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How to Promote Your Restaurant this Holiday Season: 7 Ways to Triumph

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How to Promote Your Restaurant this Holiday Season: 7 Ways to Triumph

Any excuse to indulge and eat delicious food is a good one. Birthday? Eat. Anniversary? Eat. Promotion? Eat. And the holidays? Lots of eats. 

The holiday season is a busy time for restaurants. The increase in company outings, family get-togethers, and general merriment means big opportunities for restaurant owners. 

Get ahead of the holidays and start booking those parties with our merry list of restaurant holiday promotions. 

Set the mood with holiday ambiance

Creating the right atmosphere is the first step to promoting your restaurant this holiday season.

Excellent food and customer service are the main reasons people patronize their favorite restaurants, but the atmosphere is another major factor and one that’s often overlooked.

For the holiday season, turn the ambiance in your eatery up a notch.  First, pick a holiday theme for your establishment. Then go all in:

  • Play holiday music in the background
  • Create a social media schedule aligned with your theme
  • Create decorative, themed gift cards or loyalty cards for the holidays
  • Update your website and social media profile photos with your holiday theme

Deck your restaurant’s halls with boughs of holly and other holiday-themed decor to set the mood and make your space extra cozy when the snow is glistening. Once the mood is set, it’s time to start those promotions. 

 

 

#1. Use an outdoor banner to draw attention to your restaurant or event space 

If you’ve asked Santa to bring more customers to your door this holiday season, one way to ensure he’ll deliver is to promote your restaurant or event space with outdoor banners

Banners are an excellent marketing tool to draw people into your eatery. Banners catch people’s attention as they’re passing by, and they are a powerful marketing tool to announce your holiday specials, especially if you get a lot of traffic in your area. 

You might also use banners to encourage other businesses to schedule their holiday parties at your establishment. Be sure to include your number, email, or SMS promo code so people can get in touch. 


schedule restaurant holiday party

 

#2. Spread holiday cheer with event business cards

If you want to take a more targeted approach to booking those holiday parties, you can’t go wrong with event-specific business cards

You can give these to local businesses, tack them up to bulletin boards, or share the design on social media. For even more exposure you can include a card with every check, giving regulars a chance to share with their business or family. 

 

holiday cookie offerings panera bread

 

#3. Add holiday specials to the menu

Help your customers unwind and get into the holiday spirit with a themed menu. Serve up festive spins to old classics like deep-fried ham or add some limited-time holiday cocktails to the drink menu. 

When adding seasonal dishes to the menu, remember that many guests like to bring their meals home. So be sure to pick dishes that are suitable for delivery and takeout. Consider adding options that cater to customers with dietary restrictions as it can give your restaurant an edge over the competition. 

So, how can you spread the word about your festive menu? We recommend the trusty and durable chalkboard sign. 

 

 

#4. Host a pre-holiday holiday party with happy hour

Happy hours are a fantastic idea for any restaurant that serves alcohol. They attract new customers and encourage regulars to stick around a little longer, which gets them to spend a bit more on food and drink. Consider hosting a pre-holiday holiday party complete with the ever-profitable happy hour. If your space is booked up for a holiday party, you can offer happy hour right before it starts to encourage guests to arrive early and spend a little extra. 

The key to a successful happy hour is discounting fare with the highest profit margins. That will prevent you from losing money on each item. To promote your holiday specials and help move products, consider offering them at a discount if you’re able. 

Include holiday-themed items like custom coasters complete with QR codes that make it easy for people to book their upcoming holiday get-togethers. You might also offer guests a customized to-go box for cookies or holiday-themed desserts. You can never go wrong with red velvet!

 

#5. Treat your regulars extra nice

Put your regular customers on your nice list this holiday season. This is an excellent time of year for you to show your appreciation and bring some new faces in the door. 

Some ideas: 

  • Delight your regular customers with a handwritten thank you note and a free offer
  • Plan an exclusive holiday party for regulars that includes drink and entree specials
  • Offer discounts and coupons to encourage regular customers to bring guests
  • Give guests a gift card or complimentary dessert with orders over a certain amount

 

Christmas Cookies in a Green Box

 

#6. Offer meal kits or take-out and delivery specials 

Most restaurants aren’t dealing with occupancy restrictions this year. However, public gatherings are still off the table for many customers. That doesn’t mean you can’t reach these customers and offer them something special this holiday season. 

For starters, you can help your customers take the holiday cheer home with a complete holiday meal kit or takeout special. If this is your first time doing meal kits, be sure to include all of the ingredients in the correct portions so customers can whip up a dish as quickly and deliciously as possible. 

If you don’t have the time or staff to assemble meal kits, holiday cocktail kits are easier for pickup or delivery. Be sure to place them in a holiday-themed box for that extra attention to detail. 

Many customers celebrate smaller holiday gatherings with loved ones. That means fewer dishes for them to share. But this presents restaurant owners with a unique opportunity. These customers will be looking to fill the gap with dishes from their favorite restaurants, especially if you can make it more convenient than cooking at home.

In addition to full-sized meal kits, you can also offer a la carte items and special offers such as signature appetizers, sides, pastries, and desserts (especially pies and cakes) that guests can add to their home-cooked meals. If you have the bandwidth for it, consider offering a limited-time cookie or dessert delivery service for the holidays. 


#7. Host a holiday contest 

When the weather outside is frightful, the fire of winning a contest is so delightful. Creating a holiday-themed contest can bring a lot of new people into your restaurant. For example, you could host a holiday movie-themed trivia night with prizes for the winning team. You don’t need an elaborate trophy for the winner, but you might try:

  • Free appetizers or desserts
  • Discounts
  • Delivery specials

If trivia isn’t your thing, your customers can have a lot of fun competing against each other in a contest. You can even make an event out of it to draw a crowd and publicize it on social media. 

For example, maybe your holiday menu includes images of snowmen or snow angels. You could host a snowman-building contest or a polar plunge. No matter what you choose as a promotion, getting the community involved will boost sales and increase your customer base. 

 

Other marketing ideas to spread holiday cheer

  • Give your customers a behind-the-scenes look at your new recipe. Take videos or photos and share them on social media and through email. 
  • Make some TikTok videos on easy holiday cocktails your customers can try.
  • Be sure to send holiday marketing emails that communicate your event and get people’s mouths watering for your upcoming holiday specials. 
  • Create festive holiday content for your Instagram page. 

Posting about your latest offerings on social media is bound to get people excited. It also shows customers that your establishment is going above and beyond to really get into the holiday spirit. By promoting your holiday events and offerings, you’ll increase awareness, boost engagement, and get more followers. 

And the best gift of all? It will increase foot traffic into your restaurant during the highly competitive holiday season.

 

Celebrate the holidays with Stomp

The holidays are fast approaching. So, if you’re excited to spread holiday cheer and get into the festive spirit of the season, Stomp is here to make this year’s holidays the most profitable yet.

We’ve got everything you need to make your holiday restaurant promotion happen, including gift cards, menus, to-go boxes, and more. 

Check out our restaurant promotion page to get into the holiday spirit and increase profits before the year’s end. 

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  • Marketing Team