout December and choose ingredients carefully with lifespan and margins in mind.
2. Three-course specials
Similarly, you can use the power of Christmas to advertise a festive three-course special with favourite starters, mains and desserts for the holiday season. The price doesn’t need to include a significant discount as the limited nature of the seasonal dishes on offer will tend to entice customers to buy. This is the time of year when diners are more inclined to have a starter and a dessert with their main dish.
3. Two-for-one promotions
This is a good time of year for friends, family and colleagues to enjoy a meal out together, so encourage guests and bigger groups by offering a “one eats free” deal with every full paying customer. Just make sure your kitchen is equipped for the rush with commercial ovens from firms like 247 Catering Supplies.
4. Gift cards
Offer gift cards that can be used in the new year. Advertise discounts for large denomination sales and market them as being suitable for large groups and special occasions.
5. Golden events
December is the ideal month for holding special, or “golden” events. Come up with five or six throughout the month. These could include a restaurant party for customers, a competition for a festive recipe, special treats or delivered dinners, holiday cooking classes, or late-night entertainment with live music. You could even host your own Christmas festival with hot chocolate on offer for the kids, mince pies and warming seasonal soups. Why not tie in with a local event and make your restaurant the catering venue of choice?
6. Christmas loyalty card
People tend to eat out more during the Christmas period, so offer a December loyalty incentive where every six full-priced main dishes will be eligible for a free one.