Holiday Season Marketing for Restaurants

End the year strong with some creative and effective marketing this holiday season! Marketing for restaurants is essential all year long, but can make an especially big difference around the holidays. Here are a few ways you can make the most of the season and really shine with your restaurant’s holiday marketing. 

  1. Gift Card Special 

These are popular amongst restaurants across the country for good reason: They’re quick and easy to implement, and they really work! 

Around the holidays, people are buying more gift cards than ever.  Gift cards are great presents for those who are picky or hard to shop for.  Your restaurant can offer a deal or promotion on gift cards during the holiday season to really encourage sales.  You could offer a percentage off (10% gift card purchases $25-50, 20% off $50-100, 25% off $100+) or a BOGO promotion (Buy $100 in gift cards, get a $20 gift card for yourself). 

Gift card specials will encourage buyers to purchase your gift cards instead of the hundreds of other restaurants they have to choose from. Running a special around the holidays could be a hugely successful restaurant marketing tactic for your brand. 

  1. Seasonal Flavors or Dishes 

Depending what type of food you serve, you can almost certainly find a way to infuse some seasonal flavors into your menu!  Offering festive menu items for a limited time will encourage people to visit you now so they can try the limited release. 

There are a number of different ways to do this.  You could offer an extended holiday menu on only certain nights if that’s what is easiest for your kitchen. Or you could add a very limited number of holiday items to your menu all season long.  However you go about it, adding seasonal and celebratory menu items can definitely boost your sales and play a key part in your hospitality marketing during the holidays. 

  1. Giveaways or contests 

Another common practice during the holidays is for brands to run giveaways or contests for their customers.  It’s in the spirit of the season, and people are encouraged to enter not only to win for themselves, but also to win and gift the items to their loved ones for the holidays.  Giveaways around the holidays tend to garner more engagement than at any other time of year. 

If you’re looking for a way to increase brand awareness and keep your restaurant top of mind this holiday season, consider a contest.  Even giving away something as small as a $25 gift card could bring in tons of new potential customers for you! 

  1. Focus on pain points 

This is a tenet of marketing for small business all year round. But during the holidays, there are even more paint points customers are dealing with.  They’re short on time because of all the festivities, they’re tired of cooking after hosting parties and events, and there are too many people to please when they have extended family in town.  Take advantage of all of these common gripes.  Encourage people to visit your restaurant so they can take a break from cooking, so they can please the whole crowd without having to get everyone to agree on one dish, and so they don’t have to take time away from other activities to cook dinner. 

  1. Charitable donations 

The holiday season is the time of year people tend to feel most charitable.  If giving back to your community is important to you and your restaurant, this is the perfect time of year to do just that!  You can even work charitable donations into your restaurant marketing plan in creative ways.  You can host benefit nights where a percentage of your profits are donated to a local charity. You can create a special menu item to benefit a cause or organization you care about.  You can collect donations from diners in your restaurant for the causes you support.  Or your team can take a day off to help a local organization all together. However you want to go about it, supporting local charities and encouraging your customers to do so as well can be great for your restaurant during the holiday season. 

With these methods and more, you can make sure your restaurant sizzles this holiday season!  Take just a little time to plan out your holiday season restaurant marketing and you could see huge benefits! 

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