The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year for restaurants. With the surge in shoppers, loved ones visiting from out of town, and holiday parties, restaurants often see an increase in customers. Extra foot traffic gives you a great opportunity to create positive buzz about your restaurant. The more customers talk about their great experience with your services, the more new customers you draw into your restaurant. That’s the power of word of mouth referrals!
The holidays are the perfect time to put in place creative restaurant holiday marketing strategies. The holidays give you extra room to have fun with how you approach restaurant marketing. To target both in-person and takeout dining customers, we laid out five innovative holiday marketing strategies to reach more people during this special time of year.
5 Restaurant Holiday Marketing Strategies
1. Showcase Holiday-Themed Menu Items
Seasonal menus are a fun, flavorful way to attract new customers to your restaurant. The lure of having dishes full of the spices and foods people enjoy during the holidays can draw new customers to your business. Whether it’s a gingerbread latte or a butternut squash bisque, show off your culinary expertise and offer customers a unique dining experience with a holiday menu.
If you’re wondering how to get the news about your holiday menu to your customers, try Check This Out’s new text messaging module. Check This Out’s text messaging module gets out the word about your holiday-themed menu quickly and elegantly through SMS and MMS messaging. Simply take a photo or video of your holiday special, attach the photo to a text message announcing the holiday special, and schedule the text to send to your client base at whatever time you want. Watch customers fill seats as they react to your messages about your holiday specials!
2. Gift Card Sales and Promotions
With shoppers on the prowl for the perfect present to give their loved ones, the holidays are a great time to promote your gift card sales. Gift cards are a source of immediate revenue for your business, and they encourage repeat visits and new customers to your business. You could try displaying your gift cards at your checkout counter to boost sales.
Another option could be offering a promotion where customers get $10 off their next purchase for every $50 gift card they purchase. Discounts are huge incentives for customers to visit and keep visiting your restaurant. If you reward your loyal customers with a discount off their next purchase when they refer your restaurant to a friend, you enhance their customer experience and extend your restaurant’s word of mouth reach. Check This Out makes sending and applying discounts for customer referrals slick, simple, and effective so you can build your referral marketing strategy. Learn more about how Check This Out can help strengthen your word of mouth and referral marketing by reaching out to us today.
3. Offer Prepared Holiday Meals
Prepared holiday meals give customers a new way to have the seasonal food they love in the comfort of their homes. Especially with some customers choosing to dine in rather than dine out, holiday meals to go can open up a way for you to reach new customers. Before the holidays hit, come up with a menu of family-sized holiday meals to go. You can showcase these meals as part of your seasonal menu.
4. Market Your Event Space for Holiday Parties
Entertaining guests is huge during the holidays. Whether it’s family gatherings or company holiday parties, people look for spaces for rent for parties during the holidays. If you have an event room or a loft area perfect for gatherings, promote your space as a holiday party venue for rent.
5. Plan and Organize Holiday Events
A great way to draw new customers to your restaurant is through holiday-themed events. Planning special events for customers not only gives them a great customer experience but it provides them with something to talk to their friends about. This creates positive word of mouth marketing for your business. Holiday event options you could try out at your restaurant could include the following:
- Setting up a seasonal backdrop for customers to take photos in front of.
- Offering a free drink for customers who wear holiday sweaters
- Hiring musicians to play carols on a Saturday night.
Check This Out Can Help with Restaurant Holiday Marketing
Check This Out lets restaurants send discounts for referrals, track the number of customers generated by referrals, and monitor ROI from referral marketing campaigns. Throughout the year, you can use Check This Out to update your customer base about new opportunities at your restaurant or new menu items. For example, if you use Check This Out to bolster your restaurant holiday marketing, you could send your customers a friendly text about your holiday meals to go and offer a $10 coupon for your holiday meals. There are so many options for customizing a referral campaign. Check This Out’s platform is a great way to fill seats every season.
Word of mouth is not only huge for holiday marketing for restaurants but for marketing during the rest of the year as well. Word of mouth marketing is a year-long pursuit and can help you continually put people in chairs year-round. If customers continue to have great experiences with your restaurant, they will continue to refer you to their friends. Check This Out promotes word of mouth marketing by giving restaurants a platform to streamline referral marketing campaigns.
Word of mouth is one of the most powerful tools you can harness, and we want to see your restaurant succeed throughout the holidays and beyond. To try a demo of Check This Out’s referral software, reach out to us today. Our team loves to see restaurants succeed and fill seats, so send us a line to talk about your referral marketing goals.