3 Holiday Marketing Tips for Restaurants and Bars

 Holiday Marketing Tips for Restaurants

Posted: Nov. 30, 2018

This December, attract new customers, grow your social media presence, and benefit from a new stream of revenue with these marketing tips.

Consumer confidence is high this year. "These historically high confidence levels should continue to support healthy consumer spending,” says Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board. “It should be welcome news for retailers as they begin gearing up for the holiday season. For restaurants and bars, take Franco’s words as a prediction for higher foot traffic, increased reservations, and more adventurous consumers.

Use the three marketing tips below to delight customers this holiday season, while boosting your marketing initiatives.

Sell Prepackaged Treats for Holiday Parties   

Become a part of your customers’ holiday season this year by selling food in prepackaged containers. If you make small appetizers or desserts, then you already have the perfect finger food for office or personal parties. If your desserts are on the larger size, promote them as the ideal hostess gift or take orders in advance for holiday dinners.

For an extra boost of holiday fun, revamp your desserts with themed decorating. It can be a small change, like using dyed red frosting, adding green sprinkles, or decorating them with other holiday-themed accessories.

There are two benefits to selling your food for parties that you shouldn’t ignore:

1. Promoting your restaurant to a wider audience.

Your loyal customers will be thrilled to share your food with family and friends, so give them the chance to. By selling prepackaged food during the holidays, your restaurant is brought in front of many new eyes (and stomachs). With every order, your restaurant’s visibility increases exponentially.

2. Creating an alternate stream of revenue.

Think of employee bonuses, plans for remodeling, peace of mind, or any other perks another stream of revenue can bring. If selling prepackaged food does well, it might be a new tactic to try year-round.

Depending on how many orders your kitchen can manage, go the next step and offer customers a “Holiday Party Menu". Include the most popular menu items, and dishes that can be dipped or eaten by hand.

By selling prepared foods, not only do you help customers with an important part of party-planning, your restaurant becomes an integral part of an event that’s talked about for days. The opportunities to boost word-of-mouth are huge.

Host Holiday-Inspired Happy Hours

Until January 1, host a daily holiday-inspired happy hour featuring special drinks. Here are our top Tips to Make a Holiday-Themed Cocktail Menu:

  1. Name the cocktails to fit the holidays; use “happy” adjectives, evoke nostalgia, or play with the names of classic cocktails, like the Santa-gria.
  2. Decorate your bar.
  3. Be playful with the presentation of drinks; drop plastic snowflakes in the bottom of glasses and opt for red sugar or salt to rim glassware.
  4. Market the cocktails as a limited-time offer. Customers will be excited for the new cocktail additions.

Lavu Pro Tip: Encourage the flow of cocktail-ordering with attractive pricing and irresistible promotions, like two-for-one drink specials. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, 30% of the revenue restaurants make come from alcohol sales.

Offer a Dining Promo that Boosts Social Media Following

Because of the holiday festivities, people are going to be in a generous mood. Take this as an opportunity to boost your Instagram following. In exchange for a single post on Instagram that geo-tags your location and includes your Instagram handle, give diners a significant discount on their bill. And don’t forget a special hashtag. Have customers show their servers the Instagram post to get the discount applied to the bill.

Lavu Pro Tip: Most people view Instagram as a personal account, so make the discount worth their while. Additionally, be conscientious about plating and presentation.

To boost social-media sharing, create a photo-op corner. Task creative employees to decorate one small area in a special and eye-catching way so that guests will run over to take a photo for their social accounts. With picture-worthy reasons to put your restaurant on their newsfeed, diners will be more inclined to go along with a promotion without deleting the photo later.

Integrate these three marketing tricks over the next few weeks, and this holiday season will bring your restaurant the gift of more customers in the coming year.  

Fact: One of the most effective ways of boosting revenue is with a restaurant point of sale.


Posted: Nov. 30, 2018 | Written By: Emma Alois

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