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Holiday Season Hacks for Restaurants

Holiday Season Hacks for Restaurants

The holiday season is upon us.  It’s a crazy time of year, and an especially important one for restaurants.  As a restaurant owner, you’ll want to make sure you’re doing all you can to have a successful end of 2021.  Here are a few helpful ways you can maximize your profits and really make the most of the holiday season this year.

1. Post holiday hours early 

First, you’ll want to make sure you’re on top of the ball about what your special hours will be surrounding the holidays.  During this season, many people are eating out more than usual with friends and family in town.  With some restaurants closed for events or a break for the holidays, customers can get frustrated trying to figure out who will be open and who won’t.  Make sure you’re posting your holiday hours online and in person as soon as you are able to nail them down.  

If you’ll be open on days that many other restaurants are closed, giving people a heads up can help drive more business your way on these days.  And on the flip side, if you’re going to be closed any days that you’re normally open, you can avoid frustration, confusion, and anger from your customers by spreading the word early.

2. Seasonal specials or events 

Now onto some of the more fun stuff.  The holiday season is a great time to host events or offer special menu items. This doesn’t have to be anything elaborate or complicated that you need to spend tons of time and resources on.  But, as mentioned above, with it being the season of traveling and visiting family and friends, many people are looking for something unique to do during this time.  If you are able to offer things like seasonal menu items, live music, pop-up events, or special tastings, you can incentivize these groups to pay you a visit for a fun experience.

3. Gift card deals 

You see them everywhere throughout December: special offers or promotions on gift card purchases.  These gift card deals are mainstays for many restaurants, and if it seems like everyone is running them, that’s because they work.  If you are not already offering a special holiday deal on gift cards, you should get one going.  A couple of the most common and successful structures are to offer a percentage off all purchases, or to run a deal where anyone who buys one gift card then gets a smaller additional one for free. This is the season of gift-giving, and gift cards are a great go-to for people who aren’t quite sure what to get their loved ones.  Even a slight discount on your gift cards can incentivize people to buy them for everyone on their list!

4. Seasonal merchandise or gifts 

Speaking of gifts, it’s not just gift cards that people are looking to buy this time of year.  Some people prefer to give physical gifts, and there are plenty of ways you can cater to these folks as well.  Merchandise like shirts, stickers, and hats can be great to offer up for your most loyal fans.  Any other packaged food items you can create also make for popular gifts.  For example, maybe you have a signature sauce or seasoning mix that you can package or meats or entrees you can sell frozen in bulk. Finding creative ways to bring a piece of your restaurant into your customers’ homes will benefit you this holiday season.

5. Holiday catering 

This final suggestion requires a bit more manpower and effort, so it may not be for everyone.  However, if you can find a way to make it work for your restaurant, you could see a huge payoff.  Most restaurants offer some sort of catering or large orders, but not everyone offers these options on the holidays themselves.  If you can offer holiday meals for Christmas or New Year’s that customers can pick up the morning of, or even the day before and reheat, you could really see the orders flood in.  Many families prefer to just enjoy the holiday without needing to worry about cooking a complicated meal.  If you can take care of the cooking for them and offer up delicious food, you could really reap the benefits. 

By enacting the ideas above, you should see your restaurant’s success grow this holiday season. These hacks and tips will help you make the most of the holiday season, and head into 2022 on a really positive note.

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