This article is Part 2 of How to Promote your Restaurant this Christmas
Get the word out
First and foremost, in order to maximise on your festive sales, it’s important to start running your marketing campaigns as early as possible. Most large companies and businesses start making reservations in September so the more visible you are the more chance you have.
Update your social media profiles and website and start pushing your promotional offers to your viewers through these channels. Get in touch with your regular customers and last years reservations through email via Newsletters and let them know what’s on offer. Another great classic way to promote is to distribute flyers in your local community. Run a press ad in your local newspaper / community magazine and increase your visibility. Don’t forget to have posters on the window and flyers inside the restaurant for walk in and walk by customers to see.
Contact your Last year’s Guests.
Get in touch with your reservations from last year and offer them to book a place with you. They already like your food are aware of your services. Provide them with “early bird” discounts for making Christmas reservations to make them feel important. Make these a “limited time” or “limited tables” reservations in order to create a sense of urgency. Lastly, take a deposit on your Christmas bookings to avoid fall out at the last minute.
While the festive season is your target, you also want your customers to return after Christmas, when business slows down extensively. Loyalty cards are a great way to get repeat customers but you can make this more fun by adding discount vouchers in table decor such as crackers. You can also hang mystery envelopes on the Christmas tree and let each table pick one at the end of the meal – to win a prize. These could be money off your food bill in January or a few bottle of wine in February etc. This ensures you have diners coming in after the Christmas frenzy.
Gift cards make a wonderful Christmas present if you don’t know what to give someone. It’s an easy way to promote your restaurant, make more sales and it also brings in new customers to your restaurant.
So provide gift vouchers on your website and at the cash counter. As an extension of your promotions provide a 10% discount to the buyer for every £50 spent on gift vouchers. Use this opportunity to take their email to build your database.
Tie up with another local business
It can get very busy in the holiday season and there are tons of things to monitor, coordinate and organise to ensure everything works seamlessly to provide the best experience. Tying up with a local business not only helps them get exposure through you but also takes the load off your business. For example tie up with a local baker to provide you christmas desserts for your restaurant and in return leave money off coupons with the baker for their customers to come dine with you. It’s a win win for both businesses.
Hold a charity event
Christmas is a time for giving and people are more conscious at this time of the year to give donations. Hold a charity event and give a percentage of your sales to the chosen charity. Let your customers get involved in raising funds. Invite local media and press to be a part of this event. They are always interested in events like these and will feature them extensively on their respective media and online channels. It’s a great way to get the word out and build a reputation for your restaurant in your local community.